Austin County Commissioner Douglas King has been working closely with residents of the Allens Creek area, who suffered severe storm damage during the microburst event May 23.
The area was touted last year as a potential source for a reservoir, slated for construction in 2025, that would provide water to the lower Brazos River basin. The City of Houston owns a 70 percent share of the proposed reservoir, and the Brazos River Authority owns the other 30 percent.
While there has been some controversy about residents of the area allowing access to their homes for debris removal, King said that’s no longer a problem.
“Everything is working pretty good on access,” said King, the commissioner for Precinct 4. “The storm hit, and we’re going into cleanup mode. We’re picking up trees that fell in the roadways and trying to make sure roads are clear.”
At least 70 homes in the area reported damage, King added, noting that the Texas Department of Emergency Management scheduled an assessment for June 6.
“When it reaches a certain level, we can apply for FEMA funding,” he said. “We’re under the impression that everything looks like we’re meeting qualifications but until they do an assessment, we won’t know. Everyone is on board, and the City of Sealy is helping with cleanup. Everyone is in cleanup mode.”
He said there hasn’t been much movement from the Brazos River Authority lately regarding future-plans for the reservoir.
For now, the commissioner said, all those involved are primarily focused on repairing storm damage.
“Everything is pretty much cut and cleared; we’re just hauling off debris,” King said. “It’ll be about another week and a half. We’re just coordinating everything, trying to take care of the heavy stuff right now. We had to tear down one of our barns because it got damaged pretty heavily.”