Although still recovering from Harvey, Buffalo Bayou Park is open for business, beautiful as ever

Crews are reportedly continuing their efforts to return Buffalo Bayou Park to its original state, but, throughout the restoration, the park is still open for visitors.

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Though the park shows the scars of Hurricane Harvey’s wrath, officials are still promoting its scenic views, picnicking spots and trails for walkers, runners and bicyclists alike.

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Buffalo Bayou park still offers scenic views following Hurricane Harvey. Photo by Danielle Husband

As Harvey drowned the City of Houston, floodwaters at Buffalo Bayou Park reached 39-feet, reportedly covering the entirety of the 160-acre park.

Once the water drained away, however, the effects of the floods remained.

A toppled over tree rests near Buffalo Bayou, clearly visible from the park’s walking trails. Photo by Danielle Husband

In total, during the aftermath, authorities estimated some 70,000 cubic yards of sediment remained on the park’s trails, vegetation and infrastructure:

“The silt levels that resulted from Harvey were beyond anything that we have ever seen with any flooding event,” Buffalo Bayou Partnership President Anne Olson said in an interview with the Associated Press after the storm.

Removing the sand is said to be costing the park over $1 million.

A clean park bench rests beside a mound of dirt near the Buffalo Bayou Park walking trail behind the dog park. Photo by Danielle Husband

During another interview, Olson told KHOU 90 percent of the sand left by Harvey’s floodwaters is removed at this time, but there’s still work to be done:

Damaged trees and vegetation will be replaced, and the dog park will be repaired. The pond in the dog park must also be drained and cleaned.

The dog park is undergoing repairs. Mounds of dirt remain inside the park, as well as murky water. Photo by Danielle Husband

Though crews removed much of the debris, trash deposited by the rushing floodwaters can reportedly still be seen dangling from tree branches and clumped together in the Bayou’s waters.

Trash from Harvey’s floodwaters remains stuck in the trees along Buffalo Bayou. Photo by Danielle Husband

Authorities say most of the park’s trails are open, but some of the lower walking paths are still showing signs of Harvey.

Sediment covers portions of the concrete trails, and some areas show worse damage, such as a collapsed portion on the lowest path that is just barely passable.

Part of the lower walking path along part of the bayou has collapsed following the storm. Other pathways are covered in sediment but are easily passable. Photo by Danielle Husband

Despite the damage, the park is still pretty enough to welcome guests.

Additionally, according to Olson, soil tests showed no issues caused by Harvey, meaning it’s safe for families to enjoy the park.

Many areas of the park are returning to normal. Photo by Danielle Husband

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The park is reportedly relying on private donations and volunteers to return the park to its original state.

Though initial estimates suggested repairs would take 4 to 6 months, park officials now expect it to take another year to return the park to its former glory.


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