A backhoe sits along the banks of Brays Bayou in Meyerland, where construction has been happening for nearly a month. Workers are widening 21 miles of Brays Bayou. It is part of a city project to reduce flooding in south Harris County.
Residents who live nearby are happy to see progress. The $480 million project, referred to as “Project Brays” is expected to be finished in late summer 2018.
That’s a ways away.
People like Lori Dushkin are focused on what’s right in front of them: this weekend’s storm.
“I had no idea!” Dushkin said, when we told her Harvey has officially been named a Tropical Depression by the National Weather Service.
Dushkin has lived in Meyerland her whole life. Which means, she’s been through her fair share of flooding. During Tropical Storm Allison, her home took on a half a foot of water.
“It was in 2001. It was terrible,” Dushkin said.
She sold that house and moved a couple streets over. Fast forward 15 years later:
“In April, it flooded again, and that was just a heavy rain.” Dushkin said, describing how Imogene Street had flooded. “And then the last one in May, that was awful.”
Dushkin’s story isn’t unique in Meyerland.
“This is like ground zero in Houston for flooding,” Paul Alleyne said.
He lives in the area, too. Alleyne is hopeful widening the bayou will help in the long run, but right now, his focus is on what’s happening this weekend.
“I think the solar eclipse really kept everyone’s attention on that, so no one was paying attention to — oh wait a minute, I’m about to get flooded out this weekend,” Alleyne said.
His house flooded on Memorial Day and Tax Day, too. This time around, Alleyne has a plan.
“Everyone in the neighborhood knows, move your car to Meyerland Plaza in anticipation of any kind of heavy rain, that way you don’t lose your vehicles.”
For now, it’s all eyes on the sky. All anyone can do is watch and wait.