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Issue 25
March 2023
Harris County Flood Control District teams up to help plant nearly 2,500 trees

There was a phenomenal turnout at this year’s annual Tree Planting Competition. Nearly 250 volunteers participated in the 2023 Tree Planting Competition on March 4! Split up into 21 teams, volunteers planted a total of 2500 trees at the Curtis M Graves Detention Basin in the Hunting Bayou watershed. The Flood Control District Team planted nearly 100 trees in less than 2 hours!


The trees will help to create a mature forest canopy that over time shades out and prevents the growth of undesirable underbrush that can hinder stormwater conveyance and increase maintenance costs.  Tree planting in non-conveyance areas such as stormwater detention basins, along natural channels, and upper slopes of channels allows the Flood Control District to reduce the amount of acreage mowed by hundreds of acres annually.

To learn more about our tree planting program visit:

South Belt Stormwater Detention Basin Project Ribbon Cutting 

Harris County Precinct 2 and the Harris County Flood Control District recently celebrated the completion of the South Belt Stormwater Detention Basin. This $35 million investment aims to reduce flooding risks by holding approximately 505 million gallons of stormwater, protecting more than 150 homes in the surrounding area. The new South Belt Stormwater Detention Basin stores excess stormwater and slowly releases it back into the creek when the threat of flooding has passed.

For additional information about this project and more, please visit

Flood Control District's Scott Elmer speaks at local Infrastructure Summit

Harris County Flood Control District’s Interim Deputy Director of Engineering and Construction Scott Elmer was one of the keynote speakers at the League City Regional Chamber of Commerce's Infrastructure Summit. The focus of the event was to share information on flood risk reduction, drainage, and transportation. Representatives from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, the City of League City, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas House of Representatives, Houston-Galveston Area Council, Galveston County also attended. Elmer gave a presentation on current Flood Control District projects including our study into the feasibility of large diameter underground stormwater tunnels.


To learn more about the current projects going on at the Flood Control District, please visit

Harris County Flood Control District leads tour of Pillot Gully Channel Restoration Project

The Harris County Flood Control District was pleased to lead a site tour of the Pillot Gully Channel Restoration Project with EWRI Houston Chapter and Bayou Preservation Association. The tour of the completed restoration project aimed to showcase one of the Flood Control District's nature-based projects.


The Pillot Gully Channel Restoration Project was a major maintenance project that repaired a structure failure and integrated environmental enhancements by way of natural stable channel design techniques to restore the channel's conveyance capacity between Vintage Preserve Parkway and Cypress Creek.


While not a flood damage reduction project, the channel was widened in some locations and looks significantly different due to the environmental enhancements.


For more information, visit

Milestone celebrated for Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Basin Project

The Harris County Flood Control District was thrilled to recently commemorate an important milestone within the White Oak Bayou watershed. The construction of the Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Basin Project will help to reduce the risk of flooding by providing critical stormwater storage that is needed in this area. This project is a truly excellent example of public-private partnership. It is the product of a carefully coordinated effort between the Mayor, Public Works, the City of Houston, Harris County Precinct One, TDEM, FEMA, and the Houston Parks Board.


The soon-to-be-constructed stormwater detention basin project encompasses property located both east of Antoine and west of Antoine, with a total of 12 interconnected stormwater detention basins. During the design stage of the project, community engagement meetings were held for residents to learn about key elements of the project, give input, and have their questions and concerns addressed. 


To learn more about this project, please visit

The Work Continues
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Construction and installation on a 84-inch concrete pipe along the west side of Smith Road and along Dory Lee Lane continues as part of the Smith Road Channel Diversion Project. This project reduces the risk of flooding along Smith Road for approximately 70 structures, reduces the potential for future erosion along Greens Bayou tributary P133-00-00, and improves drainage along Smith Road.

For more information, visit

Construction Update
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Construction continues on Phase 3 of the Zube Stormwater Detention Basin in the Little Cypress Creek watershed. Once complete, the full basin will hold more than 835 acre-feet, or 272 million gallons of stormwater.

For more information, visit

Maintenance Update
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Maintaining our drainage network is important to help channels continue to perform as designed. Repair work continues and is on schedule along Garners Bayou in the Greens Bayou watershed.

Learn more about our maintenance programs here

Sharing Knowledge

The Harris County Flood Control District attended the Texas Floodplain Management Association (TFMA) annual meeting last week. Flood Control District staff presented the various equipment used to monitor flooding and shared how we maintain the Harris County Flood Warning System.


Click here to read the most recent tips to stay safe!

James Presley
Project Manager
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What is your title and Department?

 I am an Operator 2.

How long have you been with the Flood Control District?  

I have worked at Flood Control for 16 years, 3 months

How did you get your start at the Flood Control District?

I was fortunate to be hired on the spot by Terry Davenport on the spot.

What does your job at the Flood Control District entail?

  My job entails driving around Harris County and cutting and pruning trees

What is your favorite thing about working at the Flood Control District?

It would have to be working with others: the fact that we all come together and work towards the common good is a wonderful thing, which I believe some people take for granted.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Working on an airboat and mainly my retirement: my career in public service spans several decades and I have worked quite hard to get to where I am at now.

What has been your favorite project so far?

It has actually been cleaning grates: a lot of people don’t realize how important regular maintenance like this is, when it comes to proper flood mitigation.

What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?

Being patient with others and listening to my leaders. Patience is a critical part of working in a system with so many moving parts. It’s important to remain cognizant of the processes that we have in place and how to they function regarding providing better flood mitigation for Harris County.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you so far this week?

Being in the employee spotlight would have to be it: it feels good to be seen and recognized for my efforts.

What is something about yourself that most people don't know?

I am a Deacon in my church

What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?

Although I look quite young for my age, I am actually 66 years old.

What was your first job?

I was actually a stacker at the Piggly Wiggly, believe it or not.

What do you like most about your job?

Definitely the rapport that I have with my co-workers, both in and out of the field: they are really a great group of folks to work with.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?

First and foremost: My family. They are everything to me and I think about them everyday while I am in the field on assignment.

Construction Engineer

Current Projects

Installation Power Buggy Rental
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