Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Filling the bowl

I grew up in New Orleans so I thought I was pretty expert on avoiding living in places that will flood relentlessly once a single levee breaks, or a heavy rain falls.  Unfortunately I didn't think the current house through completely, we bought a house on the edge of a bowl.

The flood control plan for Houston was designed to protect downtown from Buffalo Bayou dumping all of it's water near it's delta near downtown.  They utilized two low areas near Katy, TX and channeled BB and several other streams into those low areas, then built a levee on the south edge with flood control structures that allow releasing water into BB.  That way all the water flows into these reservoirs (Barker and Addicks) during floods, and not straight into downtown.  The suburb of Katy grew, and they built neighborhoods around the edges of this reservoir (also George Bush Park), and at some point your idiot bought a house at the northern edge of this park.

Unfortunately, it's been raining relentlessly, without mercy for the past 4 days and that reservoir has filled until the water is only several feet below the top of the southern levee.  Even though the rain stopped long enough for the street flooding to go down and allow your intrepid author to escape up to Dallas, the rain, will not, freaking stop.  The poor people downstream of Buffalo Bayou are already flooding, and the only reason it's not full Katrina is local people and the Cajun Navy are out rescuing people in boats.  Meanwhile, I'm watching on facebook as street by street the neighborhood is submerging as the bowl fills.  Much more cold-blooded then the downstream folks, how much water we end up with depends on how full the dam holds, and how accurate the contour line on the topographical map really is.  At work, drilling horizontal wells +/- 2' is pretty accurate.  Here that accuracy will decide our fate.  (not so bad really, we're safe, put my in-laws on a plane this morning and the nightmare scenario of dragging my family on top of a toy inflatable boat to a rescue area didn't happen.)

Pray for Houston.  It's going to get much worse because so many people that have never flooded are going to flood, and the government isn't doing as much as it could.  (they should be convoying in every 2 1/2 ton truck in the southern USA to Texas,  I only saw one humvee during the entire exodus from Houston.

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