Commissioner Lesley Briones Delivers Progress Toward Flood Resiliency for Cimarron Residents

01 May, 24

Harris County, TX — Marking the next step in improving street drainage and reducing flood risk for Harris County residents, Commissioner Lesley Briones hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday to celebrate the completion of a $13.5 million drainage project in Cimarron subdivision.

During Hurricane Harvey, 162 single-family homes flooded in the Cimarron subdivision. The new drainage improvements will lower flood risk for more than 250 structures, 77 of which will no longer be in the 100-year floodplain. Improvements include larger drainage pipes, increased capacity of inlets along curbs, and adjustments of waterlines and sanitary sewer lines. 

The Cimarron neighborhood is located in unincorporated Harris County, near Katy. It was built in the 1970s under less stringent drainage standards than currently exist. During heavy downpours and tropical events, rainfall amounts routinely exceeded the capacity of the local storm drainage system leading to flooded homes, streets, and road closures.  

“Creating a safer Harris County means taking decisive action to mitigate the risk of future floods. Together with our partners, we are improving flood resilience in Precinct 4 and are strengthening protections for our residents,” said Commissioner Briones. 

In August 2018, one year after Hurricane Harvey devastated Harris County, voters overwhelmingly approved a $2.5 billion bond measure to finance a variety of flood control projects.  

The 2018 Harris County Flood Bond funded approximately $6.88 million, MUD 81 contributed approximately $6.35 million and Cornerstones MUD contributed $270,000 to the project. 

“This project is about delivering flood resilience for our community.  Our collaboration with the Harris County Engineering Department, alongside funding from MUD 81 and Cornerstones MUD, exemplifies a powerful partnership to maximize the impact and efficiency of our flood mitigation efforts," said Dr. Tina Petersen, Executive Director, Harris County Flood Control District. “By pooling nearly $7 million from the 2018 Flood Control District bond program, we're demonstrating the strength of collaboration in deploying strategies that are sustainable, comprehensive, and supported by the community." 

"MUD 81 is proud to have partially funded this project to ensure our residents and drainage systems remain safe during storm events. We are thankful for the partnership of Commissioner Lesley Briones, the Harris County Precinct 4 team, and all the other partners who helped to make this project a reality,” said Patrick Cathcart, MUD 81 President. 

“Cornerstones was very proud to be a part of this project. Cornerstones is happy to play a part in the greater Katy area and also do whatever we can to help our neighboring communities and other people that are impacted by flooding,” said Morgan Stagg, Cornerstones MUD President.  

The Harris County Engineering Department led construction of the Cimarron drainage project which began in January 2023 and concluded in March 2024.  

“As a recognized infrastructure leader in the community, we strive to continuously improve the quality of life for our residents while delivering innovative infrastructure solutions. The Cimarron Subdivision Drainage Improvements project reflects Harris County’s vision and mission by reducing flooding for 77 homes out of a subdivision of 250 homes for a 100-year flood event,” said Dr. Milton Rahman, Harris County Engineer. 

“In Harris County, we know it isn’t a question of if there will be another big storm. It is simply a question of when. By leveraging partnerships and resources, we are building stronger communities that will be able to better withstand the threat of repeat flood events for years to come,” Commissioner Briones said. 

Harris County Precinct 4 is committed to being there for its residents before, during, and after storms. For service requests, residents may contact 832-927-4444 or [email protected]