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Creek Expansion Directs Flood Water to Detention Pond, Spares Homes

VICTORIA, TX – Homes near a flooded creek channel in Victoria, Texas fared well during Hurricane Harvey because of mitigation projects completed in 2005.

When the city of 68,000 was severely impacted by Harvey in August 2017, 440 homes avoided flood damage due to the Lone Tree Creek Channel Improvement and Detention Facility Project completed more than a decade earlier.

“In 2005, when the city recognized that its rapid residential growth created an overwhelmed drainage basin, leaders began the planning stages of the Lone Tree Creek Project.

The first stage of the project was to seek feedback from the community to help pinpoint the areas that were severely impacted by floodwaters. Their responses helped guide floodplain administrators to the areas which required the most attention.

“This project forced the creek to store water in the detention pond and not in the residential area,” said John Johnson, floodplain manager for Victoria.

“We are not moving the problem and recreating it elsewhere. We are forcing the creek water to store in the detention pond and release at a rate that the channel can accept without adversely impacting these ranch lands and farms out here,” said Johnson. “Not only did it take those properties out of the floodplain, but by creating capacity in that channel, it allowed undeveloped properties a place to drain and develop without negatively impacting those existing property owners along the channel.”

The tax base remained intact and property ownership stabilized in neighborhoods surrounding the Lone Tree Creek Channel. “The quality of life is improved, and property resale is up as a result of this project,” said Johnson.

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