Humble Independent School District
A conceptual drawing of a floodgate that would float up, without electricity, when heavy rainfall occurs.

$25 million FEMA grant will pay for floodgates at Texas high school

Dec. 4, 2019
The Humble district plans to build floodgates to protect Kingwood High in Kingwood, Texas, which has experienced frequent flooding in recent years.

The Humble (Texas) district has been awarded a $25 million grant from FEMA to help protect Kingwood High School from flooding.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the funds will help the district build a $28 million gate system that will rise automatically during a rain storm. The 8-foot flood gates will be installed at all of the entrances to create an ‘inverted aquarium’ that will keep water out of the building, says Jeff Chapman, an architect with PBK.

The gates will be visible only during major rain events. They were deemed necessary after repeated flooding in Kingwood in recent years.

Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey reached the second floor of the school's buildings in 2017 and did not fully recede for 11 days. Students and staff were required to share Summer Creek High School’s campus until the district completed $63 million in repairs later that academic year.

Humble ISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen says she hopes the grant and the flood mitigation plans will reduce the overall concern about the threat of flooding.

“Every time we have a major weather event Kingwood High School, students and staff worry that they might be disrupted and displaced from their high school once again,” Fagen says. “Hurricane Harvey was a traumatic experience. This grant will enable Humble ISD to finalize flood mitigation plans that will dramatically reduce flooding risks to KHS, alleviate anxiety, and protect valuable community assets.”

Renovations are likely to start on the exterior of the school beginning next school year and have a target completion date of 2022.

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