Addicks and Barker Dams and Reservoirs Update

Published Aug. 25, 2017
GALVESTON, Texas (August 25, 2017) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District issues the following updates in preparation for Hurricane Harvey.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District, is monitoring the Addicks and Barker dams and reservoirs in West Houston due to the impending storm. Constructed in the 1940s, both reservoirs are normally kept dry to preserve their overall capacity to impound storm water and reduce flood levels in Buffalo Bayou. When a rain event occurs, the gates are closed on the Addicks and Barker dams to reduce flooding impacts to residents downstream. When downstream runoff recedes to non-damaging stages, reservoir operations resume, and the gates are re-opened, to release water back to normal levels.

The Addicks and Barker dams and reservoirs are owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - are located in southeast Texas in the San Jacinto River basin approximately 17 miles west of downtown Houston. The reservoirs are considered to be in the upper Buffalo Bayou watershed. They provide flood damage reduction along Buffalo Bayou downstream of the reservoirs and through the center of the City of Houston.

The majority of both Addicks and Barker structures fall within Harris County, however, a small portion of the Barker Reservoir crosses into Fort Bend County. The structures are located near the intersection of Interstate Highway 10 and State Highway 6, with the Addicks Reservoir located north of I-10 and the Barker facility located south of I-10. 

Stormwater flows in to Addicks and Barker reservoirs from Mason Creek, South Mayde Creek, Langham Creek, Bear Creek and Horsepen Creek and Upper Buffalo Bayou; and flows out into Buffalo Bayou. Both dams are normally operated with the gates open to allow free flow of stormwater; however, when a rain event is forecasted, the reservoir gates are closed to reduce flooding downstream. The gates are re-opened when the storm has passed and the threat of flooding downstream has passed.

To learn more about the Addicks and Barker Dam Safety Program, visit For more news and information, visit Find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter,               

Release no. 17-028