THE HISTORY: Our HLE residents were cruelly affected by Harvey. You can view this video to see what happened:
When residents returned to their homes, they, understandably, placed their first priorities on their own properties and the damage done to them. It was not until almost a month later that they heard the first discussions of possible infrastructure damage to our Londa Lynn dam/spillway and Gerlach Lake drainage systems. And, they only heard of it then if they were one of the few residents who showed up for the HLECC meeting of 9/30/2017.
At that Sept 2017 meeting. James Green, Parks & Aquatics Chair, reported that “the rebar on the Spillway/Dam is eroding” and “Culverts are totally blocked on River Road”. A few remedies have been tried, since then. Richardson’s Construction has tried to clear out the culverts (8 foot piece of culvert #2 came off shortly after) and added rip rap to the dam (some sunk into a hole under the dam). These actions did not resolve the problems. In fact, they may have done more damage. I was not here, so I can not say, for sure, since I did not see things ‘first hand’.
In the meeting minutes, from Oct 2017, Dan Summy reported on trying to reach out to various venues to get an engineering evaluation of the dam, but there was no meeting reports of trying to get FEMA or other funding help to do this and/or repair the problems. It was noted, that since late 2017, two of the board members having been trying to get the ‘5 year’ report, from TCEQ, that was to be done in that year. The meeting in Dec 2017, it was mentioned that a request had been made to have TCEQ come to do a ‘post Harvey’ review of the spillway (no response noted) and that we still had not received the 2017 report. In Jan 2017, Dan Summy noted that he had sent further pics to TCEQ, but had not heard back from them.
In Feb 2017 minutes, there was a report of a phone meeting of some HLECC board members to do an emergency ‘clean out’ of the Gerlach Lake drainage culverts. The minutes and financial reports for Feb indicated that this was done by Richardson’s Construction. I believe, at the same time, Richardson’s added more rip-rap to the LL Dam, since it was reflected in the March financials. It was also mentioned about the tree that was stuck under the bridge, the rip rap that needed to be added to the spillway (lost during Harvey), and “Danny stated he talked to the County & TCEQ. In order to modify anything that would affect the drainage of Gerlach or any other lake, we would have to be an Engineering study that has to be submitted to TCEQ & has to be approved by them before we can do any work. TCEQ stated they are so backlogged, that if we submitted something today, it would be 6 months to a year before they can get to the backlog. The County only has a Civic Engineer, not a Hydro Engineer & HLECC does not have the funds to hire a Hydro Engineer.”
I could go on with discussing the monthly reports and what was done and what was not done, but since I have seen no FEMA application or letter of denial, I think it would just be bringing up things that may, or may not, have been done. I don’t even want to go there. That brings us to today. Let me first point out that the original damage was done by Harvey, as noted above in the Sept 2017 HLECC meeting minutes. Failed repairs have been done to the culverts since then. My follow-up posts will be a summation of where we are now and what we need.