“You’re in no man’s land,” said the people from the Brazoria County’s Flood Control district. Our property, bordered by Chocolate Bayou, is not within a flood control zone. It floods nearly every time it rains, but convincing authorities to help is a futile effort.

We are not only in no man’s land—we are in a political swamp. According to Manvel’s city hall, growth is “going to go like a tsunami.” If you live on or near the bayou, you should be very concerned. Flooding is the #1 disaster in the U.S., and land development drastically increases high-risk flooding.

Every year the flooding gets worse. At our location, less than two inches causes out-of-bank flooding, and takes days to drain. We continue to improve the landscape, to no avail. The increasing upstream water out of Manvel and a clogged bayou downstream could turn us into a reservoir.

Our property is in the county, but the County will not help; they have denied a petition to include the area under flood control. To make matters worse, the rapid buildup of Manvel is a daunting reality for people along the bayou.

According to Kyle Jung, Manvel’s City Manager, about 10,000 lots are in the process of being developed within 10 subdivisions in the city limits, which could accommodate as many as 30,000 people over the next five to eight years (Michael Freeman, “Manvel on the Move” ).

When—not if—all this happens, and if Manvel’s drainage plan is insufficient, residents downstream will be in big trouble.

Certainly, with all our flood control, conservation and reclamation experts and an abundance of resources in Texas, one would think they would head off a looming disaster.

Then again, are we dealing with political inertia--people unwilling to do anything about it until after a disaster happens?