May 1, 2018
Commissioner Robert C. “Bob” Willis
Precinct 1 PO Box 740
Goodrich TX 77335
Dear Commissioner Willis,
My name is Sharon Lane and I am a resident of Holiday Lake Estates. I also have an online website and large Facebook group for the residents of HLE. I am sending this fax, at the suggestion of Sydney Murphy, after sharing pictures with her and describing our situation. She said that the residents may apply for ‘mitigation’ funds for our subdivision, based on the damage done by Harvey. Sorry if this explanation is long, but I want you to know all of the details.
I own property on Gerlach Lake in HLE. During Harvey, I stayed in my home because it was high enough that my only major loss was all of my lawn & garden equipment. I was able to take pictures and inform people about their homes, during Harvey. All homes on Viewpoint and many of the homes on the lower end of River Rd. (south Gerlach Lake) flooded anywhere from 4 feet to 8 feet. Our lake flood retention areas were overflowing with no where to go but higher up into people’s homes and properties. The south end of Gerlach turned into one HUGE lake, covering several homes to the roof tops. I have put together a Youtube video of this here: https://goo.gl/ZNx2vM
During Harvey, a lot of damage was done to our dams and spillways. This has been discussed by the HLECC Board and noted in a few of the meeting minutes, since then. I was told that during a meeting that was held with all VFD’s and HOA, POA’s, that HLECC said they did not need any help from FEMA or other agencies (I was not there, so not sure). I wasn’t in the subdivision during this because my Mom was in the process of dying. I had to transport her body from TX to CA and make all of her funeral arrangements. If that is true and I knew it, I would have gone to the next HLECC meeting and asked why that was done because I knew that damage had been done.
There were 3 culverts, at the end of Gerlach Lake, that allowed for overflow into our retention areas and back into the Trinity. One of those culverts got destroyed years ago, so only 2 were doing the drainage job. Someone in the subdivision pulls the grates off of the culvert drainage areas each time we flood (my lower yard, below the BFE, has flooded 6 times this year). During Harvey, those grates were off. Large items, like trees, docks, boats, and sadly animals, were flooding down from Londa Lynn through Gerlach and some of it went through those 2 culverts. This caused damage to the culverts, and our spillway, that continues even post-Harvey. Once the original major damage was done, the natural flow of water and a minor flood following Harvey caused continual erosion. The 2nd culvert on River Road, has lost about 50% of it’s size and is eroding the roadway. Loss of that road would cause an access problem for several of the residents in HLE. The 3rd culvert is working at about 30% and would be trying to do the work of 3 previously functioning drainage culverts.
Our spillway is also showing signs of erosion. One board member, at an HLECC meeting, mentioned that the reinforcing bar is being exposed through the concrete. We have been trying to get TCEQ to come and do an assessment for 3 years, but nothing has been completed between them and the HLECC. On a meeting held Thursday April 26, 2018, the HLECC Board discussed withdrawing funds from the Londa Lynn reserved dam account. This account has always been kept there in case we have a repeat of the total destruction that occurred in the 1970’s. Back then, Londa Lynn drained completely and the spillway/dam area had to be totally rebuilt. Old timers in HLE know that this is a possibility and they want to make sure that funds remain in case major repairs need to be done again.
I am not a professional engineer, but even with just my eyes, I can see the following issues that were caused by the destruction of Harvey:
- Wearing away of some of the concrete on the Londa Lynn spillway
- Loss of rip-rap on Londa Lynn
- Erosion beneath the end of the concrete spillways on Londa Lynn
- There are 3 trees jammed under the roadway bridge at the Londa Lynn spillway. If these stay, they will cause further damage.
- Major material loss of the 2nd River Rd. drainage culvert (the 1st culvert is completely gone)
- Major, almost complete, erosion of the hillside and retention pool for the 2nd River Rd. drainage culvert
- Internal damage of that 2nd culvert can not be seen, but it is leaning precariously downward, and continues to erode, which could cause a total loss of that roadway section
- The 3rd River Rd culvert seems to have lost it’s deeper sections that allowed it to fill up the retention area. Not sure if it is crushed internally, but if it is, we will lose a second roadway section, trapping several residents.
Please look at this page, online, to see the condition of that second River Rd. culvert, as of 4/28/2018:
I am hoping that there is something that the county can help with, based on any available mitigation funds, whether they be county, state, or federal funds. If you have the ability to prompt TCEQ to come out and do a thorough evaluation of our spillway, as scheduled in 2017, that would be greatly appreciated also. Please feel free to contact me at 936 ~ 463 ~ 8801 – leave a text or phone number message and I will return your call. If you need to know how many of the residents have the same concerns, I can easily create an online petition to show that resident support.
Thank You, Sharon Lane
Holiday Lake Estates Resident Group