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Deb Lea

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  1. I'm a 2nd generation of born Houstonians. In a time line beginning 1935, I have studied when, where, and why Houston has flood water damage. In 1935, Buffalo Bayou breeched it's banks, resulting in downtown being cut thru by raging water until it reached the ship channel. In 1941, reservoirs were plowed north of the city where Buffalo Bayou began. They were plowed in Katy, Texas. At that time, Katy was ranch land. I had a great uncle who owned a large portion of ranch land and I actually was able to pull up documents regarding purchase of easements on at least 2 occasions. The Reservoirs eventually had neighborhoods built around them. Ranch land soaked in rain water like a sponge. I10 East was cut thru, parallel to "Old Katy Road". As the mid 80's approached , Ranch land began to sell and development of said began to thrive. The result is concrete covering more and more of the sponge that land offered. Time marching, Beltway 8, Toll Roads covered vast areas of concrete,and I-10 became 3 to 4 times wider. As though a magic wand was waved, a multitude of neighborhoods cropped up as far as the eye can see. Katy ISD built more schools, and an Athletic field rivaled to the size of Rice University's Stadium. So much concrete, which does not soak water in. A bigger stadium was planned, and The home of baseball to the Skeeters needed stadium seating, and a sizable parking lot. The conclusion is that there is no where the water can go, except toward reservoirs, creeks , and bayous( which , befor all the concrete, could handle what the ground wasn't soaking in. The Katy situation is occurring inTomball, Pearland, Friendswood, Clear Lake. Is this not a simple issue to understand? The land is continuing to develope all around the city. Take a drive around Beltway 8. Green is disappearing as white concrete is taking over. Bellaire, West University and Meyerland flood routinely now. In the mid 80's ,610 was a nice 4 lane overpass thru Bellaire, it was quiet at night, Teas Nursery was about 2 blocks wide and 2 blocks long ... land, trees and plants, it was beautiful Himes were 900 to 1500 square feet, and ranch style homes sat on generously sized (150' and 200' x 100' up to 150') lots. Tea's was bulldozed to create 4 blocks of concrete with 3000 to 5000 square foot homes. Tropical Storm Allison should have been a warning. I am not a rocket scientist, but does the fact that we are literally creating a situation of epic disaster seem to be next? Harvey will become one of many "natural" disasters. The natural portion is not as nearly at cause as is OVER DEVELOPED LAND. Look around, isn't enough enough? Can we began setting up historical districts to protect beautiful living space? Can empty buildings be sold, updated and retain thier character as they serve home to new commerce? I am interested to discover if anyone has noticed this issue or thought of it?
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