Important Harvey Relief Program for Homeowners

Here is important information about a new program the State is administering to help with reimbursement for Hurricane Harvey related repairs. Please contact the GLO office directly if you need help, or Congressman Olson’s office for assistance.


Do you have out-of-pocket expenses from home repairs from Hurricane Harvey? If so, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) just announced they have a program that may help you cover the cost!

The GLO will start accepting applications THIS THURSDAY for the new Homeowner Reimbursement Program. With this program, eligible homeowners can apply to receive up to $50,000 to cover out-of-pocket expenses from Harvey repairs. Folks in Fort Bend and Brazoria Counties who have completed their repairs prior to the application launch date (Thursday, February 28, 2019) are encouraged to apply. Residents of Harris County and the City of Houston are not eligible, but both the city and county will have a similar program for homeowners. Please visit the GLO’s website for more information and to apply. Funds are limited, so folks are encouraged to apply as soon as the application goes live, on Thursday, February 28, 2019. The website has a list of the documents you will need to include with your application. You can also email cdr@recovery.texas.gov or call 1-844-475-5000 if you have any questions about the program. Also, please contact my office at 281-494-2690 if you have any Harvey recovery related questions. My staff is happy to help however they can.

I’m honored to represent you in Congress. For more information or to sign up for my E-newsletter, please visit my website, www.olson.house.gov.

Very respectfully,
Pete Olson

Lawsuit to Recover Damages Related to Flooding During Hurricane Harvey

After repeated failed negotiation and mediation attempts to reach settlement with Jones & Carter, the former District engineers, on Thursday June 21, the District filed a lawsuit in Fort Bend County Courts to recover damages related to flooding during Hurricane Harvey. On Wednesday, June 20, the District received notice that a group of homeowners also filed suit against Jones & Carter. You may find copies of the lawsuit petitions online at the Fort Bend County District Clerk website.

Levee Table Top Exercise

Members of EDP and Odyssey Engineering Group participated in the Levee Table Top Exercise hosted by Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management. The exercise was used as an opportunity to discuss the events that led up to Hurricane Harvey and learn from the efforts of those on a County-wide level. Fort Bend County and those in attendance walked through potential scenarios related to heavy rain events and high water levels in the Brazos River. EDP and Odyssey will take the ideas discussed and incorporate them into the Emergency Action Plan for Pecan Grove MUD.

Flood Debris Removal

Fort Bend County will be making a final sweep of the District tomorrow, Tuesday, September 19, 2017 to pick up heavy debris from flood damaged homes. Please move your flood debris to the curb and send your address through the District website at http://www.pecangrovemud.com/contact so the District can provide your address to Fort Bend County for debris removal. Even if you have already submitted your address, please resubmit your address if you still have debris.

Board Meeting on Harvey’s Impact and Aftermath in Pecan Grove

Due to Hurricane Harvey, the Pecan Grove MUD Board moved its regular meeting from the last Tuesday of August to Friday September 8, 2017, at the Pecan Grove Baptist Church. The meeting focused on the flooding that occurred in Pecan Grove MUD as the result of the unprecedented 44+” of rain that fell in a 72 hour timeframe and the remedial measures taken by the District during Hurricane Harvey. These rainfall totals surpassed all previous records for the contiguous United States. The Board is asking its consultants and other experts to help determine whether the MUD’s facilities operated as anticipated and if other improvements should be made to improve the capabilities of the facilities.

The Board opened the meeting to receive public comments and Bob Jones, founder of the District’s engineering consultant firm, Jones & Carter, Inc, presented Jones & Carter Inc.’s preliminary observations and opinions regarding the flooding and the District’s facilities. Mr. Jones discussed how the 3 new detention ponds worked as intended for the first 2 ½ days by providing out of District storage space for the flood water to gravity flow to the outside of the levee through culverts that pass under the levee. Based on preliminary data from Jones & Carter, it appears the Plantation Sections 4 and 5 detention pond (“Pond 4/5”) would have continued to function as anticipated if not for the over flow of flood water from either or both Bullhead Bayou and Oyster Creek. The Board and Mr. Jones answered questions and received comments from the public for a couple of hours.

During Hurricane Harvey on late Sunday night August 27, your MUD operating company, EDP, began measures to obtain special inflatable plugs to stop the flow of flood water into Pond 4/5 from Bullhead Bayou and/or Oyster Creek. These plugs had to be located, installed and inflated into three pipes in the Pond 4/ 5 detention pond. Installation of these plugs could only be accomplished by certified divers. Despite valiant efforts and many calls to Fort Bend County OEM and the City of Richmond Fire Department Emergency Dive Team, locating available certified divers took until Tuesday. Much of the Greater Houston Area had impassable roads and it took time to gather the plugs, and for the dive team to make their way to Pecan Grove. The first two plugs were installed that afternoon, with the smallest of the 3 pipes being installed by Wednesday morning. EDP reported these efforts stopped the over flow waters from Bullhead Bayou and Oyster Creek from entering the District.

Unfortunately, there appear to be about 40 to 50 houses that had some level of flood waters in them. Not all of these houses are in the area near the intersection of Plantation and Bittersweet Drives. We are preparing maps showing the locations of any home that took on flood water, including amounts, to help us investigate where flooding occurred. If your home had flood water and you have not previously reported it, please go to our website www.pecangrovemud.com or call EDP at 281-238-5000.

The Board met in executive session after the public comments portion of the abbreviated meeting on Friday, September 8, and, after reconvening in open session, voted to look for outside, third party expert advice. The Board decided to interview several engineering firms to determine their qualifications to assist the Board in investigating the causes of the flooding, the performance of the District’s drainage system, and possible improvements to same, if warranted. Because these engineering firms may act as experts for the District in any potential or threatened litigation, the Board will conduct the interviews with their attorney present in executive session. No action can be taken in executive session; all votes to hire an expert consultant will take place in open session.

The Board expects its information gathering efforts to take a little bit of time. It is important to get accurate information and do careful study. We are only at the beginning of the fact gathering stage. This is a priority for the Board and we will get answers and solutions as quickly as we can.

Also at the Friday September 8 abbreviated meeting, there were questions about the pickup of debris removed from flooded houses. Director Ryan Yokubaitis is the Board’s garbage liaison and he has been working with WCA, our garbage contractor, for special debris removal. The MUD contracted before the storm with Fort Bend County for debris removal, but the County has been unable to schedule its contractor to pick up in our area. Therefore, Director Yokubaitis worked with WCA for this heavy debris removal. After some failed efforts of WCA to procure the special trucks, WCA managed to pick up some storm debris in Pecan Grove and committed to us they would continue pick up daily until all debris already placed outside was collected.

The Board will post updates as additional information is gathered.

Debris Removal in the District

The District previously contracted with our trash provider WCA for heavy flood debris removal this week in the District. WCA, without any advance warning/notice to the District, informed the District this afternoon that all trucks to be used for heavy debris removal have been pulled out of the District and rerouted to Florida. The District is actively looking for a heavy debris removal contractor who can move in quickly and replace WCA. Before the storm, the District contacted with Fort Bend County for heavy storm debris pick up, and has requested the County to expedite heavy trash storm debris pick up in Pecan Grove. As additional information is available, we will post it to the website and send out email updates to those who have requested email blasts.

WCA was working with third party trucks, which are the ones that left for FLorida. WCA is currently working on another solution.

Hurricane Harvey Debris Pick-up in Fort Bend County

FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS — Fort Bend County residents affected by Hurricane Harvey and the recent floodwaters are hard at work cleaning out their homes and property after the storm. County Emergency Management Officials will begin collecting residents storm debris starting this week.

The County will coordinate debris removal efforts for all unincorporated areas and with our partnering jurisdictions. It is important that residents abide by the debris sorting guidelines provided at http://fbceom.org/debris. These guidelines include separating your debris into categories (Separating Your Debris) never using trash or plastic bags for this debris, placing debris piles at the curb or roads edge, and restrictions on county officials entering private property.

“Please put your debris as close to the curb and the sidewalk as you possibly can.”, said Marc Grant, Fort Bend County’s Debris Management Coordinator, “If you put it past the sidewalk, we cannot go on private property to pick up your debris. If you have more debris past the sidewalk we will pick up as much as we can and then we will have to come back once you’ve moved the rest of your debris to the curb line.”

Grant added that if you have a roadside ditch in front of your property, follow similar guidelines but treat the ditch like you would the sidewalk. Place your debris along the roadside so that it does not impede traffic or the flow of water in the bottom of the ditch. Items that are on your private property side will not be picked up on the first trip through by our trucks, but we will return once you have moved the remaining debris out to the roadside.

The restriction of the use of trash bags to contain the debris is something many residents may not know. Storm debris is compiled and processed differently than normal household garbage, and bagged storm debris will not be picked up by county debris removal trucks. If you have already placed debris at your roadside, please reference the guidelines at fbceom.org and remove trash bags from these debris piles.

It is also important not to park vehicles in locations that block our access to debris piles. If a vehicle is parked on a roadside in front of a debris pile, workers will have to move on and return at a later date to retrieve the debris.

Fort Bend County officials will be working hard for many weeks to collect and properly dispose of the Hurricane Harvey debris. We greatly appreciate your help in making this process a success.

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Hurricane Harvey – After the Event

It has been a demanding week in Pecan Grove! However, we have pulled together in response to the historic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Considering the devastation that occurred in most of Southeast Texas, our community experienced far less damage than most of our neighboring communities. As challenges have come up, the dynamic, positive responses from our District Operator (EDP), Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) members, Sheriff’s Deputies, M.U.D. Board Directors, and you, our neighbors, have exceeded all expectations. Hurricane Harvey Flood fighting efforts would not have been possible without the positive attitude and can-do spirit our residents have exhibited again and again. Our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who contributed – whether by rescuing your neighbors or providing food to others in need. There were so many willing volunteers that we can’t begin to thank all of you.

As a result of the issues identified during Hurricane Harvey, your Board will be analyzing what can be done to address and correct these situations. We will be working with the Operator, engineers and other consultants to define projects that will improve the functionality of our levee system. There will be a special meeting on Friday, September 8, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. at the Pecan Grove Country Club. There will be a short executive session at the beginning of the meeting and the public will be invited in after that session. We want our neighbors to hear what projects have been identified for the continued improvement of Pecan Grove. We will also let you know about a future workshop that will detail these projects, both in terms of what they entail and the planned timing for the district.

Garbage collection will recommence on Monday, September 4, 2017, per the normal schedule. Also on Monday, there will be a special pickup of tree debris resulting from the storm. Then on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, there will be an additional pickup specifically for storm damage refuse from inside homes, such as carpet and sheetrock. We are working closely with WCA (Waste Corporation of America) to get Pecan Grove residents the trash collections that they need. In the coming weeks, Fort Bend County will come through the community and collect any additional storm debris that was not collected by WCA. Click here for more information.

Clarification of FBCOEM Recent Post

To clarify Fort Bend County’s recent post on fbcoem.org that the mandatory evacuation had been changed to voluntary for PORTIONS of Pecan Grove, we want to make sure people know Plantation place is still NOT accessible as the entrance off FM 359 is still under water. When FM 359 water recedes from that intersection, Plantation Place will be changed to voluntary.  We apologize for the confusion caused by the county’s post.

Special Session Scheduled

The Fort Bend County Commissioner’s Court has special sessions scheduled for Saturday, September 2 and Monday, September 4 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the impact of the disaster declaration on August 24 as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

Brazos River Update – September 1st at 6:30am

Good Morning neighbors.

We have the best news yet – according to the latest updated graphs from the National Weather Service (NWS), the Brazos River appears to have crested at the Richmond gauge at a high of 55.19! This is a still new record, up from last year’s record level of 54.7′. We know projections can still change and we aren’t completely out of the woods until the river level goes way down. But at the new lower projected peak level, our levee system will be able to handle this level.

Our operators have been out and inspected our plugs and pumping and everything appears to be stable. There is no evidence of additional infiltration.

As the water is pumped out, now that the Brazos River appears to have crested, our lake, channel and street ponding levels will return to near normal more quickly.

Thank you to our board members, consultants and operators for their commitment to our safety through this challenging event.

Please continue to check fbcoem.org for the latest official Fort Bend County updates.

Brazos River Update – August 31st at 6:30pm

Although Fort Bend County has not yet formally announced, the National Weather Service has revised the Brazos River crest DOWNWARD slightly from 56′ to 55.7′ at the Richmond Gauge.  Any amount of lower inches is helpful.

Our pumps are continuing to run full time and are managing the storm water for now.

On the fbcoem.org website, there is announced a press conference at 6:30 pm tonight. Please tune in to local stations tonight to see if there is coverage for updated information from Fort Bend County Judge Hebert.

https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=hgx&gage=rmot2

County Judge Issues Curfew Order for Unincorporated Fort Bend County

FORT BEND COUNTY, TX  August 30, 2017  10:00 PM

For Immediate Release

In response to requests from Fort Bend County law enforcement officials, Judge Bob Hebert has issued a curfew order for unincorporated areas of Fort Bend County. This curfew will be in effect beginning 12:01 August 31, 2017 and will be in force until 6:00 AM on September 6.

The curfew states that the only people who may remain in or travel around on both public and private property are:

  • Law Enforcement Personnel
  • People authorized by the County Judge to assist in the protection of the health, safety, or welfare of the public
  • Owners of the property in which they are found during curfew hours
  • A person who remains or travels upon private property which is owned by him or upon which the person has been invited

This order will take effect immediately.

“This curfew,” said Judge Hebert, “is being put into effect for the safety of people in the unincorporated areas of Fort Bend County. The safety of our citizens outweighs the temporary inconvenience that results from this curfew. We want you to be safe as we face Harvey’s challenges together”.

Brazos River Update – August 30 at Noon

Earlier today, the National Weather Service and Fort Bend County officials changed the expected crest level for the Brazos River in Richmond to 56 feet (gauge height), with the crest now expected to occur sometime on Thursday or early Friday. That is below the previous estimates of 59 feet and 57.5′.  If the river crests at the new revised projected level of 56 feet, that would constitute a 100-year flood event for the District. 

The District encourages you to continue monitoring the website of the Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management for additional updates: http://fbcoem.org.

For Fort Bend County flood plain maps and related information, please visit:  http://www.fortbendcountytx.gov/index.aspx?page=337

Judge Hebert River Flooding Video Update Wednesday Morning August 30, 2017

Fort Bend County Judge Hebert gave a video update this morning, which is loaded to YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CwLD9ed6Tc

Our first priority is the safety of our residents and our employees

  • Please be prudent and don’t take risks that could threaten your safety or the safety of first responders who may have to rescue you.

Our focus today remains on:

  • Rescuing those who need immediate assistance and seeing to their safety
  • Preparing our county and our residents for possible challenges to come

The situation with rising flood waters remains dynamic.

  • We hit a dangerous peak during the flash flooding over the weekend
  • We are headed toward another dangerous peak now
  • The sun is shining today, but the water is rising and danger is near
  • It is critical that all residents pay close attention to the latest news

I want to be very clear about current evacuation orders

  • All evacuation orders remain in place
  • Evacuation orders will only be lifted by me
  • Evacuation orders will stand until it is safe for residents to return
  • Shelters are available for residents who need a place to stay

We will keep you informed

  • We are using Facebook, Twitter and our emergency management website to share latest information and answer questions

This incident will test our community for weeks to come

  • But we’ve been here before, and we have persevered – and we will persevere
  • We appreciate your support and ask for your continued patience
  • We will do our best to keep you informed as we work through the many challenging weeks that lay ahead.

Good News!

The National Weather Service has decreased the Brazos River peak to 56′ at the Richmond gauge. Best news of the day. We are still in emergency operations though until the river starts receding.

District Update – August 30 at 10:10am

Pecan Grove along with large portions of Fort Bend County remain under mandatory evacuation. While the weather looks to be clearing somewhat, the Brazos River has not yet peaked through Fort Bend County.

We understand the desire and need to begin clean up on those houses that flooded, but please wait until the County judge has lifted the mandatory evacuation notice. We know everyone is anxious but most of all we want our residents to be safe.

Official word will come through Fort Bend OEM and Pecan Grove MUD will work to post announcement when OEM issues the clearance.

We know how frustrating this is. Please be as patient as you can as our operations are still in emergency mode.

WIPP Location Map

Please note the WIPP (water inflated property protection system) locations on the map. At this point we are monitoring the river level. EDP will choose to deploy or not to deploy the WIPP’s based on water level observations. Please check the back here on the website for updates.

Two Pipes Successfully Plugged – UPDATED

We have been successful at plugging the 48 inch pipe in the Oyster Creek area detention pond outside of the levee. This means that both the 60 inch pipe and the 48 inch pipe are plugged and all that is left is the 24 inch pipe. Divers from Saltwater Salvage are now working to close the remaining third pipe, which is 24 inches. This has been remarkable work by EDP and the dive team, working closely with your MUD directors to fix this breach. This plus the revised lower crest projections of the Brazos River are some needed good news. We will continue to post with updates. Rescuers are still out trying to help evacuate people from flooded homes in Pecan Grove.

UPDATE at 6:00pm:

The 3rd plug in the detention pond outside the levee that was allowing oyster creek floodwater into our Pecan Grove drainage system has been placed! All inlets are installed and plugged. Water should start receding quicker now. Congratulations to EDP, the MUD directors who personally pitched in, and divers from Salt Water Salvage who braved flooded roads to reach Pecan Grove!

Brazos River Update – August 29 at 1:00 pm

The National Weather Service has just changed the expected crest level to 57.5′ at the Richmond gauge. This is below the previous estimate of 59′. We are expecting the County to issue this change shortly. Please follow the Fort Bend County OEM website for river updates as it is difficult for forecasters to predict the Brazos River forces with certainty.

Some roads in our MUD are still impassable.

Our pumps are in full operations and are pumping water out as quickly as they can. We need more breaks in rainfall to allow our pump systems to get ahead of this rainfall.

If the Brazos River does not exceed the new forecast of 57.5′ our levee and the precautions we have taken should mean our levee should not overtop. But we cannot predict the river level with certainty. But this lower projection is really good news.

Our certified divers are still working to place the 2 plugs in the outside detention pond. Water has slowed down coming through that leak due to the one plug we were able to get in the larger inlet last. We will update if we are able to get the other plugs in.

Here is a link for helpful tips for finding out road conditions.  http://static.drivetexas.org/?from=timeline&isappinstalled=0#8/31.431/-96.012

Also Fort Bend County has driving and road info out on its website.