August 28th, 2017

Houston…

in trouble:

There is no indication the water will stop rising anytime soon. Swollen rivers in east Texas aren’t expected to crest until later this week, and federal officials are already predicting the deadly Tropical Storm Harvey will drive 30,000 people into shelters and spur 450,000 victims to seek some sort of disaster assistance.
And yet, forecasters say, more rain is coming. Lots more.

The death toll so far is reported to be seven. Each death is tragic, but that’s relatively low for a disaster of such magnitude, and it could rise as time goes on. I haven’t written about this story so far, but it’s a big one:

The average annual rainfall in Houston is 50 inches. The city has seen 25 inches of rain in two days. Another 25 could fall by Saturday.

That’s shocking.

Here are some dramatic photos. And here’s a piece on the mechanism of flooding in cities:

Under normal circumstances, rain or snowfall soaks back into the earth after falling. It gets absorbed by grasslands, by parks, by residential lawns, by anywhere the soil is exposed. Two factors can impede that absorption. One is large quantities of rain in a short period of time. The ground becomes inundated, and the water spreads out in accordance with the topography. The second is covering over the ground so it cannot soak up water in the first place. And that’s exactly what cities do—they transform the land into developed civilization…

The natural system is very good at accepting rainfall. But when water hits pavement, it creates runoff immediately. That water has to go somewhere. So it flows wherever the grade takes it. To account for that runoff, people engineer systems to move the water away from where it is originally deposited, or to house it in situ, or even to reuse it. This process—the policy, planning, engineering, implementation, and maintenance of urban water systems—is called stormwater management…

Houston poses both a typical and an unusual situation for stormwater management. The city is enormous, stretching out over 600 square miles. It’s an epitome of the urban sprawl characterized by American exurbanism, where available land made development easy at the edges. Unlike New Orleans, Houston is well above sea level, so flooding risk from storm surge inundation is low. Instead, it’s rainfall that poses the biggest threat.

A series of slow-moving rivers, called bayous, provide natural drainage for the area. To account for the certainty of flooding, Houston has built drainage channels, sewers, outfalls, on- and off-road ditches, and detention ponds to hold or move water away from local areas. When they fill, the roadways provide overrun. The dramatic images from Houston that show wide, interstate freeways transformed into rivers look like the cause of the disaster, but they are also its solution, if not an ideal one. This is also why evacuating Houston, a metropolitan area of 6.5 million people, would have been a terrible idea. This is a city run by cars, and sending its residents to sit in gridlock on the thoroughfares and freeways designed to become rivers during flooding would have doomed them to death by water.

Much more at the link.

As commenter “Bill” writes:

…for those of you who pray, please pray for Houston. It is unbelievable here. For myself and my family, we are still for the moment unflooded, but so many friends have lost their houses to the waters and have had to wait for boat rescue, taking just what they can carry.

Never, ever seen anything like this.

52 Responses to “Houston…”

  1. Mike K Says:

    Abbot recommended evacuation two days before the storm hit land. One would think there would be a plan for traffic, for example, based on history. A lot of people are in higher ground and are in no danger. Low lying areas should have been selectively evacuated.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Mike K:

    If the evacuation was early enough I guess it would have been possible.

  3. Bill Says:

    I was in the hurricane Rita evacuation in 2005. It was incredibly dangerous. Took us 14 hours to get to San Antonio. Lots of people ended up stranded.

    An evacuation in this case would have resulted in a great number of people stuck in their cars in rising water. A lot more people would be dead. In hindsight its easy to think they should have evacuated the parts that were hit hardest. But remember, they didn’t know what would be hit hardest. In a direct hit hurricane, they know storm surge is coming and evacuate the low lying areas. But this is a rain event. I do belive some of the low lying areas we’re evacuated, but there’s flooding all over the city.

    I think the low death toll to this point speaks for. Itself. People are losing everything, cars, houses. But for the most part their lives are being spared.

    We’ve got a long way to go still.

  4. DNW Says:

    The first thing to do is to get an apartment somewhere, 30 miles out if necessary, if yours is damaged.

    Spend three days camping with relatives and then assessing the damage, and you are way too late.

    Been there: Friendswood, Texas, Alicia, Done that.

  5. DNW Says:

    Tires will go from the debris … transmissions that got soaked or overtaxed from moving stuff will fail … goods will mold. Grab the cash and the family pictures, and get a new base to work from.

    Don’t mill around.

  6. ArmyMom Says:

    The storm gathered strength so fast that it would have been impossible to evacuate people from such a large area. Do you remember the last time they tried that? The storm would have been politicized even more than it is now if there were thousands of tales of people dying on the roads because they ran out of gas or could not get out if their car on a flooded roadway. Since the hurricane Rita evacuation debacle, they have made plans with extra contra flow lanes leaving Houston that can be used. If you are from the Texas coast, you know all about the devastation and floods that come with hurricanes. There are a lot of tough and independent people here in Texas who might not leave just because they have made it through other hurricanes. I think it is awful how people don’t immediately think about all the everyday people here who are helping their neighbors instead of passively waiting around on government to tell them what to do.

    My parents in Katy and my brother in Friendswood are still there and are thankfully dry. My husband is in the Rockport – Victoria area to start helping home and property owners with insurance claims. He will likely be sent to Kemah soon. God Bless Texas and all of her strong stubborn people!! We will persevere and rebuild. We do every time.

  7. DNW Says:

    Geez, Conroe, Katy, out to Hempstead.

    You’d have to go to College Station or Gonzales to get away

  8. DNW Says:

    “My parents in Katy and my brother in Friendswood are still dry ”

    Thank goodness for them.

    Looks like they had some flooding there nonetheless. I loved Friendswood when I lived there many years ago.

    The hurricane took the brick off the walls and the roofs off the buildings back then.

  9. DNW Says:

    ” God Bless Texas and all of her strong stubborn people!! ”

    Yes.

  10. Bill Says:

    #HoustonStrong

    We will rebuild.

  11. OldTexan Says:

    Our grown kids here in town NW of San Antonio have folks evacuated from Corpus at their house and they own a beach house in Port Aransas that probably made it through with a lot of damage.

    I have been speaking with a good friend in Houston who’s home is all right and his business in Rice Village seems to have made it OK. However he told me that the low areas of town are totally messed up, rich and poor and there is so much work to be done getting all those folks into safe shelters, dry, clean and with food and water. Basic need stuff.

    As for evacuation or staying put it is a moot point and time deal with what is. All sorts of Texans and others are gathering in a lending a hand in rescue efforts and making safe havens. I have a friend in Austin with the city who is working on that and another in Richardson responsible for getting beds set up and food service in place. This is a real big deal with a whole lot of material loss and hopefully not too much lose of life.

    This crazy corner clockwise circle of strong wind that was a Hurricane is still give us 180 miles from the gulf coast strong winds gusting over 30 mph for the third day in a row with the eye caught between two high pressure systems making a very sucky storm for South Texas.

    I am fearful for all of the loss both in human life and property that will be discovered over the next few weeks when things finally settle down and the water recedes. Prayers are in order for the South Coast of the Gulf.

  12. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Before Katrina, the Red Cross had the idea that they’d go to a church they’d surveyed earlier and take the keys and run the thing.
    But there were too many people and the Red Cross had to ask the churches to run their own show.
    Worked like a champ.
    The local organizations are already organized and members are prepared to take on additional tasks, particularly if a bit of pre planning is in the files someplece.
    The problem is that such organizations are intermediating institutions between the Individual and the State and the State doesn’t like that.
    Kind of a tension here.

  13. ed in texas Says:

    Yes, it be raining here (Alvin, south of Hou). I personally have had over 24″ since the show started Fri night, and likely more (the rain gauge topped 3 times). All of the usual locations have flooded, and it basically has no place to go very soon. Draining takes time.
    And it’s not over yet, but the mass seems to be moving east, so Lousiana, look out.

  14. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Grew up in what is now underwater…still have family & friends bailing & praying.

    I can do that praying bit too.

  15. Richard Saunders Says:

    I wonder if Jerry Brown’s given any thought to commandeering every tanker truck and airplane in California and send them to Texas to scarf up water and bring it back here.

  16. Mr. Frank Says:

    It’s not PC to notice but in this day of criticism of toxic masculinity and white privilege I’d like to note that the people doing the boat rescues are overwhelmingly good ole white boys. So far no women and very few blacks. Forest fires are the same way.

  17. Richard Aubrey Says:

    The good ole boys have the boats, the chain saws, the big pickups, and they know how to use them.
    And they do.
    As somebody, probably a lot of folks have said, urban hipsters aren’t showing up for the war.

  18. charles Says:

    Used to work in Houston; hated the heat, the humidity, and the fire ants; but, loved the people.

    May God bless them all and keep them safe – but, I also know they will take care of themselves. They ain’t Texans for no reason.

    And, I agree Mr. Frank. It is the “men” who are doing the rescuing. The SJWs are no where to be seen.

  19. groundhog Says:

    Not in Texas, though I lived there for years.

    I’m in an area where two rival University football games create quite a bit of traffic. Can’t imagine all the other residents getting out there too, where it wouldn’t take days to get anywhere.

    Evacuating a million or more? Ugh. No thanks.

  20. Stan on the Brazos Says:

    Just evacuated east side of Houston today. Brazos to hit new flood level record. Lots of neighbors ignorant of situation. Not a Turner fan but he has done a pretty good job during hurricane.

  21. parker Says:

    We have tornadoes, floods, and droughts in my neck of the woods. We don’t complain or expect rescue. Sorry for the crisis around Houston, but what is happening should come as no surprise. Same goes for the earthquake zone in CA, and nearly everywhere people live on the planet. Disasters happen. Live in a flood zone, expect to be flooded out now and then. Deal with it on your own. Live in tornado alley, expect tornadoes and deal with the occasional consequences on your own.

    As a farm boy, droughts happen and you have to deal with the consequences on your own. Nothing is guaranteed. Cry me a river.

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    parker:

    I don’t think the ubiquity of disaster precludes compassion.

    Houston is indeed in a flood area, but floods have gotten much worse in the last few years due to overbuilding. Even many people who’ve lived there for decades in neighborhoods that have never flooded before during previous floods are having trouble now. City planning failed to keep up with all the expansion, and one of the results is that flooding from the newer areas has caused more flooding in the older areas, too. See this.

  23. JK Brown Says:

    One major factor in the extent of this flooding is that it is, what is now being called a 500 yr flood event. It wasn’t the storm that is the big event, but rather than the highs that stalled it out rather than it having a path inland.

    We could associate this unique blocking that has made Harvey so much worse with the location of the landfall of Katrina (up the Pearl River) that blocked the drainage of the storm surge resulting in Cat 5 level inundation of MS and the strain the NOLA levees that found the century of political malfeasance built into them.

    Not yet on the media’s radar is that Wed this storm is suppose to start heading up the Mississippi valley with less, but still lots of rain. As well as 10″ or so along the Gulf as far as MS/AL border. Not the rain Texas is getting but a lot so there will be a path of localized flooding over the next week up the central East.

  24. JK Brown Says:

    Oops, missed my point.

    Harvey and Katrina are both basic storms that were made much worse by happenstance of overall weather patterns and geography. Bad luck.

  25. AesopFan Says:

    Neo and friends: thanks for the updates.

    Left the Lake Jackson area in 2004, but had plenty of close encounters of the watery kind before then.
    So far my sister is safe (2nd floor apartment) but her car was at least half-way underwater.

    Prayers for all here and their families.

  26. AesopFan Says:

    OldTexan Says:
    August 28th, 2017 at 7:39 pm
    Our grown kids here in town NW of San Antonio have folks evacuated from Corpus at their house and they own a beach house in Port Aransas that probably made it through with a lot of damage.

    I have been speaking with a good friend in Houston who’s home is all right and his business in Rice Village seems to have made it OK.
    * * *
    We were living in San Antonio in the late 80s and hosted a family running from a Corpus Christie hurricane: dad, pregnant mom, couple of kids, and a box of kittens. Mom cooked up home-made tortillas while she was with us — that was good eatin’.

    Glad to hear the Rice Village is holding out okay. What shop is your friend’s?
    I try to get over there whenever I visit Houston. Did most of my shopping in the vicinity while at Rice, because we could reasonably walk there from the Colleges.

  27. Mac Says:

    JK Brown: “…basic storms that were made much worse..etc.” yep. One of the irritating things about the armchair generalship going on now is that the way this storm is just squatting over land is downright freakish. I live in hurricane territory, too. We had one–Danny, close to 20 years ago–that sat still like that for a day or two, but it was mostly over water.

    Very few people seem to remember, if they ever knew, that the catastrophes caused in New Orleans by Katrina happened *after* the storm itself. People thought they had dodged a bullet. Then the levees failed…

    Coastal Mississippi was another story: instant devastation caused directly by the storm.

  28. parker Says:

    Neo,

    We donated 1000 to red cross, same as katrina. Response i$ the same. I will help you if I can, otherwise cry me a river.

  29. Frog Says:

    The rain is still falling and will continue to fall for some days. Some 2 million or thereabouts have no source of food or medicine, though last I heard the water supply was still sanitary. There is no way, none, to supply 2+ million people with essentials on a family-by-family basis; that is simply impossible.
    Fortunately and by God’s grace I am on the Eastern fringe of the rainfall.
    The entire Texas Medical Center area, with its multiple hospitals, is deeply flooded. That includes MD Anderson, the nation’s leading cancer center.
    All -ALL- radiation equipment in the flooded zone has been destroyed. What to do if you’re in a flooded hospital after a bone marrow transplant? Or halfway through your radiation treatment? Where do you put the thousands of nursing home folks? There are no vacant NHs to which to send them.
    Even Bush I’s home in ritzy River Oaks is flooded. The Houston Fine Arts Museum is flooded. We were there a week ago; its cafeteria and who knows what else are below grade.
    Prudent people evacuate early. The mayor had his opportunity to so advise, and blew it, like the incompetent Ray Nagin-equivalent that he is. Gov. Abbott urged people to leave early, but was ignored or not heard (MSM guilty here?).
    This is a much bigger disaster than Katrina. Serious stuff is done in Houston, refineries among them; New Orleans is a few educational institutions and the French Quarter, and its low-scale output was not missed. The Houston hit is ENORMOUS. Wait until we have real numbers and you will see.
    Think of many TRILLION gallons of water falling from the sky, each gallon weighing about 7 lbs!
    Am I alone in being confident that the Gore crowd will make this our collective fault?

  30. parker Says:

    Oh surprise, surprise hurricanes, must be gobal warming or whatever. If you beblieve in what you don’t understand you suffer.”

  31. Francesca Says:

    I have read that many more people die in their cars in such situations.

  32. miklos000rosza Says:

    Force majeure. I’m not looking forward to the day (long predicted) when Portland finally gets its huge earthquake.

    I don’t have anything interesting to say about catastrophic weather.

  33. Irene NYC Says:

    @ Bill,ed in Texas and John G.

    Prayers and thoughts to you, your families and loved ones. As everyone helped us after Hurricane Sandy, you can count on us to lend you a helping hand.

    Stay safe and best regards.

  34. groundhog Says:

    Good luck to any of you down in that area dealing with this.

    Doubt if the Houston Mayor is going to have a job or a political career after this. About 100 percent sure of that.

  35. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Do the math. If half of Houston’s population evacuated, at three people per car and each car took twenty feet of road space and used only the expressways….
    Give the mayor half a break on this. It’s one thing to think of A Family getting away from this. It’s another to picture a mass evacuation.
    And some folks remember the Rita evacuation.
    Thing is, so far, the number of dead in Houston is small compared to other catastrophes. The actual destruction is to property which you can’t evacuate. Ditto the infrastructure which will make living there difficult.
    Once transport is restored, to whatever degree, the population can be supplied or moved in an orderly and less dangerous manner.
    The longer term effects; stress on those with health issues, impoverishment of many who lost their assets (home, car, etc.), loss of jobs, loss of businesses, public institutions such as hospitals. MD Anderson is the go-to place for cancer. Some people who are just on the edge are going to die because Anderson is down for an unknown period.

    Some disagree about overpaving. It doesn’t take much rain to saturate the ground to the extent that following rain runs off. Various places in Texas have nearly impermeable soils–lots of clay–and that’s not much better than paving when rain is intense.

    Some floods in West Virginia last year. Due to terrain, the water was channeled into the usual valleys and away from developed areas. According to reports, roared down hill pretty fast, but few people were in the way. Texas is different. There were floods in Iowa some years ago, about a year after Katrina iirc. The rivers just rose and rose and spread and spread. Talked to a lady in an insurance office in one town. They had abandoned the first floor, were working off generators and had managed to rent Porta Potties.

  36. Tuvea Says:

    We do get bad weather up here near Chicago.

    But it is local. The next town over is fine.

    Hurricanes, however, affect thousands of square miles scouring the land. The scale of devastation is immense. To me it is unimaginable.

    The best response for those of us, thankfully out of the path of destruction, is to find a reputable charity and give generously.

  37. OldTexan Says:

    What would have been, what could have been, and what should have been done doesn’t matter now, what counts is what happens today and tomorrow and it is time for all of us to stop pointing fingers and realize that the fourth largest city in the USA, Houston is suffering, present tense, suffer one of the biggest catastrophes I have seen in my over 70 years of life. Six more inches of rain in the past 24 hours on a huge water soaked city with more coming means that all of us here in Texas will have to be more Texan, helping those in need, than ever before.

    This would be a good time for all of the leadership of the country, present and past to work together, united to assist in the massive relief effort that will be needed. I hope we see some of that today. Anyway we are going to hear some wonderful stories and some real sorry stories about human behavior and it has been my experience that the media always like to lead with terrible news and follow that with the disgusting before they allow us to see a bit of positive.

    Checking the rainfall at Houston airports this morning it appears that at least for now the rain is slacking off, prayer that it continues to clear up. At the same time. the next state over, Louisiana is getting soaked enough to be part of this disaster.

  38. Bumsrush Says:

    Extrapolate this event to the power grid failing say for every city east of the Mississippi. It wouldn’t take long to find out what kind of country we live in. Couldn’t happen? We may be living on borrowed time.

  39. DNW Says:

    Followed your link to the Guardian article. The remarks about “over building” reminded me of looking for my old stomping grounds using Google earth a few weeks ago.

    I could not recognize them.

    If you drove out Westheimer to Addicks Dyke you were beyond it all. South of Hobby it was countryish, and Pearland was the cheap seats definitely surrounded by fields for miles.

    Houston apparently never did stop growing.

  40. Richard Aubrey Says:

    A meterologist on Fox, discussing Houston’s particular liabilities, mentioned that the ground is clay-ey. Little absorbtion, may as well be concrete.
    My daughter lived in Arlington, TX, where the same was true.
    I live on very sandy soil and, no matter the rain, the soil is only damp after about six hours of dry. You have to go several miles to see standing water in the fields after a storm.
    In our area, overbuilding would make a big difference. Places like Houston, apparently, not so much.

  41. BrianE Says:

    My prayers are with the folks affected by Harvey, that needed supplies will reach you to prevent an even greater tragedy.

  42. Frog Says:

    Neo observed “City planning failed to keep up with all the expansion” (of greater Houston).
    She fails to observe that the absence of Boston-like planning regulations is precisely what allowed Houston to grow, why home prices in Houston are less than half of what they are in eastern Mass; why Houston grew despite the oil bust of the early ’80s when every other house in Houston was for sale.
    I just love those city planners. They made such a botch of things with public housing that they have expanded their titles to “Urban Planners”, with “Regional Planners” undoubtedly soon to come. Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.
    My son has a Master’s in Urban Planning, so I know just enough from this committed Democrat to beware!

  43. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    The planning I was referring to involved planning for better storm drainage and that sort of thing. It seemed to me that the article was saying that in that particular respect it was done hastily and without much thought for the consequences. The developers of a new housing development need to take a lot into consideration, whether there are codes or not to tell them what to do. It is my impression, of course, that most modern US cities have codes. I have no idea how restrictive of picayune Boston’s vs. Houston’s are, but I do know that California is notorious for that.

  44. Oldflyer Says:

    Great empathy for the folks who are struggling with this. We lived for a couple of years outside of Corpus when I was stationed in Kingsville; there are a lot of very resilient people down there, and they will need all that they can muster.

    But, on another level, I found this on Powerlineblog.com this morning: “Hurricane Harvey wasn’t man-made, obviously, but the scale of the destruction was, in large part, an unintended consequence of government policy. Michael Grunwald reports at Politico: “How Washington Made Harvey Worse.””

    It refers to the government’s cheap flood plain insurance program that encourages excessive development, and rebuilding in known flood zones. The article cites one home in Houston that has flooded 16 times in 18 years, netting the owners $800,000 in insurance payments on a home that was valued at $115K. To compound the issue, woodland and pasture land that would normally soak up a lot of water in flood zones are now concrete and asphalt. Houston is the epicenter for this phenomenon. Then, of course, there is New Orleans; one major disaster after another waiting to happen. The discussion could be extended to the over development on the various barrier islands.

    The government has virtually cornered the market on unintended consequences and continues to barge forward unabated.

  45. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    My daughter works for a big global chemical company that has facilities in Houston and transmits many of its supplies, imports and exports through that port. She says her company’s business is grinding to a halt, that its suppliers are declaring force majeure, that it will take months to get everything back in operation, that this is going to affect manufacturing and transportation throughout the country and that the whole economy will feel its effects. She’s just sayin’.

  46. Chris Says:

    Hydraulic engineers have said that all that green land can only soak up about one or two inches of rain before it is saturated. When one gets 40 inches of rain in three days, it becomes inconsequential.

    About evacuation

    Houston is on the coast. one can’t go south. Harvey made landfall at Corpus Christi, so one can’t go west. North, northeast, maybe northwest and east are the only directions an evacuation can take, so maybe a total of 16 major highway lanes are available. Three people per car, each lane supports maybe one car per second with perfect driving on everybody’s part. No accidents, no running out of gas or breakdowns and one could move about 3x16x3600 people per hour. Call it 175,000 people. It woul take over 24 hours to get everybody out. By the time they believed Harvey might stall, reverse course, and then move to just offshore Galveston, they didn’t have 24 hours. Tens of thousands might have died in their cars. After all, the Rita evacuation was a total disaster.

    Finally, the rain wasn’t evenly distributed. There were no obvious areas to selectively evacuate. Houston is really flat. The difference between low lying and high ground is maybe five feet. Geography is less important than rain distribution.

    Not a turner fan but he was right.

  47. Chris Says:

    Oh, another thing. Say you get millions of people out of Houston, where are they going to go? Try finding places for a million families to stay for three or four weeks at affordable prices within 500 miles within 24-48 hours

  48. Jim Doherty Says:

    Oh crud, here I am in Houston and I could have been giving some real time feedback to one of my favorite dive blogs.

    My house, kid, and I are still high and dry. We live right next to the Barker Reservoir, which yuo may have read or seen on video. I am on the south side of it, and they release the water on the northeast side.

    anyway so far no problems other than stress, and not knowing for certain if and when the hammer of water would fall on me.

    If you look it up you will see George Bush Park, that park is really a big area with a high berm around it, and used as an overflow lake for Barker, when flooding occurs. Right now George Bush Park is one big lake. I live within 2 blocks of the southern berm /wall.

    I feel bad for folks who got flooded, and there are alot of very expensive neighborhoods that got flooded. However, I dont know, seems to me, if you live in a low lying area, it is just a matter of time. I asked around before I bought my house. And the fact that it had never flooded, even after TS alicia, I felt good about it.

    Many of the places that are flooding now, barely squeeked by after Alicia. I think I would have split.

    Anyway when I do go to sell this place I know what one of the first things I will advertise about it.

    Anyway I think I may head back into work tomorrow, although I feel I need a couple days off now that I think the danger is passed. You nevr notice the stress your under until it lifts, then you take that deep breath and flop back on the couch. And realize, damn that was nerve wracking. Have to retrain myself to go to bed before 3am, and not go check the water in the street. Is it flowing well, any standing water ? How much food on hand, water? Should I have left?

    The scariest part is realizing, too late, you cannot leave now. Oh there seems to be some wierd way to get out, but deep down you know those back roads they point to. If an elevated highway is closed due to one low point, then those roads around it are a death trap, they just have no info to update them online. It was too late to leave Saturday night, and I didnt even know about Harvey around Tuesday.

    Many people you see being rescued just didnt have the time to understand the danger, and that the city didnt evacuate because they couldn’t do so and maintain an orderly evac. Not enough time. People will realize it later. They will throw a fit, but really after Rita mess down here no one wants to get stuck on the highways, with real flooding coming. Woudl have been a mass death event had we got caught with millions on the roads, running to Dallas or San Antonio.

    Anyway I may just take off the whole week. I need a vacation after this.

  49. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I am reminded that the prophets said that the coming of the divine king will be the same as labor pains in child birth.

    Starts small and scales up.

    It could also be a warning for Trum and the nation. The nation is judged by the people plus the leaders’ conduct.

    Usually there will be a warning several years if not decades, before a major catastrophe. Then warning signs as time goes on for people to fix their behaviors, or else the divine court judgment escalates like damages in law suits.

    Oh you inflicted intentional emotional damage? Here’s some more damages.

  50. AesopFan Says:

    Frog Says:
    August 29th, 2017 at 12:39 am
    The rain is still falling and will continue to fall for some days. Some 2 million or thereabouts have no source of food or medicine, though last I heard the water supply was still sanitary. There is no way, none, to supply 2+ million people with essentials on a family-by-family basis; that is simply impossible…
    Prudent people evacuate early. …
    This is a much bigger disaster than Katrina. Serious stuff is done in Houston, refineries among them; New Orleans is a few educational institutions and the French Quarter, and its low-scale output was not missed. The Houston hit is ENORMOUS. Wait until we have real numbers and you will see.

    Am I alone in being confident that the Gore crowd will make this our collective fault?
    * * *

    A clean water supply is itself a miracle. My son’s family was in Cedar Rapids IW during their big flood in 2008, and lack of potable water was a major issue; all the pumping stations were under water. He & his wife spent a couple days passing out water trucked in by various organizations while I watched the kids (already had the trip scheduled, and was able to get in the week after the major damage, but water was still lapping the bottom of the elevated freeways).

    Prudent people evacuate REALLY early, but it’s always a gamble whether to go or stay. Said prudents always have supplies on hand for being marooned days or weeks.

    Bigger property disaster, and long-term consequences, but many fewer fatalities. One of the big problems with the after-the-deluge evacuation of NO was the separation of families.

    Of course it was all Trump’s fault, just like Katrina was Bush’s. However, the Feds appear to have actually learned something in the meantime.

    http://libertyunyielding.com/2017/08/31/cartoon-day-apres-le-deluge/

    At least there were no snark about religion and secession.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/28/houston-harvey-risk-floods-analysis

    (okay story except for the obligatory obeisance to the PC gods)

    The city’s impermeable roads and sidewalks are built on the coastal prairie and wetlands of the western Gulf, and its topography is flat, with no run-off area for excess water. At the same time, the changing climate means these heavy storms are becoming more frequent.

    “Houston is going to flood,” Gonzalez said. “What we need to do is identify those areas that are prone to flood. And we need to work to make sure we don’t develop in those areas, and if we do have housing in those areas we may want to think about a buyout program.”
    * * *

  51. AesopFan Says:

    Just got news they are evacuating my old neighborhood (south of Pearland about 30 miles).
    Even mentions my street.
    Not good, since we still have many friends in that little township.

  52. AesopFan Says:

    OldTexan Says:
    August 29th, 2017 at 10:16 am
    What would have been, what could have been, and what should have been done doesn’t matter now, what counts is what happens today and tomorrow …. Anyway we are going to hear some wonderful stories and some real sorry stories about human behavior and it has been my experience that the media always like to lead with terrible news and follow that with the disgusting before they allow us to see a bit of positive.

    Checking the rainfall at Houston airports this morning it appears that at least for now the rain is slacking off, prayer that it continues to clear up. At the same time. the next state over, Louisiana is getting soaked enough to be part of this disaster.
    * * *
    This may be the calm before the next storm.

    https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/potential-hurricane-irma-cooking-in-the-atlantic-this-week/85629

    The predictions are that it will hit the Caribbean islands, unless it goes into the Gulf further, or up the East Coast, but it might turn back into the Atlantic.

    Obviously hurricanes are Feynman Events; or possibly this is a Shroedinger’s Catastrophe.

    DNW Says:
    August 29th, 2017 at 12:03 pm
    South of Hobby it was countryish, and Pearland was the cheap seats definitely surrounded by fields for miles.

    Houston apparently never did stop growing.
    * * *
    When we moved into the area in the1990s, Pearland had barely enough area to make a good speed trap. When we left 15 years ago, it was larger than our township.

    I suspect the urban corridor coming south from Houston is totally built up by now.

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