Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Surviving The Weather Event

You may have seen some terrifying photos on the national news of the impact of the storm(s) from the western US as they passed through Houston yesterday. The main difference here is that the same images, along with many more, appeared on the local news, which ran continuously for over 24 hours. The sheer scale of the thing reflected the fact that the storm and its aftermath had no precedent in recorded Houston and Harris County history. Welcome to the new reality, folks.

Stella and I and the kitties are unharmed, and the house we rent was largely undamaged. Apart from a tiny leak under one of the glass doors in the den, we have experienced no flooding to this point. Indeed, the cats found new places to nap through the whole thing. This is in stark contrast to the effects in much of the city:

  • At least 13 local bayous topped their banks, or are expected to do so as rain that has already fallen swells the bayous and creeks upstream of us. We may yet see some high water here.
  • Many, many Houstonians are now homeless. In many cases, families found themselves trapped in their flooded homes and apartments; locating these people, removing them (often from upper floors) and transporting them through frequently obstructed streets (think: swamp boats and big trucks) to quickly established new shelters is a major and ongoing undertaking.
  • Despite best efforts, a few people died: it is hard to imagine, sitting at home, dry and comfortable, why anyone would attempt to drive their small vehicle through a completely flooded underpass (often with flood depth markers, in feet, painted on the columns), but that is one of the most common causes of death in such events here.
  • More rain is on the way today and for a few more days. Ground saturation assures that a much smaller quantity of rainwater implies large problems still ahead. One can only hope and pray that a) people show good sense, and b) we don't get additional large quantities of water at Our House.

Thank you for your patience. I'll probably blog a bit more than I have in the past month, but not as much as I might like. Stay dry, folks...

10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, c. I know you lived here for several years, but you probably wouldn't recognize this city right now.

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    2. I believe it! --- I should make time for a visit --- hopefully during the dry season! ;)

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  2. I knew you were in a better location than your last house, but looking at the data, I really didn't see a 'safe' location in Harris County.

    I am very happy to hear from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bryan, you're right about that, and you'd still be right if you expanded your scope to "Harris and surrounding counties." So car this is about the least unsafe place I've lived in the Houston area... also the most expensive. :-) Thanks for your welcome-back.

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    2. "So car" -> "So far". Dammit.

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  3. Glad to hear you are doing OK. Seems like this is becoming all to frequent for you guys.

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    Replies
    1. Good to hear from you, Monk! Harris County, TX has always been too close to sea level, but as global climate change settles in as a background for the usual storms, it is really no longer a safe place to live. We are lucky to be in a spot that does not flood frequently, which is ironic since we are at most 4 blocks from a major bayou (Brays) which does flood along other portions of its length. We still have areas of the city (mostly north and northwest areas) in which the floodwaters have not yet drained. And citywide, eight people died in the floods... not as many as on previous occasions back before people realized you simply cannot drive into underpasses without knowing, for certain, how deep the waters are.

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