USACE Galveston continues to monitor Addicks and Barker Dams

Published Aug. 25, 2017

GALVESTON, Texas (August 25, 2017) – The Addicks and Barker reservoirs are currently empty and are functioning under normal conditions where natural flows are being released through the system and into Buffalo Bayou.  Construction continues on the two new outlet structures, which are protected by two coffer dams as part of the $75 million Addicks and Barker Dam Safety Construction Project, which began in 2016.   

The coffer dams, designed to the same specifications as the original structures, are complete and have been certified.  They are now part of the flood control system which continues to perform as originally designed.

A coffer dam is a watertight enclosure pumped dry to permit construction work below the waterline.

USACE Galveston has also stockpiled flood-fighting material in an effort to reduce the risk of flooding in the area.  These items include geo-textile material, or filter fabric, which helps to keep the soil in place, and sandbags.

We have modified the current construction contract which allows the contractor to provide resources, such as construction equipment, rock and gravel to respond more quickly in the event an area becomes impacted.

We have full faith and confidence in the entire dam structure to include the cofferdams.  We do not anticipate any overtopping of the dams with the current forecast of 10-15 inches of widespread rainfall.

Flood risk management is a shared responsibility.  We have an excellent working relationship with our flood control partners, the City of Houston, Fort Bend County, Harris County, the Texas Department of Public Safety, local emergency management officials and first responders.

Together, this highly trained and competent team of experts are monitoring the situation and will keep the public informed. We ask that you do your part in remaining vigilant and heeding the advice of your locally elected officials as Hurricane Harvey makes landfall.

Public safety is our number one priority as we work with our partners to monitor the dams and reservoirs.

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. 17-029