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Old Posted Sep 22, 2019, 9:02 PM
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Reverberation Reverberation is offline
disorient yourself?
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Diaspora
Posts: 4,223
Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Yeah, it's pretty bad and some of the most expensive homes are on or near waterways or within a mile or so. That doesn't bode well when we get a lot of rain. I am about 2 miles from the river and that's close enough. Homes that were within that range flooded during Harvey. If you're house is built up a little; higher elevation by just a few feet than the street, you're also fairly safe. Galveston gets the brunt of the storm surge and winds but we just flood.
I think Houston is in a unique situation that has little to do with climate change. It’s been flooding here since people moved to the area and I suspect the recent troubles have more to do with heat island effect and impervious cover than they do with man-made climate change.

There is a (very true) saying about Texas, that it’s a “land of ongoing drought punctuated by spectacular floods”. Earlier this summer it didn’t rain in my part of the city for more than 2 months. Last Wednesday, it rained more than 5 inches in less than one hour. If you look at early maps of the area on thing that is notable is the lack of small creeks and tributaries feeding the larger bayous. Given the flat terrain and inconsistent rain patterns, much of the area drained by sheetflowing. Ditches were installed to channel the sheetflow runoff and as the city grew and more impervious surfaces replaced grassland, the ditches filled faster and couldn’t keep up. This is something that the region has been working on fixing for a while now. Tropical systems (which dump rain very quickly) have always stalled over Texas. They run into high pressure over the desert to the west and get stuck until prevailing winds carry them north or east.