Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
hindesky

Flooding in Downtown from Hurricane Harvey

Recommended Posts

Power is out for most of downtown north of the Rice Hotel / Lofts (and including the Rice Hotel). It is creepy looking north on Main Street into darkness. Aris and Market Square tower have power

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, CoolBuddy06 said:

This. is. insane! Is Minute Maid Park okay?

The streets around Minute Maid looked fine not sure if water found it's way to the inside. That pic I took was from White Oak bike way over 

Buffalo bayou which may had made the flooding more dramatic.

https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7641924,-95.3537487,3a,75y,193.93h,92.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1se3Ro7p8RRo3bDIr-6MCgig!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the Julia Ideson Building and the archives are okay. Luckily, the flooding doesn't seem to be too bad, you can still see that the planters aren't overflowing and you can still see the road striping. It's been really difficult to tell how much damage there is. I saw flooded streets but I don't know where...plus some roads have notoriously poor drainage (a brief but heavy rain can easily flood out some roads...Long Point Road comes to mind). I also saw a picture of water near Sam Houston Parkway with a stoplight almost overfilled, but I don't know where that was (I think it was near NE Houston). I haven't seen any big "highways into canals" pictures, though I suspect that maybe that's not a bad thing if the water doesn't flow into neighborhoods and instead serves as emergency water conduits.

 

Yesterday, there was actually a part of Highway 6 NB in Grimes County that was closed due to flooding, and there are no shelters prepared in Bryan-College Station. I suspect that as Houston dries out, there will be some blowback to local political officials who said that "local officials know best" and that people should just ride out the storm.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forwarding a message from work (700 Louisiana):

 

“It is Monday, August 28, 2017. The Bank of America Center will remain closed tomorrow, Tuesday August 29, 2017. The power has not been restored by CenterPoint Energy. They still have both circuits to the building locked out. They are continuing restoration efforts that have to be done off-site, but are battling water in many vaults downtown.

The condition of the BOAC garage and building remain the same as posted in earlier update. The flood door between Bank of America Center and the City Garage is holding. There is some seepage that has been occurring since yesterday morning as the City Garage is flooded. We have a few inches of water on the lower levels of the garage and tunnel area. We will continue to do our best to contain and manage the water.”

 

So it looks like the measures put in place after Allison are doing their job, at least to some extent.

 

Stay dry and safe, everyone.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, IronTiger said:

I hope the Julia Ideson Building and the archives are okay. Luckily, the flooding doesn't seem to be too bad, you can still see that the planters aren't overflowing and you can still see the road striping. It's been really difficult to tell how much damage there is. I saw flooded streets but I don't know where...plus some roads have notoriously poor drainage (a brief but heavy rain can easily flood out some roads...Long Point Road comes to mind). I also saw a picture of water near Sam Houston Parkway with a stoplight almost overfilled, but I don't know where that was (I think it was near NE Houston). I haven't seen any big "highways into canals" pictures, though I suspect that maybe that's not a bad thing if the water doesn't flow into neighborhoods and instead serves as emergency water conduits.

 

Yesterday, there was actually a part of Highway 6 NB in Grimes County that was closed due to flooding, and there are no shelters prepared in Bryan-College Station. I suspect that as Houston dries out, there will be some blowback to local political officials who said that "local officials know best" and that people should just ride out the storm.

Freeways were flooded. I-10 near the West Loop was full, as were other locations.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, IronTiger said:

Yesterday, there was actually a part of Highway 6 NB in Grimes County that was closed due to flooding, and there are no shelters prepared in Bryan-College Station. I suspect that as Houston dries out, there will be some blowback to local political officials who said that "local officials know best" and that people should just ride out the storm.

 

That was a good call on the local officials part.  I was part of the Rita evac and got lucky, only 6 hrs to get to Austin.  I know people who spent 24 hrs or more trying to get out.  If you live in a place known to flood, you should have the gumption to get yourself out but to tell everyone to leave is just asking for a bigger problem.  Official evac should only be for coastal areas and for people with special needs.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume for the floods that the tunnels were sealed with the giant doors they put in place after Allison, therefore the damage here is limited to the surface and some underground garages. It also appeared from my last check of Google Maps yesterday that US-59 was fully open.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buffalo bayou is going down but I'm not sure what the level will do when the water from the dams reaches downtown.

 

nKpbaGy.jpg

fQkvNab.jpg

 

Looking north from the White Oak bayou bike trail toward the Dakota Lofts

lYIBOYl.jpg

 

rQdAhdZ.jpg

x9l2XMV.jpg

2geuTRd.jpg

HEhxtzn.jpg

  • Like 3
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It' so heartening to see all the Houstonians that are flocking to the GRB to donate. The lines of cars and all the traffic around the eastern part of downtown is incredible.  I saw convoys of pickup trucks loaded with supplies headed there. I hear they are asking them to go to the Dynamo stadium because they are overwhelmed with donation at the GRB.

 

wcdZ3j2.jpg

QewVRlQ.jpg

L6fS8pS.jpg

bdWKqCF.jpg

eSV1HeZ.jpg

 

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone see anything on how the medical center fared during this?  From what I've seen it remained operational though obviously access was limited

 

I am curious to see if we ever get any statistics regarding the impact of Project Brays on Harvey.  My house (and many others in Old Braeswood/Braeswood area) are in the 100 yr flood plain, but didn't take any water from this event.  It's unfortunate they did not start work on the stretch to Meyerland until just last month but seems to bode well for future flood mitigation along Brays

 

I know of some water rescues from Braes Heights area but can only imagine what this would have been like without this project.  Obviously the floods of the past few years show that we need to take a closer look at many other watersheds.  The real question is whether we can really still look at Tax Day/Harvey/etc as "500 year"-type events

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, OkieEric said:

Has anyone see anything on how the medical center fared during this?  From what I've seen it remained operational though obviously access was limited

 

I am curious to see if we ever get any statistics regarding the impact of Project Brays on Harvey.  My house (and many others in Old Braeswood/Braeswood area) are in the 100 yr flood plain, but didn't take any water from this event.  It's unfortunate they did not start work on the stretch to Meyerland until just last month but seems to bode well for future flood mitigation along Brays

 

I know of some water rescues from Braes Heights area but can only imagine what this would have been like without this project.  Obviously the floods of the past few years show that we need to take a closer look at many other watersheds.  The real question is whether we can really still look at Tax Day/Harvey/etc as "500 year"-type events

 

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-weather/hurricaneharvey/article/Here-s-where-to-get-medical-care-in-and-around-12117695.php

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think tax day/memorial day we need to assume are 5 year floods and harvey/allison are 25 year floods.  This city needs overbuilt flood control infrastructure, such that when it's sunny after a normal rain storm there is no water left on the roads

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Btw I hope u guys are safe out there, sadden me that my hometown of Houston has suffered tremendously from this storm and definitely want to thank the local Houstonians and everyone who has came from all over to help. I know Houston will rebuild after this. 

Edited by JoninATX
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a couple screen grabs from KTRK last night showing them pumping the water out of the Theater District basements:

 

RoRxe3S.jpg

 

zpvD5xA.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that a massive Corp of Engineering project will be needed to prevent the major flooding we are seeing so often lately.  For starters, they are going to need to expand and/or deepen Barker and Addicks Dams.  Then, we should have a major large scale Lake somewhere close to the area (even larger than Lake Houston or Lake Conroe) where all that excess water can naturally flow, with the help of some cleaver gravitational engineering, into this body of water and have it outflow directly into either Galveston Bay or one of the low lying bayous in the area that empties out there.

 

This will also require the very painful condemnation of thousands of acres of flood plain land in the area to accomplish.  But, remember the Tennessee Valley Authority did it in the early 20th century, albeit not always fair or just.  Still, this part can be done with a willing population and a can-do attitude by us locals.  I say screw the high speed rail for now, and concentrate on this type of infrastructure as it is right square in the forefront of what has to happen for Houston and this region to survive long term.  We've been given a great gift of prosperity of the past two centuries and now it's time for us to hunker down and pay the cost of at least attempting to fix this long term problem with everyone's willing support.

 

It will cost BILLIONS up front and take years to complete, but will pay for itself many times over as these events continue to happen, as long as we are able to prevent the incredible loss of property and life that has happened.  HOUSTON can do it, if any place in the world can !  We have the means, muscle, and determination to get this job done as a model of infrastructure and flood control solutions that other world cities can copy, especially low lying coastal metro areas that will become more and more susceptible to sea level rising.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ArtNsf said:

I think that a massive Corp of Engineering project will be needed to prevent the major flooding we are seeing so often lately.  For starters, they are going to need to expand and/or deepen Barker and Addicks Dams.  Then, we should have a major large scale Lake somewhere close to the area (even larger than Lake Houston or Lake Conroe) where all that excess water can naturally flow, with the help of some cleaver gravitational engineering, into this body of water and have it outflow directly into either Galveston Bay or one of the low lying bayous in the area that empties out there.

 

This will also require the very painful condemnation of thousands of acres of flood plain land in the area to accomplish.  But, remember the Tennessee Valley Authority did it in the early 20th century, albeit not always fair or just.  Still, this part can be done with a willing population and a can-do attitude by us locals.  I say screw the high speed rail for now, and concentrate on this type of infrastructure as it is right square in the forefront of what has to happen for Houston and this region to survive long term.  We've been given a great gift of prosperity of the past two centuries and now it's time for us to hunker down and pay the cost of at least attempting to fix this long term problem with everyone's willing support.

 

It will cost BILLIONS up front and take years to complete, but will pay for itself many times over as these events continue to happen, as long as we are able to prevent the incredible loss of property and life that has happened.  HOUSTON can do it, if any place in the world can !  We have the means, muscle, and determination to get this job done as a model of infrastructure and flood control solutions that other world cities can copy, especially low lying coastal metro areas that will become more and more susceptible to sea level rising.

I forgot to mention that yes, I know this is a "thousand year flood".  The catastrophes I think we should try to prevent, that we would even have a decent chance of mitigating, would be the ones like the tax day/memorial day floods of the past two years.  This latest act of God should serve as a learning experience and to wake us up from our complacency on the ongoing flooding disasters the continue to happen.  Let's not let this opportunity pass.  Let's make sure all these people didn't lose their lives and others lose their homes for nothing.  Just my thoughts for today.   

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that part of Houston's problem is just largely unchecked development for years. Probably the parking requirement may have stemmed further ultra dense development that in retrospect, would've been worse for flooding. In the meantime, new development needs to have detention ponds and possibly defunct retail could be demolished for it. Almeda and Wheeler used to have a Burger King that was razed for parking, but more importantly a place for water to drain. We need more spots like that, and they can also be little "green spots" in a city filled with development.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In further thinking, sealing off the tunnels from floodwaters with the big "submarine" doors may have prevented damage underground but I also think that affected waters above. One site that would be GREAT for a retention pond area is right at the corner of Richmond and Main Street. Close down the little section of Rosewood and tear out the old McDonald's slab used for parking, as well as other slabs from old development. In return, a new detention pond can be dug as well as modern porous asphalt. 

+ Gets rid of blight

+ An environmentally friendly replacement to the leftovers of yesterday that weren't even doing much

+ Can mitigate flooding

+ Keeps parking use

+ Adds green space

+ Does not harm traffic patterns

+ Relatively cheap

+ No structure demolition

+ No additional land used

+ No need to worry about maintaining Rosewood again

 

There's not a lot of downsides here. Then try to do that all over the city.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I went by the City Hall Annex a couple of days ago I could smell the unmistakeable smell of burning electrical. They are now fixing it.

4n7416K.jpg

 

 

Every building on the northwest side of downtown had either trucks pumping out water and/or electrical contractors. I saw on the news that all the theatre district venues had flooding to some extent.

 

PxxChL8.jpg

wHPlY7a.jpg

Ag8VbLd.jpg

9ZER9gk.jpg

w2mGA16.jpg

N7TUyd5.jpg

WZBjY8B.jpg

lvBh0dI.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who said that high density development would be worse? 

 It's the miles and miles of low density developments that are making it harder for the city to deal with excess water. 

 

And surface lots do not help drainage. They just pass water through. 

 

Concentrating development in a small area would leave  surrounding areas open for surface absorption and having a smaller area to with with means that the area requiring drains would not be miles and miles. 

Much easier to build drains for 610 area than the entire grand parkway catchment area

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That may or may not be true. I haven't seen data regarding this so I hold off judgement. I do know that the high density you speak of jumps housing and rental costs way up ( See San Francisco and Boston). These cities are very difficult for middle class families with children. That is why the suburbs in DFW, KC, Minn-St.Paul etc are so popular for those folks.

 

Regardless you are going to flood when you get 40 to 50 inches of rain. Hurricane Mitch in 1998 dumped up to 6 feet of rain in central America and floods occurred. Hurricane Juan, in 1985,  dumped 15 to 20  inches in S.Louisiana with of course floods. Development may or may not contribute but with these rains it will flood, and flood badly. 

Lake Houston is 64 years old and needs dredging. I am not an engineer but my guess is a gigantic drainage basin needs to be constructed in the area to catch excess water and quickly drain it to the Bay. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure about Boston but San Francisco places so many restrictions new developments.  SF is vertically limited to preserve "the charm."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boston also places restrictions on increasing density for the same reason; their housing problem isn't as bad just because they have more land to spread out in (there's no bay between the city and the rest of the state)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, HoustonIsHome said:

Who said that high density development would be worse? 

 It's the miles and miles of low density developments that are making it harder for the city to deal with excess water. 

 

And surface lots do not help drainage. They just pass water through. 

 

Concentrating development in a small area would leave  surrounding areas open for surface absorption and having a smaller area to with with means that the area requiring drains would not be miles and miles. 

Much easier to build drains for 610 area than the entire grand parkway catchment area

You're dead on, but the idea of cheap, low density development is too close to the heart of why a lot of people prefer living in Houston compared to other areas. It's a tough nut to crack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, HoustonIsHome said:

 

And surface lots do not help drainage. They just pass water through. 

 

 

It's the drainage below that makes the difference. I'm proposing something like this--right now I'm at work so I can't show you "before", but this used to be a Burger King surrounded entirely by parking lot with no real drainage. Today, it's a retention pond with no development, while still providing parking for the area. That's what there should be more of (a lot more of). It still "fits" in with development, isn't super-expensive, and adds far more benefits than drawbacks for reasons listed earlier in this thread.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Almeda+Rd,+Houston,+TX/@29.7303881,-95.377226,89m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x8640eab710ba6797:0x665638146e08a4e5!8m2!3d29.6585817!4d-95.4016789

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They were still pumping as of Saturday when I was out riding. I assume they are still pumping. There's a lot of water in the underground parking.

 

It'd be great if surface parking lots over a certain size were build below surface level, at least 3-4 feet so they could act as retention ponds.

 

I do get so disappointed by all these news agencies from other towns writing stories about how Houston development has caused this. the flooding is not an affect of development, it's an affect of the amount of rain. Here's an article with some great photos of an event that happened in 1978 in Alvin... 48" yeah, guess what, it flooded then too.

 

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/After-35-years-Alvin-still-holds-U-S-record-for-5644837.php#photo-6640233

 

these photos are remarkably similar to what we saw just a few days ago.

 

the flooding we saw was not a result of development, maybe, MAYBE we can build smartly (or rebuild smartly) so that when Houston floods again there's less damage to homes and businesses. But the rain we saw was simply what it was, intense amounts of rain that overwhelmed the areas it fell in most heavily.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, samagon said:

They were still pumping as of Saturday when I was out riding. I assume they are still pumping. There's a lot of water in the underground parking.

 

It'd be great if surface parking lots over a certain size were build below surface level, at least 3-4 feet so they could act as retention ponds.

 

I do get so disappointed by all these news agencies from other towns writing stories about how Houston development has caused this. the flooding is not an affect of development, it's an affect of the amount of rain. Here's an article with some great photos of an event that happened in 1978 in Alvin... 48" yeah, guess what, it flooded then too.

 

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/After-35-years-Alvin-still-holds-U-S-record-for-5644837.php#photo-6640233

 

these photos are remarkably similar to what we saw just a few days ago.

 

the flooding we saw was not a result of development, maybe, MAYBE we can build smartly (or rebuild smartly) so that when Houston floods again there's less damage to homes and businesses. But the rain we saw was simply what it was, intense amounts of rain that overwhelmed the areas it fell in most heavily.

 

We still built where we knew it was going to flood. That's a direct result of development policy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a 1/500 chance, most people mentally igore it or, just figure the mitigation will suck, but they will deal with it at that time.

 

Here we are. It will be interesting to try and see if planning can come up with something that is worth the tradeoffs.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ADCS said:

 

We still built where we knew it was going to flood. That's a direct result of development policy.

I hope you're talking about specific areas like Canyon Gate, which was built below the Addicks Reservoir level and no real way to drain out, but I don't think you are. Pointing to development that was flooded and saying that it was "development policy" is very broad strokes. Steps can be taken to alleviate that flooding, but shrugging and just blaming the flood plain is like saying Amsterdam, which is often cited as "ideal" urbanism, should be leveled because it's below sea level and thus liable to flood. However, Amsterdam has built ways to prevent it from becoming flooded, so no demolition is necessary. Houston is above sea level, so that's even better as far as flood control goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, IronTiger said:

I hope you're talking about specific areas like Canyon Gate, which was built below the Addicks Reservoir level and no real way to drain out, but I don't think you are. Pointing to development that was flooded and saying that it was "development policy" is very broad strokes. Steps can be taken to alleviate that flooding, but shrugging and just blaming the flood plain is like saying Amsterdam, which is often cited as "ideal" urbanism, should be leveled because it's below sea level and thus liable to flood. However, Amsterdam has built ways to prevent it from becoming flooded, so no demolition is necessary. Houston is above sea level, so that's even better as far as flood control goes.

Canyon Gate was built in the Barker Dam, not Addicks. That's the result of a developer being willing to pay too much for land, more than the CoE could pay to expand the area of the reservoir.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, ADCS said:

You're dead on, but the idea of cheap, low density development is too close to the heart of why a lot of people prefer living in Houston compared to other areas. It's a tough nut to crack.

I was not arguing for denser development, I was arguing against the assertion that sprawl mitigates flooding.

 

The poster I responded to stated that it was good that we are so spread out Because it would have been worse if we were compact. I am asserting the opposite.

Reducing the area of surface absorption and increase concrete area just increases water levels down stream.

 

I bet you many shopping strips with seas of parking was once natural retention ponds. With all of these areas paved over the water just pools and drifts to the south. 

 

Neither sprawl not high density areas improve the flooding conditions of an area, but sprawl sure does make it worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, HoustonIsHome said:

I was not arguing for denser development, I was arguing against the assertion that sprawl mitigates flooding.

 

The poster I responded to stated that it was good that we are so spread out Because it would have been worse if we were compact. I am asserting the opposite.

Reducing the area of surface absorption and increase concrete area just increases water levels down stream.

 

I bet you many shopping strips with seas of parking was once natural retention ponds. With all of these areas paved over the water just pools and drifts to the south. 

 

Neither sprawl not high density areas improve the flooding conditions of an area, but sprawl sure does make it worse.

But if we were talking about retention ponds, it's irrelevant if it's sprawl or high density.

 

College Station, Texas doesn't tend to flood due to higher elevation and less rainfall in general. But it does get rainfall from time to time. At some point in the not-too-distant past (roughly 2004-ish but after the 1990s), they began requiring detention ponds for all development. A lot of the older shopping centers and buildings will have wet parking lots for days after a rainfall, while the ones with large detention ponds (like the one that was built in the middle of the Walmart parking lot during a redevelopment of the building, replacing a storm drain) dry off very quickly. Even larger developments have retention ponds, and many neighborhood parks are built around these ponds (as a component, not as the main park). College Station is a sprawl-oriented town, single family homes stretch for miles with nary a building higher than two stories in sight save for the occasional large hospital, hotel, or apartment complex.

 

Houston still has a lot of sprawl but it has none of the retention ponds that development (of any type) needs to not flood. Again, I suppose you could blame development for not having it these years, but it's something that can be corrected retroactively without significantly changing the exist cityscape. Oh, and that little parking lot and greenspace I showed you earlier?

 

Here's what it looked like circa 2001. By this point, the 1970s-era Burger King had closed and redevelopment was just a few years away, but you get the idea. A building sitting on an entirely paved lot with what looks like a giant puddle formed in the corner because there's practically no drainage. That's bad. That's what we want to avoid.

59af35c967fbc_2017-09-0518_36_53-TourGuide.png.65d35659b758cbc64d3db13fe59ca833.png

 

Instituting that new development have retention ponds while rehabbing grayfields into attractive little green space will make the city less suspect to flooding while making things a little greener.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/5/2017 at 6:47 PM, IronTiger said:

But if we were talking about retention ponds, it's irrelevant if it's sprawl or high density.

 

College Station, Texas doesn't tend to flood due to higher elevation and less rainfall in general. But it does get rainfall from time to time. At some point in the not-too-distant past (roughly 2004-ish but after the 1990s), they began requiring detention ponds for all development. A lot of the older shopping centers and buildings will have wet parking lots for days after a rainfall, while the ones with large detention ponds (like the one that was built in the middle of the Walmart parking lot during a redevelopment of the building, replacing a storm drain) dry off very quickly. Even larger developments have retention ponds, and many neighborhood parks are built around these ponds (as a component, not as the main park). College Station is a sprawl-oriented town, single family homes stretch for miles with nary a building higher than two stories in sight save for the occasional large hospital, hotel, or apartment complex.

 

Houston still has a lot of sprawl but it has none of the retention ponds that development (of any type) needs to not flood. Again, I suppose you could blame development for not having it these years, but it's something that can be corrected retroactively without significantly changing the exist cityscape. Oh, and that little parking lot and greenspace I showed you earlier?

 

Here's what it looked like circa 2001. By this point, the 1970s-era Burger King had closed and redevelopment was just a few years away, but you get the idea. A building sitting on an entirely paved lot with what looks like a giant puddle formed in the corner because there's practically no drainage. That's bad. That's what we want to avoid.

 

Instituting that new development have retention ponds while rehabbing grayfields into attractive little green space will make the city less suspect to flooding while making things a little greener.

 

FWIW, I'm pretty sure we do require new developments to have detention, and have for some time.

Edited by Houston19514

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much of the development to the west and northwest occurred on former rice fields - which flood as part of growing rice.  They flooded to only a foot or so of depth, but it's still a form of detention (and good bird hunting) we no longer have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎9‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 6:47 PM, IronTiger said:

Houston still has a lot of sprawl but it has none of the retention ponds that development (of any type) needs to not flood. Again, I suppose you could blame development for not having it these years, but it's something that can be corrected retroactively without significantly changing the exist cityscape. Oh, and that little parking lot and greenspace I showed you earlier?

 

Here's what it looked like circa 2001. By this point, the 1970s-era Burger King had closed and redevelopment was just a few years away, but you get the idea. A building sitting on an entirely paved lot with what looks like a giant puddle formed in the corner because there's practically no drainage. That's bad. That's what we want to avoid.

 

Instituting that new development have retention ponds while rehabbing grayfields into attractive little green space will make the city less suspect to flooding while making things a little greener.

 

I'm no engineer, but I think these retention ponds would've done nothing to mitigate the effects of Harvey.

 

Yes, it would be helpful for a small rain event in an are that's susceptible to local flooding. But you're likely looking at just keeping a few inches of water off the streets. And I think projects like the big culvert they're building at the edge of Midtown/Montrose (I think Taft and Fairview area) are more likely to be the solution to that sort of local flooding problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Joke said:

 

I'm no engineer, but I think these retention ponds would've done nothing to mitigate the effects of Harvey.

 

Yes, it would be helpful for a small rain event in an are that's susceptible to local flooding. But you're likely looking at just keeping a few inches of water off the streets. And I think projects like the big culvert they're building at the edge of Midtown/Montrose (I think Taft and Fairview area) are more likely to be the solution to that sort of local flooding problem.

I don't think any FEMA flood maps have been released, but there are areas in Houston more susceptible to flooding than others. Obviously, a retention pond in Midtown won't save Meyerland, but as a whole, they should reduce the effects of flooding, and even a "few inches" can make a big difference in house flooding, and even roads.

 

From what I saw in maps what was flooded and what had dried off, Interstate 10 east of 610 West had dried off quickly because retention ponds had been built (I seem to recall reading that when the Tax Day Floods happened last year). Southwest Freeway near University Place also seemed to dry as well because it was a modern highway built with systems in place to prevent catastrophic flooding (it too, was dealt with post-Allison). But Beltway 8 near Town & Country Village wasn't afforded those same sorts of benefits, being years older, and filled up with water. From driving it (before it flooded, obviously), there are small roadside drains that can drain off in a normal rainstorm but are completely inadequate to drain off huge floodwaters in a major rain event. Now, there were a few retention ponds in related to the Katy Freeway rebuild, but that was for the Katy Freeway...allegedly, before the rebuild, the frontage road intersections (which were a full level underground, not sure about that now) would get quite wet even during a significant rainfall.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if this is part of the plan, but wouldn't the current re-design of 45 being below grade through downtown double as a massive detention pond? They could actually use the underground culvert idea to push water into it once the bayou elevation reached critical flood stage. That amount of water being moved would most definitely curb the damage in downtown, but I guess you have to look at the cost/benefit for flooding vs shutting down a major interstate artery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

45 is currently already shutdown in downtown because of the Dallas Dip - though without that dip you'd still have flooding from white oak

 

edit: I meant during a bad storm not right now

Edited by cspwal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, phillip_white said:

I'm not sure if this is part of the plan, but wouldn't the current re-design of 45 being below grade through downtown double as a massive detention pond? They could actually use the underground culvert idea to push water into it once the bayou elevation reached critical flood stage. That amount of water being moved would most definitely curb the damage in downtown, but I guess you have to look at the cost/benefit for flooding vs shutting down a major interstate artery.

Interesting......

 

why nut nut dig a HUGE cistern below this new freeway?  Yes, I know that it would costa fortune but.......other than that, why not?  Make it like 10 stories deep..... huge.... concrete it in...... would hold a lot of water...... wow.  Will never be funded but, wow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, phillip_white said:

I'm not sure if this is part of the plan, but wouldn't the current re-design of 45 being below grade through downtown double as a massive detention pond? They could actually use the underground culvert idea to push water into it once the bayou elevation reached critical flood stage. That amount of water being moved would most definitely curb the damage in downtown, but I guess you have to look at the cost/benefit for flooding vs shutting down a major interstate artery.

My rough estimate is the depressed portion of the freeway would cover about 27 acres of horizontal space, so 20 feet of depth would provide 540 acre feet of detention, 23.5 million cubic feet. That's 28 minutes of the 14,000 cfs flow from Addicks and Barker. That's just to give an image of the water volumes, not to say there's anything wrong with the concept. To put it another way, that's less than the runoff from 12 inches of rain on Midtown.

 

The reality is that an event like Harvey can only be partially mitigated, as we probably cannot afford to design for 36+ inches of rain in two days. at least not without Houston as we know it disappearing.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/9/2017 at 1:54 AM, Ross said:

My rough estimate is the depressed portion of the freeway would cover about 27 acres of horizontal space, so 20 feet of depth would provide 540 acre feet of detention, 23.5 million cubic feet. That's 28 minutes of the 14,000 cfs flow from Addicks and Barker. That's just to give an image of the water volumes, not to say there's anything wrong with the concept. To put it another way, that's less than the runoff from 12 inches of rain on Midtown.

 

The reality is that an event like Harvey can only be partially mitigated, as we probably cannot afford to design for 36+ inches of rain in two days. at least not without Houston as we know it disappearing.

Thais is great info!  Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...