New Partnership with KPRC for use of Flood Warning System
The Harris County Flood Control District and KPRC are working together to better inform the public. KPRC recently began incorporating meteorological and hydrological data collected from the Harris County Flood Warning System onto maps displayed during its newscasts. The hope is to better inform viewers about the status of current weather conditions.
Phase 1 of Stormwater Detention Basin in Greens Bayou Complete
The Harris County Flood Control District has completed construction of Phase 1 of the Aldine Westfield Stormwater Detention Basin, located south of Greens Road and north of Beltway 8, just off Aldine Westfield Road in the Greens Bayou Watershed. The $6.94 million construction contract was funded through the Flood Control District’s Capital Improvements Program and the 2018 Bond Program.
The Aldine Westfield Stormwater Detention Basin is expected to reduce flood risks in the Greens Bayou watershed by taking in excess stormwater during heavy rain events and then releasing it slowly back into the channel once the threat of flooding has passed. Phase 1 provides storage for approximately 667 acre-feet, or just over 217 million gallons of stormwater that might otherwise flood homes and businesses during heavy rain events.
Student Group Partners with Flood Control District to Clean Waterway
Recently, the Flood Control District worked with a group from the Student Conservancy Association to clean a detention basin in Greens Bayou. The group worked to near the
water quality pond area pruning lower limbs on trees panted at an earlier time by the Flood Control District. They also thinned some of the willow trees on the site and collected trash and garbage that has collected along the waterway over the last few years. This work will help improve the water quality and help the ponds to better function.
Karen Hastings: Project Communications Specialist
What was your first job?
If you don’t count bussing tables at Colonial Cafeteria, or working at the University of Texas Daily Texan newspaper, my first “real” job was as a cub reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram – affectionately known as the Startle-gram. I was fresh out of college and so excited to write for a professional newspaper. That is where I got interested in government agencies and issues.
How did you get your start at the Flood Control District?
I moved to Houston with my family and was freelancing for the Houston Chronicle. I interviewed someone at the Flood Control District and wrote it up for a newspaper article. When the Flood Control District’s Communications Division needed some website copy, they hired me as a contractor. One day a week became two, three etc. and eventually I came to work as a full-time Communications employee. My current title is Project Communications Specialist.
What are your day to day duties?
I’m responsible for communicating with the public about projects in my assigned watersheds and areas, which are Cypress, Little Cypress, Willow, Armand and Galveston Bay. Working with our communications consultants, I do everything from answer questions sent in by residents to writing website copy and organizing public meetings
What do you like most about your job?
I like to research and write, and there is a lot of variety – something new to learn every day! Flood Control District projects are very interesting and important for the Harris County public to know about, and that makes working on the communications side very satisfying. I ask a lot of questions.
What has been your favorite project at the Flood Control District?
Large-diameter stormwater tunnels are new and different – lots of public interest! One of my first projects, the Greens Bayou Wetlands Mitigation Bank, also got me interested in the environmental side of flood control. And the North Canal was fascinating a few years ago, when we were taking the lead on that project.
What is the best career lesson you've learned so far?
Don’t be shy about asking questions. If you try to act like you already know everything, you won’t learn anything. Another lesson from my newspaper days has to do with the importance of identifying the best, most reliable sources of information – whether it is a person, a document or an app.
What is something about yourself that most people don't know?
I’m a quilter and dabble in all kinds of other crafty pursuits – from rug-making to stained glass. If you’ve been by my office at Brookhollow, one of my quilts is hanging on the wall, and one of my small rugs is on the floor, so maybe people already know that about me!
Feel free to share anything else about you, your role, and your experience at the Flood Control District!
Every resident of Harris County needs to be aware of their watershed and where their home sits in the floodplain. What we do at the Flood Control District – either to build projects or to explain them to people – is very important!
From the Executive Director
Click here to read the monthly employee message from the Harris County Flood Control District's Executive Director Russ Poppe.
The Harris County Flood Control District will host a virtual meeting on: Wednesday, May 19, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Join online at PublicInput.com/HallsC25andC28
Or by phone* at 855-925-2801 with Meeting Code: 8264
The purpose of this meeting is to inform residents about the status of the two flood risk reduction projects in Halls Bayou Watershed. Bond Project C-25 is located off of Aldine Westfield Road near Keith Weiss Park and Bond Project C-28 is located west of Hardy Toll Road in the Aldine Mail Route Road area. Bond Project C-25, Flood Risk Reduction for Tributary P118-21-00, is scheduled to begin construction in July 2021.
This project is intended to reduce the risk of flooding in the area by constructing a stormwater detention basin and making channel conveyance improvements to Tributary P118-21-00. Bond Project C-28 is in currently in the preliminary engineering stage and is evaluating area flood risk reduction solutions. These projects are funded through partnerships and with bonds approved on August 25, 2018 by Harris County voters.
In the News