Army Corps of Engineers: Houston dams pose ‘catastrophic failure’ risk

Print
Email
|

by khou.com staff

khou.com

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 1:26 AM

HOUSTON—Overstressed dams and levees have left much of southern Louisiana a flooded mess, but it’s possible that something even worse could happen in Houston.

“The language is very clear and the language is very disturbing. There is a significant risk of failure of Addicks and Barker Reservoirs,” said Attorney Jim Blackburn.

So much so that the Army Corps of engineers has the dams designated at Level 1--the highest risk of “catastrophic failure.”

“The impact would be devastating,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn is fighting to stop development above the dam.

“If they were full of water and failed it would be a catastrophic flood,” he said.

The energy corridor that includes Memorial, Tanglewood, River Oaks, has in all 410,000 people with massive property values.

The condition of the massive dam would have impact whether it would fail or not. That is because all of the water that is collected in the reservoir has to go somewhere and the Army Corps says it will have to release it into Buffalo Bayou even if it is already flooding.

“If there is a risk, it is going to be flooding people downstream of Buffalo Bayou, rather than the failure of those dams,” he said.

The Army Corps says it is a top priority to fix things, but the soonest that can be done is 2017.

               

 

Print
Email
|