The Brazos River at Rosharon is receding, meaning water is flowing south toward Oyster Creek, Bastrop Bayou and Buffalo Camp Bayou watersheds, officials say.
This flooding event is proving to be unpredictable, Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said.
“This is a strange one,” Sebesta said. “It’s not following the playbook from 2015 at all.”
Considering how high Oyster Creek has gotten, it’s surprising Bastrop Bayou and Buffalo Camp Bayou are not yet as high, Richwood and Lake Jackson officials said.
When the Brazos River at Rosharon got to 50.8 feet in the past, the water would reach Oyster Creek in Lake Jackson about five days later, Lake Jackson City Manager Bill Yenne said.
This time, the water came in just two days, he said.
“Obviously that means water is getting out at a lower level,” Yenne said.
The banks of the river may have eroded and lowered during the 2016 and 2017 floods, Sebesta has said.
Officials believe there may be a breach in the river south of the Harris Reservoir near CR 31, Yenne said.
Though the flood has been compared to 2015, Oyster Creek at the Dow Pump Station near FM 2004 is already more than a foot higher than it was during that event, Yenne said. The creek got to 15 feet in 2015, he said, adding that it’s at 16.5 feet now and will probably peak in the next day or two. It does not leave its banks until over 20 feet, he said.
At this point in the 2015 flood, there was already flooding in the streets in Northwood Subdivision, Yenne said, but now those streets are dry.
Richwood should be in good shape if the Bastrop Bayou doesn’t rise much more, Mayor Steve Boykin said.
“We are watching that very closely, and not only watching what we have here in Richwood, but watching all around us and making sure we’re not surprised,” Boykin said.
The amount of water in the creek right now was expected, but more water in Bastrop Bayou was expected along with it, he said.
“When you see things that are contrary to what you had in prior instances, you start wondering what’s different and what can sneak up and surprise us,” Boykin said.
The mayor is making multiple daily rounds to monitor water levels, he said.
The bayous will start coming up, the water is just not there yet, Sebesta said.
Water that feeds into Bastrop Bayou is flowing across the floodplain, so it moves at a different speed than the channelized water in Oyster Creek, he said.
The river gauge at Rosharon is falling a little faster than projected, but it’s still holding level at West Columbia, which is another oddity for this event, Sebesta said.
“Very odd,” he said. “I’d say usually 24 to 48 hours following it falls at Rosharon, it will start to fall at West Columbia.”
CR 30 South was more passable Wednesday than it was Tuesday, Sebesta said, and the water over Highway 35 is slowly going down.
“We’re seeing 35 and north, we’re starting to see the water recede a bit,” he said.
It’s unknown how many houses are flooding daily since the county has to rely on residents to report it, Sebesta said. It’s understandable that reporting the flooding is not their first priority, he said.
However, the county urges residents who have experienced or are experiencing flooding this month to email email@example.com or call the County Emergency Management Call Center at 979-864-1201.
Monitor city and county social media pages and websites, as well as the Ready Brazoria County app, for flooding updates.