HOUSTON – For the first time, water will start flowing over the spillway of the Hurricane Harvey-pressured Addicks Dam near the Energy Corridor of Houston into Houston neighborhoods, according to Jeff Lindner, meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District.
The “uncontrolled” flow of water over the spillway will contribute to flooding along Buffalo Bayou, which flows through downtown Houston several miles downstream.
The exact impact of the spillway overflow is not known since it has not occurred since the dam was completed in the 1940s. “We are not very confident how it will flow since it has never happened,” Lindner said on Twitter.
In an early morning Tweet, Lindner said the Addicks’ water level of Addicks Reservoir is less than a foot – only a few inches – from the spillway’s height of 108 feet. With continued rainfall associated with the remnant of Hurricane Harvey, the reservoir is expected to go over the spillway Tuesday.
The reservoir was built about 70 years ago to control flooding along Buffalo Bayou, which passes through the upscale River Oaks and Memorial areas before it reached downtown.
Addicks Reservoir and a companion flood control project, Barker Reservoir and located near Highway 6 and Interstate 10 in west Houston. A number of nearby subdivisions are expected to be impacted by the spillway overflow. Flood waters have entered more than 1,000 homes near the dam.
Houston has received about 30 inches of rain this week after the hurricane slammed into the state.