Texas county planning today to avoid tomorrow’s floods

It’s about a 50-mile drive northeast to get from downtown Houston to Liberty County. Like many other Texas areas battered four years ago by Hurricane Harvey, Liberty County is working on improvements that will prepare it for any extreme weather tomorrow might bring.

The county’s commissioners recently approved the creation of a drainage district.

According to flood-risk modeling site Floodfactor.com, more than 31,000 Liberty County properties are at risk of flooding. That’s about 38 percent of the county.

What’s a drainage district?

Drainage districts are local government bodies formed for the construction of levees, canals, drains and ditches. The districts have the authority to raise property taxes to be used to build those important water management tools.

According to a local news report, Liberty County is experiencing “unprecedented growth” despite any flooding concerns.

It’s time to act

County Judge Jay Knight said it’s important for the county to get a drainage study done before the construction of new commercial developments and subdivisions multiply the burden on strained, existing drainage infrastructure.

Now is the time for Liberty County while drainage improvements can be done cheaper and while land acquisition for those plans is much easier,” he said. “It will be much more expensive if we wait.”

The district will have to be approved by voters in an election next May, Knight said.

Looking ahead

If the drainage district is approved, its five volunteer members and other county officials will undoubtedly have regular discussions with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the state’s Water Infrastructure Coordination Committee and Texas Water Development Board.

Knowledgeable legal representation can help governmental bodies navigate complex regulatory processes and agencies. Skilled representation also helps create and implement comprehensive plans that guide and improve constituents’ lives.