An already-swollen reservoir west of downtown Houston overtopped its spillway Tuesday, sending an “uncontrolled release” of Harvey’s floodwaters into nearby neighborhoods, and putting the besieged city into “uncharted territory,” officials said.
Floodwaters in the the Addicks Reservoir, located about 19 miles west of downtown, went over the top of the 108-foot spillway for the first time in history, threatening immediate surrounding subdivisions.
Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County (Texas) Flood Control District, said the “something we’ve never seen before” at a morning news conference.
“This is not going to happen fast, this is a slow rise,” Lindner told reporters, adding the flow of water going over the reservoir into neighborhoods will increase as the levels in the reservoir continue to rise.
Lindner earlier told Fox News the spillover will cause “serious flooding in immediate areas,” starting as a trickle, then becoming an uncontrolled release of water. Second-story homes also will be at risk, Linder added.