What happens if you love, love, love your neighborhood, but Mother Nature has thrown a few nasty curveballs? When it comes to the residents of Meyerland, they're using every trick in the toolbox to rebuild with resilience, aided by initiatives at the grassroots, city, state and federal levels.
The rewards are there for those who make the effort. With proximity to the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center; walking distance to Godwin Park and five star Kolter Elementary, a foreign language magnet; and families who have lived in the neighborhood for decades; there's no shortage of reasons to stay.
"They’re rooted there," says real estate broker Susan Brock of Brock & Foster Real Estate. "The family I’ve been married to, they‘ve been here 47 years; they know the stores, they use the same lawn service and the same exterminator, it’s hard to leave."
Brays Bayou Association — which includes representatives from several Super Neighborhoods — about what's happening on the ground and in Austin and Washington to make these neighborhoods more resilient during extreme weather events.
Monthly meetings of the Brays Bayou Association include updates about efforts by Texas State Representative Sarah Davis (District 134) with Senate Bill 6 (disaster response and debris removal), SB7 (funding) and SB8 (creation of a statewide flood plan), as well as House Bill 274 (funding), HB678 (post disaster tax relief), HB1296 (disaster case management) and HB1299 (expenditure database). Other reporting includes news from Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis and a social impact study about to be released by Rice University.
"The president of Brays Bayou Association is in Washington, DC this week advocating for federal dollars for specifically Brays Bayou as well as other watersheds in the area; there are federal efforts as well as grassroots efforts to make Meyerland more resilient," says Peters. "It's kind of happening behind the scenes."
Peters also cites the Harris County Flood Control District, which has accelerated completion of work on projects that were begun almost 30 years ago. One of those initiatives, C-11 Project Bays, calls for the widening of 21 miles of Brays Bayou from the Houston Ship Channel to Fondren, and from West Houston Center Boulevard to Highway 6. The $480 million project includes replacing or modifying 32 bridges and excavating four stormwater detention basins that will be able to hold 3.5 billion gallons of stormwater.
Complementing those efforts is the Willow Waterhole Prairie Management Area, a multi-year, $550 million project that will reduce flooding risks in the Brays Bayou watershed. Like Project Bays, it too is a cooperative project between the Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"If you had a home that flooded in Harvey, you don’t have to tell the renter it flooded, there’s no disclosures," says Brock. "If asked you have to tell [potential renters]. But there’s no forced disclosure of flooding for tenants. That’s really tricky."
Flood history, of course, is not a problem when it comes to new construction, especially when innovative techniques are built in. Brock points to Texan Development and Construction, a builder that has just finished construction on a new property at 9622 Cedarhurst that has all the bells and whistles one would want to fight flood events. The 5,465 square foot home uses 12mm AquaGuard Gunmetal Matte Water-Resistant flooring, a wood-based laminate floor with a double coated seal that is water resistant and provides lifetime protection against household spills, splashes and pet accidents for up to 30 hours.
The garage ceilings are almost 20 feet in height so that homeowners could install car lifts, should they want added protection for vehicles during heavy rains.
In building 9622 Cedarhurst, Texan Development and Construction built the home two feet, one inch above the 500-year floodplain, which equates to about three feet, five inches above the 100-year floodplain.
The five or six bedroom home at 9622 Cedarhurst has been listed by Brock & Foster Real Estate for $1.475 million. Explore it for yourself at an upcoming open house on May 26 from 2-6 p.m. Sunday.