Buffalo Bayou Park still a mess after Harvey

A popular spot for downtown area joggers, walkers and pet owners is still showing the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Buffalo Bayou Park was filled with nearly 40 feet of water at the height of the flooding. More than three weeks later, water is still preven

HOUSTON - A popular spot for downtown area joggers, walkers and pet owners is still showing the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Buffalo Bayou Park was filled with nearly 40 feet of water at the height of the flooding.

More than three weeks later, water is still preventing some of the cleanup from starting.

The banks of the bayou were once green with grass and vegetation but today they are sandy beaches of silt.

“Just to think that the force of this water could deposit this amount of sediment,” said Buffalo Bayou Partnership president Ann Olson.

The sediment removal is expected to be one of the most expensive reparations to the park.  The silt measures up to six-feet deep in some areas and must be dug and hauled away before other structural damage to the park can be assessed.

The Johnny Steele Dog Park is still submerged in water and is not expected to be accessible for months.

“The dog park was one of the best dog parks in Houston and it’s still eight feet under water,” said dog owner and park visitor Bryan Wegg.  “It was our favorite place to go, so it kind of hurts.”

Other parts of the park fared well by comparison.  

The gardens of Eleanor Tinsley Park are green and teeming with life. Joggers are again enjoying the  upper-level paths. Hundreds of the 14,000 trees transplanted at the park during its renovation a few years ago are confirmed dead, but they feared it would be thousands.

The Buffalo Bayou Partnership is renting landscaping equipment to maintain the park in its current state. All of the equipment belonging to the partnership was lost during the flood.  It will cost approximately $500,000 to replace.

Olson says the park held up remarkably well considering what it endured.  The $58 million renovation project made the park built to weather a flood, but nothing like this.

“We say the park was designed to flood,” Olson said. “It wasn’t designed to flood three times in two years.”A popular spot for downtown area joggers, walkers and pet owners is still showing the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Buffalo Bayou Park was filled with nearly 40 feet of water at the height of the flooding.

More than three weeks later, water is still preventing some of the cleanup from starting.

The banks of the bayou were once green with grass and vegetation but today they are sandy beaches of silt.

“Just to think that the force of this water could deposit this amount of sediment,” said Buffalo Bayou Partnership president Ann Olson.

 

The sediment removal is expected to be one of the most expensive reparations to the park.  The silt measures up to six-feet deep in some areas and must be dug and hauled away before other structural damage to the park can be assessed.

 

The Johnny Steele Dog Park is still submerged in water and is not expected to be accessible for months.

 

“The dog park was one of the best dog parks in Houston and it’s still eight feet under water,” said dog owner and park visitor Bryan Wegg.  “It was our favorite place to go, so it kind of hurts.”

 

Other parts of the park fared well by comparison.  

 

The gardens of Eleanor Tinsley Park are green and teeming with life. Joggers are again enjoying the  upper-level paths. Hundreds of the 14,000 trees transplanted at the park during its renovation a few years ago are confirmed dead, but they feared it would be thousands.

 

The Buffalo Bayou Partnership is renting landscaping equipment to maintain the park in its current state. All of the equipment belonging to the partnership was lost during the flood.  It will cost approximately $500,000 to replace.

 

Olson says the park held up remarkably well considering what it endured.  The $58 million renovation project made the park built to weather a flood, but nothing like this.

 

“We say the park was designed to flood,” Olson said. “It wasn’t designed to flood three times in two years.”

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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