Area flooding proved to be quite serious this Monday as a slow moving storm system hammered the region for several hours.
The Upper Kirby area saw over five-inches of rain in just two hours between nine and 11am with the majority of that volume falling between the hours of 9:30 and 10:30.
Two primary drainage systems carry water from Upper Kirby north to Buffalo Bayou and south to Braes Bayou; the Kirby drainage system and the Greenbriar/Shepherd drainage system. The high point for the area sits just north of Westheimer, so the majority of our storm water travels south along these systems to Braes Bayou.
Both the Kirby system and the Greenbriar/Shepherd system were overwhelmed Monday as the storm moved in from the south flooding the outfall point early and leaving nowhere for water falling upstream to go. At 11am, the water level at our outfall at Harris Gully at South McGregor Way measured 41 feet above sea level. Normal elevation at this channel is 21 feet. the 100 year storm level for this channel is 39.9 feet.
Storm sewer improvements will continue in Upper Kirby over the next several years to continue to improve the efficiency of both of these drainage systems, though no system is built to withstand 100-year events. Over the next several years, the Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority will complete the final two large drainage projects still left to complete the Kirby system upgrades and will bring the Shepherd/Greenbriar system up to standards as well.
The first remaining project in the Kirby system, Richmond Avenue between Kirby and Buffalo Speedway, will begin in the first quarter of this year and will add a new 72-inch storm drain under the north side of the roadway. Following shortly behind, the Westheimer drainage upgrades between Shepherd and Buffalo Speedway will finish out the major lines draining into the Kirby system. Shepherd and Greenbriar drainage projects are scheduled to follow behind Westheimer.
For more information on storm drainage projects in the Upper Kirby area, contact Travis Younkin at 713.524.8000 or email