Bellaire City Council began discussions during an April 18 workshop on how to address flooding issues over the next 10-20 years.
During the workshop, Council Member Ross Gordon, former chair of the city’s planning and zoning commission, led a presentation outlining the parts of the city most vulnerable to flooding and the potential means to combat damage to residential areas.
Key objectives identified at the workshop included understanding the rate at which drastic flooding occurs and how it occurs; reducing major damage to structures while limiting street flooding; and implementing changes in a fiscally responsible manner. The latter of those points was the primary source of discourse at the workshop.
Due to Bellaire’s flat terrain, the city as a whole is at risk of some level of flooding, Gordon said. However, some districts are more likely to suffer major damage than others, he said.
Part of any plan needs to reconcile some street flooding throughout the city to reduce structural damage in high-risk areas, Gordon said.
“If you get another [Hurricane] Harvey we’re not going to have dry streets ... so we have to understand that we have to live with flood waters and manage that appropriately,” he said.
While no decisions were made on how to proceed, the workshop opened the door for future action.
"The crux of this conversation [is] we need to define the level of service,” Mayor Andrew Friedberg said.
Moving forward, city officials said they anticipate hosting additional workshops and could at some point consider commissioning a study into flood mitigation efforts into the city.