It may not be something you’ve given much thought to – seeing or hearing an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) bouncing freely along the levee. Not only is it against the law, but riding an ATV or another motor vehicle on the levee has consequences that can lead to flooding.
ATVs cause the stripping away of thick grass, which protects the levee from erosion. The damage from the vehicles also causes deep ruts and grooves in the soil where muddy ditches form. These trenches can affect the ability of the levee to keep water out of the district. The impact of this destruction can be felt in other ways, too, when the levees are inspected. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) routinely inspects the district’s pump stations, levee walls, and enclosure structures. This inspection information contributes to risk assessments and supports levee accreditation decisions for the National Flood Insurance Program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The risk of flooding into streets and homes must be fought on many fronts. Residents are asked to not use ATVs or other motor vehicles on or around the levee area. Anyone who witnesses this activity is encouraged to notify the Riverstone Home Owners office (281-778-2222), the Fort Bend Precinct 4 Constables office (281-242-4014) or the Fort Bend Sherriff’s Office (281-341-4665).