Electrical Tower Accident Brings Boats Back to the Old Port of Houston

Boats of the Houston Yacht Club stranded at Allen's Landing as a Houston Metro train crosses the Main Street Bridge.

Though the original Port of Houston was in downtown Houston, near Main and Commerce Streets, it’s a rarity to see many, if any, boats in that area on Buffalo Bayou.  However because of three barges’ hitting a huge power tower near the banks of the Houston Ship Channel many miles downstream, a number of boats from the Houston Yacht Club are now docked at Allen’s Landing.

Members of the Yacht Club take an annual excursion up Buffalo Bayou to celebrate the group’s founding.  The party usually is a several-hour long shindig, but the barge-tower accident occurred while the group of boats was going upstream, causing the entire ship channel to be shutdown.  Now the boats are sitting pretty until major repairs are made on the power line.

Read more about the Houston Ship Channel and the old Port of Houston in a previous post.

Advertisements

About the Bayous in the Houston Area and the Houston Ship Channel

The Port of Houston Turning Basin near the 610 Loop Bridge that crosses the Channel.  Beyond the basin, the ship channel becomes more of its original self--Buffalo Bayou with downtown Houston in the background.

The Port of Houston Turning Basin near the 610 Loop Bridge that crosses the Channel. Beyond the basin, the ship channel becomes more of its original self–Buffalo Bayou with downtown Houston in the background.

About Bayous in Southeast Texas and Houston Area

During Hurricane Ike, local officials and residents were worried about the surge from the storm pushing water up into the area bayous and flooding low-lying parts of the city. (For people out of the area, Houstonians call the area’s streams that flow into Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico “bayous”.) The primary bayou, which also flows through a large part of the city and finally down through downtown Houston, is Buffalo Bayou.

In the early days of the city, Buffalo Bayou once was the site of a port in what is now downtown Houston. Later, there was a major dredging of Buffalo Bayou from Galveston Bay, and this is what is now known as the Houston Ship Channel and is the site of the current Port of Houston. However, the Houston Ship Channel ends at the Turning Basin, which is in a part of Houston known as Harrisburg (which, in the early days of Texas, was a separate settlement), several miles down Buffalo Bayou from that old Houston port. Very close to the Houston Ship Channel are some of the primary refineries and chemical plants of the entire Gulf Coast area.

Bayous are a bit different than regular rivers or streams because the water can flow in both directions, moving backwards, or upstream, when the tide is high.

The old port of Houston on Buffalo Bayou that was used from the early days of the city until 1914 when what is now the Port of Houston was started about six miles further downstream.

The old port of Houston on Buffalo Bayou that was used from the early days of the city until 1914, when what is now the Port of Houston was started about six miles further downstream.