Category Archives: Galveston District

Army Corps of Engineers projects prevent $13.3 billion in flood damages during spring rains

Addicks and Barker Reservoirs, located near the intersection of I-10 and State Highway 6 in Houston, helped prevent $2.1 billion in flood damages during the recent spring rain event.
Addicks and Barker Reservoirs, located near the intersection of I-10 and State Highway 6 in Houston, helped prevent $2.1 billion in flood damages during the recent spring rain event.
Water flows over the spillway at Lewisville Lake near Dallas after heavy rains in the area in May. About 35 trillion gallons of rain fell across Texas alone in May, with heavy rains also in Oklahoma and Arkansas, putting Army Corps of Engineers reservoirs and flood risk reduction structures to the test.
Water flows over the spillway at Lewisville Lake near Dallas after heavy rains in the area in May. About 35 trillion gallons of rain fell across Texas alone in May, with heavy rains also in Oklahoma and Arkansas, putting Army Corps of Engineers reservoirs and flood risk reduction structures to the test.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood risk reduction projects in the south central and southwestern United States prevented an estimated $13.3 billion in damages to local communities and infrastructure during the May-June 2015 flood event, according to recent calculations by Corps officials with the Southwestern Division in Dallas. The most damages prevented were in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area, where the figure stood at $6.7 billion. Closely following was the greater Houston area with $6.4 billion in flood damages prevented.

“The Army Corps of Engineers flood risk reduction infrastructure—constructed, operated, and maintained with our great partners at all levels—and the benefit that it provides to our nation came to the forefront during this year’s extreme rainfall event, and our structures performed as designed,” said Brig. Gen. David C. Hill, Southwestern Division commander. “The fact that more than $6 billion in damages were prevented in both the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas—the nation’s fourth and fifth largest metropolitan areas—underscore the very robust and tangible benefit this infrastructure provides, along with the other key benefits that our lakes provide throughout the region: hydropower, water supply, and recreation.”

May 2015 was the wettest month on record for both Texas and Oklahoma, and set numerous records throughout the region. Continuing rains from Tropical Storm Bill in June resulted in Army Corps of Engineers flood risk reduction reservoirs and other systems put through a rigorous test to hold the floodwaters and protect local communities and downstream areas.

The breakout for the $6.7 billion in the Dallas-Fort Worth area includes the following: $1.2 billion in damages prevented by the flood damage protection at Grapevine Lake; $2.5 billion at Lake Ray Roberts; and $2.4 billion at Lewisville Lake.

The figures for the $6.4 billion in the greater Houston area include the following: $4.3 billion in damages prevented by the Houston Flood Channel improvements (Brays Bayou and Sims Bayou) and $2.1 billion by the Buffalo Bayou reservoirs (Addicks and Barker reservoirs).

Additionally, the Arkansas River Basin projects (which include parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas) prevented approximately $350 million in flood damages. The Red River Basin projects (which include parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana) prevented approximately $150 million in flood damages.

During this flood event, the Southwestern Division had 51 flood control lakes in flood pool and 23 in surcharge pool. Eight new pools of record were set. The Division was in an emergency operation status for two months, which was also the length of time that the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System was not navigable by industry. Corps projects sustained approximately $209 million in damages, much of that at its recreation sites on the lakes. The Southwestern Division covers some 2.3 million acres of public land and water across five states.

Estimating flood damages prevented is a multi-stage process that involves looking at the water level with the flood reduction project (dam or levee) in place, and where the water level would have reached if the dam or levee had not been built. Economists and hydraulic engineers looking at the damages occurring with the dam or levee in place versus no dam or levee in place calculate the estimated economic damages prevented.


Spotlight on USACE Galveston District’s Andrew Weber

GALVESTON, Texas (Sept. 1, 2015) – Often spending his summers

Employee Spotlight
Often spending his summers in the Texas hill country, building makeshift dams and playing in creeks in his younger years, Andrew Weber’s fascination with moving water hasn’t changed. As a civil engineer, specializing in geotechnical engineering, his work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District allows him to continue studying water and the impact it has on soil properties to prevent against loss of life and property for thousands of Houstonians.

in the Texas hill country, building makeshift dams and playing in creeks in his younger years, Andrew Weber’s fascination with moving water hasn’t changed. As a civil engineer, specializing in geotechnical engineering, his work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District allows him to continue studying water and the impact it has on soil properties to prevent against loss of life and property for thousands of Houstonians.

“I am working on the Addicks and Barker reservoirs and dams construction project to ensure modifications to this infrastructure meets design standards and are maintained to function as intended,” said Weber. “This multi-million dollar mega project affects thousands of homeowners, impacts the economy and protects billions of dollars in downtown Houston.”

Weber is referring to the upcoming $71.9 million construction project that will replace outlet works for both dams and implement a series of measures to decommission the existing outlet structures. The measures in decommissioning the existing outlet works included grouting the existing conduits, removing the steel gate structures, excavating and demolishing any unusable concrete structures, installing downstream filters and backfilling the excavated areas.

“The construction of the two 11-mile-long earthen dams were built in response to devastating floods that occurred in Houston in 1929 and 1935 in what was then undeveloped areas was a milestone in a longstanding partnership between the Corps and the greater Houston community,” said Weber. “They have been protecting the Houston metropolitan area for the last 70 years.”

Weber says that the Dam Safety and Levee Safety programs he operates under ensures that Corps’ owned-and-operated dams and levees do not present unacceptable risks to people, property or the environment, with the main emphasis being public safety.

“I enjoy knowing that my work has an impact on the lives of Texans,” said Weber. “My fascination with water as a child has carried into my career and instead of playing in the creeks or drainage ditches I now get to work on dams and levees to ensure these resilient structures will continue to protect.”

A native of Buda, Texas, the former Department of the Army intern earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Texas A&M University at College Station in 2009 and is a licensed professional engineer. During his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and infant son.

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