Flood Prevention through Active Landscaping

It’s been almost a year since Hurricane Harvey dumped trillions of gallons of water onto the US Gulf Coast - nearly 80,000 homes across Texas took on 18 inches of floodwater or more. Hurricane Harvey damaged an estimated 120,000 single family homes in Harris County alone.

With the start of hurricane season in June, many Houstonians who experienced minimal flooding are looking towards new ways to protect their homes from future storms.

While not everyone has the means to stormproof their home the traditional way, one fairly easy and very accessible way to prevent flooding at your home is through active and strategic landscaping.

To provide additional flood protection for residents who had experienced minimal flooding after Hurricane Harvey, Avenue recently partnered with Living Paradigm and Trees for Houston to lead flood mitigation landscaping projects.

We asked Anton Edwards, the Avenue coordinator of this project, how homeowners can implement these landscaping tactics on their own homes this hurricane season. Here’s what he said:

All of the projects we did were designed to be done by homeowners.  Many of the tasks are both simple and affordable.  One example is installing gutters.  We installed about 40 feet of gutters with leaf guards for around $500.  We then attached a tube so that the water runs into our native grasses about 8 feet away.  Any of these jobs can be done individually or in stages depending on the needs of your home.
It also easy to make small changes to your existing water run off plan.  If you already have gutters, adding a drainage tube is a cost effective way to move the water even further away. 
Another great idea is to take advantage of natural low spots in your yard.  These low lying areas are perfect for a little excavation.   You can dig these areas out, fill it in with the drainage tubes  and gravel, and now you have a detention pond with mosquito resistant  properties.  You can also take your detention pond to the next level by covering it all with soil, and planting native grasses and soil to soak up the excess water.

Click HERE to view the Resiliency Handbook created in collaboration with Living Paradigm. This handbook has more details on how to implement these techniques in your home.

These projects are just the latest in Avenue’s housing recovery work, as we continue to serve Harvey-impacted residents through our Housing Recovery Center and repair program funded by the Greater Houston Community Foundation and Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

For more information, visit Avenue’s Harvey Recovery page.

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