Addicks and Barker pool elevations extend beyond government owned land

GALVESTON, Texas (Aug. 28, 2017) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District announced today, water from Addicks and Barker dams extends beyond government-owned reservoir land.

As of 5 p.m. today, the pool elevation at Addicks Reservoir reached approximately 105 feet, which is up from about 103 feet from a previous measurement; while the pool elevation at Barker Reservoir is approximately 99 feet, which is up a foot from its previous reading. These are both record highs; above the April, 2016 pool levels which reached 102.7 feet and 95.24 feet, respectively.

To date, approximately 30 inches of rain has fallen in the watersheds upstream of Addicks and Barker. Estimates from the National Weather Service on rainfall above the reservoirs from today through the remainder of this tropical event is about 10 inches. This estimate is down from the previous 25 inch estimate from yesterday.

“Based on the range of uncertainty of rainfall rates and totals, overflow of the northern Addicks spillway has potential to occur in the early morning hours tomorrow, Aug. 29, with flows migrating toward Buffalo Bayou along the Beltway 8 corridor and crossing I-10,” said Edmond Russo, Galveston District deputy engineer.

Releases from Addicks and Barker constitute about 20 percent of the total flow of Buffalo Bayou, with the remaining 80 percent attributable to watershed runoff below the dams into the bayou network.

“As of 5 p.m., these discharge rates are approximately 3,800 cfs and 3,500 cfs, respectively, for a combined total of 7,300 cfs,” said Russo. The goal is to reach release rates of 4,000 cfs at both dams for a combined discharge down Buffalo Bayou of about 8,000 cfs.”

We estimate the dams will approach this target combined discharge rate tomorrow. No decisions have been made to increase planned discharge rates above this amount. Dam releases are expected to occur for several months following this storm event.

With rainfall still occurring in downstream reaches of Buffalo Bayou and tributaries, as well as with the discharge of water from Addicks and Barker, the elevation of the bayou is holding fairly steady and may take several days to recede.

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USACE Galveston continues to monitor Addicks and Barker Dams

GALVESTON, Texas (August 25, 2017) – The Addicks and Barker reservoirs are currently empty and are functioning under normal conditions where natural flows are being released through the system and into Buffalo Bayou. Construction continues on the two new outlet structures, which are protected by two coffer dams as part of the $75 million Addicks and Barker Dam Safety Construction Project, which began in 2016.

The coffer dams, designed to the same specifications as the original structures, are complete and have been certified. They are now part of the flood control system which continues to perform as originally designed.

A coffer dam is a watertight enclosure pumped dry to permit construction work below the waterline.

USACE Galveston has also stockpiled flood-fighting material in an effort to reduce the risk of flooding in the area. These items include geo-textile material, or filter fabric, which helps to keep the soil in place, and sandbags.

We have modified the current construction contract which allows the contractor to provide resources, such as construction equipment, rock and gravel to respond more quickly in the event an area becomes impacted.

We have full faith and confidence in the entire dam structure to include the cofferdams. We do not anticipate any overtopping of the dams with the current forecast of 10-15 inches of widespread rainfall.

Flood risk management is a shared responsibility. We have an excellent working relationship with our flood control partners, the City of Houston, Fort Bend County, Harris County, the Texas Department of Public Safety, local emergency management officials and first responders.

Together, this highly trained and competent team of experts are monitoring the situation and will keep the public informed. We ask that you do your part in remaining vigilant and heeding the advice of your locally elected officials as Hurricane Harvey makes landfall.

Public safety is our number one priority as we work with our partners to monitor the dams and reservoirs.

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