As the new year opens with fresh goals and opportunities, the stories of 2019 continue to flow over into the new decade. Here are a few of the stories to look for in the Lake Houston area in the following year to stay up to date with your local community.

Flood mitigation

The Kingwood area continues to face flood risks several rainstorms after Hurricane Harvey flooded neighborhoods, homes, schools, and other businesses.

Major flood mitigation efforts have been underway since 2017, such as the dredging of the Kingwood mouth bar in the San Jacinto River. The mouth bar, a buildup of sand and sediment deposited into the river that impacts the depth and flow of the river, was partially dredged in 2019. The city of Houston filed paperwork to receive federal funds to dredge the rest of the mouth bar Nov. 8 in 2020. Lake Houston area officials also expect to begin construction on 10 additional gates along Lake Houston in 2020. They are currently designing the $50 million project.

77彩票网appThe gates will allow the city to release more water out of Lake Houston without causing more harm to residents downstream.

77彩票网appMeanwhile, Tropical Storm Imelda released a large amount of rainfall over a short period of time, which drainage systems could not support in most neighborhoods. District E Council Member Dave Martin’s office is working with the Houston Public Works to inspect storm drains for any debris that would affect drainage and expect to be finished by summer 2020.

77彩票网appAfter the May floods, Elm Grove residents filed a lawsuit against Perry Homes with Tony Buzbee’s office. After contacting their office, it was confirmed that the lawsuit is ongoing but no further information was provided by Buzbee’s office as of Dec. 26, 2019.

Resources are available for homeowners, community members and small business owners. Visit the , , , , or .

Economic Impacts of Retail

77彩票网appRetail box stores have been closing shop across the country, and the Humble area is not immune to the trend according to recent data. The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce economic data collection, as published in their Fall 2019 magazine, finds with calculations based on Texas Workforce Commission data as of June 2019 for the Houston metro, food service and drinking places have gained 11,600 jobs while retail has lost 11,300 jobs.

According to the article, the five sectors of job growth have created 35,700 jobs in food service and drinking places, specialty trade contractors, mining and logging, engineering and architecture and health care and social services have helped offset the 27,200 losses from the sectors of retail, local education, employment services, building construction and information.

Sam Schrade, board chair for the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce and owner of DNA studios, said the Lake Houston area is in line with regional trends.

“I think we could absolutely equate ourselves with the regional numbers because we have a lot of building going on here,” Schrade said. “The first things that go into new buildings are food and restaurant hospitality establishments in a new area, so I think we’re seeing those are very accurate representations in our area just as well.”

Schrade said he believes the area will continue to see gains in the following year, but said the area needs to be careful and continue to build full-time, field and degree jobs.

77彩票网app“It’s part of the ecosystem, it’s all important,” Schrade said. “But we have to make sure that we’re maintaining our growth in all areas and not just the easy, fast growth.”

Humble ISD flood gates, bond

Humble ISD will see improvements that protect Kingwood High School from flooding in the following years thanks to a recently awarded $25 million grant 77彩票网appfrom FEMA for flood gates around campus. The rising gates will be 8 feet tall and are only visible during major rain events. The gates were deemed necessary after repeat flooding events in the Kingwood area.

Additionally, Humble ISD will continue its new programs and developments from its . This year, the district will open Centennial Elementary in the Lakewood Pines subdivision. Meanwhile construction is expected to begin on the rebuild of Lakeland Elementary and Elementary No. 30, which are slated to open in 2021. The district also expects to begin construction of Middle School No. 10 and the rebuild of Kingwood Middle School — both have a planned 2020 opening.

Nonprofits support local community

The Lake Houston area is home to many non-profits that support those in need in the community. Some are expecting big changes in the upcoming year, such as Family Promise of Lake Houston which is in the midst of building their greatly anticipated Promise Home.

Family Promise of Lake Houston works to help end homelessness and poverty for families with children. They offer a 90 to 120 day program to three families at a time to help them become self-sufficient.

Humble Area Assitant Ministries (HAAM) is a non-profit interfaith organization that also helps community members toward self-sufficiency by providing resources to those in crisis. Additionally, HAAM operates as the meals on wheels service to the Humble area.

FamilyTime Crisis and Counseling Center is a Humble-area non-profit that helps people escape from domestic violence and abuse by providing a shelter called “The Door” and free counseling at their offices. They also have a branch office and donation shop in Dayton. They are planning on opening another shelter location to support the growing area, but it was set back due to their shelter flooded during Tropical Storm Imelda.

For information about volunteering at local non-profits, read a guide here.

Water resource changes

The Summerwood Water Purification Plant is expanding as part of a greater plan from the city of Houston to reduce the need for groundwater and move their water source to surface water for the drinking water supply for the Houston area. The Luce Bayou Interbasin Transfer Project will also bring surface water supplies to the greater Houston area. The LBITP will reduce subsidence and is part of a 26-mile system to transfer water to various areas.

Construction has been underway since 2017 for the LBITP. Recently, community members were concerned77彩票网app about the local impacts of the Summerwood Purification Plant. With the expansion, the purification plant will be able to take out 400 million gallons of drinking water per day.

Primary elections on March 3

The primary elections for state and county elected officials will be on March 3. Humble ISD and city officials will not have elections this cycle. Here is a list of officials in the general area that will be running for office. This is not a comprehensive list of everyone running in Harris County. To find a comprehensive list, visit .

77彩票网appHarris County, County Commissioner Precinct 1

77彩票网appRodney Ellis, Incumbent

Maria T. (Terri) Jackson

There is no Republican primary listed for this precinct.

Harris County - County Commissioner Precinct 3 Republican Primary:

Tom Ramsey

Susan Sample

Brenda Stardig

Democratic Primary:

Diana Martinez Alexander

Zaher Eisa

77彩票网appErik "Beto" Hassan

77彩票网appMichael Moore

77彩票网appMorris Overstreet

77彩票网appKristi Thibaut

77彩票网appHarris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 1, Place 1 Republican Primary:

Jerry Wayne Dugat

Democratic Primary:

77彩票网appEric William Carter, Incumbent

77彩票网appHarris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 3, Place 1 Democratic Primary:

77彩票网appJoe Stephens, Incumbent

77彩票网appThere is no Republican primary listed for this precinct.

Harris County - Justice Of The Peace Precinct 4, Place 1 Republican Primary:

77彩票网appLincoln Goodwin, Incumbent

There is no Democratic primary listed for this precinct.

Harris County - County Constable Precinct 1

"Ced" Collier

77彩票网appGilberto "Gil" Reyna

77彩票网appAlan Rosen, Incumbent

77彩票网appPerry D Wesley

77彩票网appThere is no Republican primary listed for this precinct.

77彩票网appHarris County - County Constable Precinct 3 Republican Primary:

Andre Hines

Democratic Primary:

77彩票网appSherman Eagleton, Incumbent

Deborah Florus

Ken Jones

Michel (Poppy) Pappillion

John Jay "Jp" Portillo

Eric Reed

77彩票网appHarris County - County Constable Precinct 4 Republican Primary:

Chris Bounds

77彩票网appMark Herman, Incumbent

Democratic Primary:

Jeff Mcgowen

Harris County - Sheriff Republican:

Joe Danna

Paul Day

Randy Rush

77彩票网appDemocratic Primary:

Oscar Gonzales

77彩票网appEd Gonzalez, Incumbent

Jerome Moore

Harry Zamora

State Representative District 127 Republican Primary:

77彩票网appDwight Ford

Dan Huberty, Incumbent

There is no Democratic primary listed for this district.

77彩票网appState Representative District 128 Republican Primary:

Briscoe Cain, Incumbent

Robert C. Hoskins

77彩票网appDemocratic Primary:

Josh Markle

Mary E. Williams

State Representative District 141 Democratic Primary:

Willie Roaches Franklyn

Senfronia Thompson, Incumbent

There is no Republican primary listed for this district.

State Representative District 142

77彩票网appRepublican Primary:

Jason Rowe

77彩票网appDemocratic Primary:

Harold V. Dutton Jr, Incumbent

Natasha Ruiz

Jerry Davis

Richard Bonton

State Representative District 3:

Republican Primary:

Cecil Bell Jr, Incumbent

77彩票网appDemocratic Primary:

77彩票网appMartin Shupp

For more information on official election information, visit wrm.capitol.texas.gov and .

savannah.mehrtens@chron.com