Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 23

It doesn’t feel like it’s been 3 weeks, but I guess it has. Yesterday, the adjuster said he was actually going to start working on our claim today, so that is great news.
On Tuesday night, our neighbors all gathered at a homeowners’ association meeting. We established that everyone is really mad and agrees that the new retention pond is inadequate, but we aren’t sure what to do beyond letting the proper authorities understand how mad we are. We have gotten drawings of the drainage project from the developer. Basically, it revealed that they replaced the 54” lines that used to drain our subdivision into the creek with slightly smaller lines draining into the retention pond. The thing people are targeting is that the lines out of the pond into the creek are even smaller and have some baffles and grates for debris. Obviously, that means that less water can ultimately get from our neighborhood to the creek in a given time period. I think that’s why they call it a “retention” pond, though – it holds the water for a slow drain into the main arteries. The real issues, in my opinion, are twofold:
1 – The retention pond is ridiculously small for the way it actually rains in Houston. When it rains here, it pours. There is no slow accumulation. We left our house around dinner time the evening before the flood. There was no water standing in our street at that time, but the pond was completely full. Then we got 8 more inches of rain.
2 – Our neighborhood used to drain into the creek via a large, empty field. The field held some water as it slowly drained into the creek. The developers built a little office park on a small part of that field and dug the aforementioned retention pond. Then they used the material removed from the pond to compact and grade the field to drain into the retention pond as well. Now, instead of additional drainage area, the field is effectively a dirt parking lot sharing drainage space with our neighborhood and the office park.
Some people from the MUD district seem to agree, but they are dumping responsibility on the developer and the county (even though the MUD owns 50% of the retention pond.) They asked the county to re-investigate and report to them at their next meeting, which is in June. It is also in the middle of the day on a Thursday, about an hour’s drive from our homes in traffic. I guess they don’t like to have residents present.
On the construction front, we got a new back door installed yesterday. This is kind of cool because the old one had obviously been chewed by a dog some time in its history, and the new one is all pretty. We also got new, highly water resistant material to replace the gypsum board that was removed from between our stud framing and the brick outside. This is really cool because now bugs can’t fly into my house through the open weep holes.
All around, it’s been a good few days on the reconstruction front.

1 comment:

Kristine said...

Oh I am so MAD for you!

I think you're right that retention pond is working properly - it's just that it's not big enough to accomdate what it receives. But then, I didn't even take water resources, so what do I know?