Fort Bend County “Grand Canyon” repaired in only two months

25 07 2012

On May 12th, portions of Fort Bend County experienced rainfall that caused tremendous flooding especially in subdivisions just north of Rosenberg and Richmond.  This particular area of the County received rainfall that totaled  up to 12 inches. Much street flooding occurred, but in addition, a gorge opened up in one area that caused much concern to nearby homeowners. The tremendous erosion was caused by a broken drainage pipe that caused tremendous water flow that quickly eroded land that was once open field – see photo to left.  Interim work by the Fort Bend County Drainage District stabilized the situation.

But now there is better news, as reported today by Erin Mulvaney of the Houston Chronicle.  Her article is below:

The gorge that grew so big that locals dubbed it “Fort Bend County Grand Canyon” has been repaired, two months after a 30-foot deep, 80-foot wide hole formed in Richmond.

On May 12, crews began working on filling and stabilizing the giant gorge that began eroding after a large storm broke a drainage pipe. The problem began after a storm dumped 8 to 10 inches of rain over the area. The earth that sometimes carried runoff to the Brazos River began giving way with huge sections of land crumbling into the rushing water, officials said.

Jeff Janacek, an assistant engineer with the Fort Bend County drainage district, said the structure has been replaced and it is now back open. He said the downpour that Harris County suffered a few weeks ago did not hit the county as hard, which was lucky as they finished their work.

“It’s pretty much all repaired,” Janeck said. “It looks quite a bit different now.”

He said the work was mostly completed by mid-July. The pit was reinforced with a concrete barrier to stop further erosion and crews worked to fill the gorge, a job that took two months.

Residents in nearby houses had noticed the pit grow and grow, but there had been no damage to their houses.  Janet Pickett lives a few blocks from the ditch and watched with other neighbors as the land caved.

“Every 30 seconds, a big chunk of land, like the size of a van, just started falling in,” Pickett said.

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