Mother Nature may have unleashed her fury in many parts of Houston earlier last month, but Buffalo Bayou Park continues to thrive and we are pressing forward with clean-up efforts and construction activities around the park. We also are preparing for the park’s grand opening celebration – originally scheduled for June 20, which is being postponed until the fall. The good news is that the park came through the flood in relatively good shape. While high water, silt and debris were factored into the park’s design and maintenance plan, cleaning up after a flood of this magnitude is a challenge. The Memorial Day flood raised water levels in the park to the sixth highest elevation ever recorded.
The Buffalo Bayou Park Operations Team is working hard to restore areas to full park use. For the safety of our park users, we are asking everyone to be aware of the closed or cordoned off trails and areas which are impassable.To view a map of closures, click here.
With more rain on its way this week, we will alert park users as areas are restored, repaired and re-opened. We thank you for your patience.
- Main trail. The main trail is closed at Allen Parkway and Shepherd Drive to address a sink hole that developed alongside the City’s storm sewer project.
- Footpaths. A few areas along the footpaths have suffered structural damage, and some erosion and bank failures affect use of the path. We are making plans for those repairs but must wait for the water level in the bayou to drop after the flood waters are drained from Addicks and Barker Reservoirs (see note below.) These footpaths remain CLOSED.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO NOTE:
- Water levels. With a period of dry weather forecasted for the Houston region earlier this month, storm water was released from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs at a controlled rate into Buffalo Bayou in order to lower water levels behind those two dams in west Harris County. Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) officials said that these release levels will be significantly lower than the flood levels experienced after heavy rainfall last month. For more information on areas that will be affected by this release of excess water, click here.
- Johnny Steele Dog Park. Though the dog park did not incur structural damage, the clean-up and silt removal in the small and large dog park areas – up to two feet in some areas, including the ponds – are ongoing. Due to continued high waters in the bayou, the area has not yet dried out and will be closed if the area floods.
- Lighting and electrical systems. The Park’s Operations Team is cautiously cleaning the park’s electrical system and lighting in advance of turning the power back on. It is very important that lamps and other components be clean and dry before being energized in order to minimize damage to the system. After overall power is turned on, we expect there will be specific locations where more work is required.