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IronTiger

All that rain

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It's been really rainy, especially in Houston for these last past few days. Yesterday I heard there was a tornado warning and it was raining last night, too. 

 

Were anyone's Memorial Day plans ruined, by the way?

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Galveston was just really overcast but not too bad. Made for a decent bike ride with the group but there was just too much seaweed on the beach. Guess if you were in Houston though, it probably wasn't too great later in the day.

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Theres apperantly supposed to be more of those same storms between now and Sunday.

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So we flew in from California, said hello to our friends in cypress, and headed home around 9pm. The weather was stormy, so I turned on my hazards and drove down the beltway. I decided to take i10 to 610 to avoid voss & chimney rock since the last time it flash flooded those roads were none navigational.

So I took post oak and tried to make it down San Felipe but there were a couple BMW's sitting in high water. So we pulled into BLVD place to rethink our route to our apartment. I thought back to 610, to 59, and maybe fountain view to get home... But there was seriously no way out. The sewer drain was misplaced and flooding into the feeder road. So I fearfully pulled into the Marriott west loop.

Luckily they had a room. The cars at the intersection were in the median and almost flooded. My car was in full throttle at San Felipe @ 610 and almost didn't make it. Quite scary.

I saw a multitude of cars trying to traverse the waters but ended up in failure. Birds flew into the valet confused and out of place. Yeah it might have been minimal but I didn't want to spend the night at the BLVD parking lot.

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All the bayous I cross on my commute to work are near the banks. hopefully there is some respite before the next round of heavy rain.

 

My power went out at 10:30 last night and was still out this morning. glad my phone has a decent enough battery to not need to charge every day.

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I'd be curious to see an analysis of flooding this time around vs past major events to determine if all the development out west is increasing flooding within town. While not scientific at all, seems long-timers around and on the news are saying there are roads flooding that have never flooded like this (even during Allison, etc.)

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I think comparing this to Alison or other past events can't be done, different amounts of rain, different start and end times, different locations. 

 

didn't Alison drop up to 36" in places, but then it also was over a more than 24 hour period?

 

This was over 10" in places, but it was also over a 4 or 5 hour period.

 

can't really be compared.

Edited by samagon

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I think comparing this to Alison or other past events can't be done, different amounts of rain, different start and end times, different locations.

didn't Alison drop up to 36" in places, but then it also was over a more than 24 hour period?

This was over 10" in places, but it was also over a 4 or 5 hour period.

can't really be compared.

While it's not a tropical storm and didn't drop as much rain, shutting down interstates and killing people is easily comparable to Allison.

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I remember the underpasses in the Med Center had a flashing light system to warn people off in ccase of flooding. I'm sure they went off this last past weekend.

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While it's not a tropical storm and didn't drop as much rain, shutting down interstates and killing people is easily comparable to Allison.

 

From the respect of the damage done, and it's impact on people's lives, absolutely, it's comparable.

 

However, trying to compare the amount of flooding and saying that the flooding is worse because of all the new construction on the west side of town, I don't think that's a conclusion that can be drawn. The situations are very different.

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for drone videos, youtube search: "Drone footage of flooding in downtown Houston"

 

There's a few videos out. There's also some drone footage of other parts of Texas that were hit.

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I know for a fact that after Allison, the local flood authority bought up hundreds and hundreds of homes in flood prone areas and leveled them. This may have reduced the damage this time around, but I wonder if we'll see more neighborhoods wiped off the map that did flood?

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Tropical Storm Bill expected to hit in a few hours, so watch those bayous, underpasses, tunnels, and depressed freeways.

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Is anyone else concerned at the amount of hysteria created by this storm?

 

I mean, it's good to respect these events, but I've seen major over reaction. When I went to the grocery store yesterday at lunch to grab lunch supplies for the week the place was filled with people grabbing a month's worth of water, and pop tarts.

 

At the end of this, people are going to see that they over reacted, and then when there's a real storm that they should prepare for, they will blow it off.

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Is anyone else concerned at the amount of hysteria created by this storm?

I mean, it's good to respect these events, but I've seen major over reaction. When I went to the grocery store yesterday at lunch to grab lunch supplies for the week the place was filled with people grabbing a month's worth of water, and pop tarts.

At the end of this, people are going to see that they over reacted, and then when there's a real storm that they should prepare for, they will blow it off.

It's a vicious cycle. Look at the extreme overreaction that occurred during Ike. People freak out over storms and the media blows it out of control.

Don't park your car under a big tree, avoid the low lying areas and find an alternative. I mean it's good to have clean water, batteries, etc, anyways... But a little common sense will go a long way.

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It's a vicious cycle. Look at the extreme overreaction that occurred during Ike. People freak out over storms and the media blows it out of control.

Don't park your car under a big tree, avoid the low lying areas and find an alternative. I mean it's good to have clean water, batteries, etc, anyways... But a little common sense will go a long way.

 

Over reaction during Ike? Power was out for weeks, trees down everywhere....you think we over reacted ?

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Over reaction during Ike? Power was out for weeks, trees down everywhere....you think we over reacted ?

Sorry I always get the two mixed up... *Rita.

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Over reaction during Ike? Power was out for weeks, trees down everywhere....you think we over reacted ?

 

 

Sorry I always get the two mixed up... *Rita.

 

was gonna say, probably meant Rita.

 

36 hours to drive from Houston to San Antonio. Cars that ran out of gas littering all the freeways. People getting sick because of sitting in their cars that had overheated, and then they in turn, overheated.

 

Don't get me wrong, it was a good event to show that the system in place was inadequate to evacuate that many people, and I able to host an epic BBQ on my back patio with the people I put up in my house that lived in League City that didn't want to try driving any farther with all the traffic (pro tip, keep the beer fridge well stocked during hurricane season!).

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Sorry I always get the two mixed up... *Rita.

 

I forgot all about Rita (I think it sprinkled at my house) -- you are right about that one !!

Edited by HoustonMidtown

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My umbrella broke in the wind at NRG Park today. At lunch in Uptown there was only one other table, and at dinner in the Woodlands, the same.

Had some friends posting links about the floods in Corsicana. A train derailed and the crew had to be rescued.

Edited by Montrose1100

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We drove to Dallas on Friday night. Family event we couldn't skip. Took about 5.5 hours to get to Carrollton (15 miles north of downtown). We had to cut across on some state highways and farm roads to get to I-35 and avoid Corsicana. On those roads we hit sideways hard downpour head-on. That part was a bit scary, but there were plenty of big rigs taking that route leading the way. Only ran in to a little bit of high water once (less than a foot).

 

Trip home Sunday night was comparatively a breeze, most of the remnants of Patricia had passed by the time we got closer to Houston.

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We drove back from Dallas yesterday and some of the frontage roads on 45 are still flooded out south of Corsicana.  Still a lot of water up there

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I actually spent my last waking hours of Sunday hearing the rain and believing it was just another Houston rainstorm and woke up to find flood warnings and my car in ankle deep water (I don't live in the lowlands). I wonder if the flood authority will condemn anymore houses like they did after Allison.

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We've talked here and in others posts about flood control so I though that the following Quora post about Toyko flood control could provide some great ideas for improvement in Houston system:

 

Quote

 

Tokyo is protected against flood by gigantic constructions under the ground.

They are invisible in our daily life, but they sure help us to remain safe when Tokyo is hit by torrential rain.

 

One such example is the Kanda River Underground Retention Basin made up of 4.5 km tunnel 40 meters under the ground.

 

main-qimg-7fc526ffb5b61a8508dd9548eb841c

 

 

More details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanda_River and http://www.5election.com/2013/10/27/kanda-river-retention-basin-one-of-tokyos-protection-system/

Edited by JJVilla
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The problem here is that you can only dig down so deep; otherwise you hit sea-level and anything below that would require a massive pumping operation, and would most likely end up as a simple wet-pond (meaning the bottom of the pond is inside the water table).

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8 hours ago, BigFootsSocks said:

The problem here is that you can only dig down so deep; otherwise you hit sea-level and anything below that would require a massive pumping operation, and would most likely end up as a simple wet-pond (meaning the bottom of the pond is inside the water table).

 

I think the biggest problem is that you don't reach impermeable bedrock until you're hundreds of feet down, owing to Houston's alluvial geology. This makes concrete tunnels much more expensive to build and maintain.

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10 hours ago, ADCS said:

 

I think the biggest problem is that you don't reach impermeable bedrock until you're hundreds of feet down, owing to Houston's alluvial geology. This makes concrete tunnels much more expensive to build and maintain.

Bedrock is almost 30,000 feet down in this area, according to my geologist friends. That's to reach igneous basement. There are some pretty hard sandstone and limestone layers that aren't as deep, but this isn't NYC, where granite is pretty shallow, or exposed.

 

London is riddled with tunnels, mostly bored through clays. Current construction there uses seamless concrete, but the older tunnels used cast iron segments to hold the soil at bay.

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My grandfather worked for a while in the civil engineering department at Rice and then Sugarland, and according to him one of the problems with the underground water ways was a soon as they filled up they acted like pipes, not drainage ditches, and would require pressure at one end to make it flow out (the one he was citing as an example was the drainage line under Rice University, that drains into Bray's Bayou)

 

So unless the tunnel was huge, it could still back up and cause flooding in the streets

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