Houston's Latest Stormwater Project: 'Massive, Underground Tunnels'

The most recent post-Harvey proposal would mean the city could endure enormous rain events, but so far it's not clear who would pay for it.

1 minute read

March 26, 2018, 12:00 PM PDT

By Katharine Jose


Houston Flood

CaseyMartin / Shutterstock

Nearly seven months after Hurricane Harvey spilled 50 inches of water onto the Gulf Coast of Texas, the Harris County Flood Control District has proposed building "massive, underground tunnels to carry flood waters from several Houston-area bayous toward the Houston Ship Channel." 

Houston was plagued by flooding long before Harvey, so this multi-billion-dollar project would be in addition to plans to make the bayous more flood-proof that were in the works long before Harvey, and which have been expedited in the wake of the storm. 

Those projects have all been partnerships between the HCFCD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; so far it's not clear who would pay for the new tunnel project, but director of operations tells the Houston Chronicle "the district hopes to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state to possibly help pay for it." 

Houston has given a great deal of consideration to flood control since the biggest flooding event in its history; the city is redrawing the flood maps, rethinking flood insurance, and considering more green infrastructure to manage stormwater in the future.

Friday, March 23, 2018 in Houston Chronicle

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