USACE Galveston District to make intermittent releases at Addicks and Barker Dams

Published Aug. 27, 2017
GALVESTON, Texas– Because of the extreme nature of the ongoing weather event in the Houston area, Army Corps of Engineers officials have determined that they will likely have to release intermittent amounts of water from both Addicks and Barker reservoirs to reduce the risk to the Houston metropolitan area.  

“These structures continue to perform as they were designed to do, which is to protect against flooding in downtown Houston and the Houston Ship Channel,” said Col. Lars Zetterstrom, Galveston District commander.  “However, we do expect to release late this evening into early tomorrow morning.   

“It is also likely that water will go over the uncontrolled spillways at the ends of both dams, as designed for large floods.  If this happens, it will most likely start around the northern end of Addicks Dam, and both ends of Barker Dam,” he added.  

“This flood event will exceed the 2016 tax day flood elevations.  Structures will be impacted upstream from both locations; the number of structures affected will depend on weather conditions,” Zetterstrom said.  

Zetterstrom explained that all roads within the Addicks and Barker area will be flooded and closed for an extended period of time until the Corps can release sufficient quantities of water and make them passible. The Corps expects to have to retain water for approximately one to three months after the rains subside. Homes upstream will be impacted for an extended period of time while water is released from the reservoirs. 
“Public safety is our number one concern as we work closely with our partners - the City of Houston, Fort Bend County, Harris County and the Texas Dept. of Public Safety - to monitor the reservoirs,” said Zetterstrom.  “Residents should always listen to and follow instructions of local emergency management officials.”  

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Release no. 17-030