Posts Tagged ‘flooding’

Houston Flood Update for August 29, 2017

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

The Great Houston Flood continues. Though rainfall has slackened, many parts of Houston are still flooded.

Major items:

  • Addicks Reservoir overflows over spillway:

    Water levels in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs reached record levels early Tuesday, said Jeff Lindner, ‎Meteorologist at Harris County Flood Control District.

    Water in the Addicks Reservoir reached 108 feet early Tuesday, causing it to flow over the top of the spillway.

    The overflowing reservoir comes days after authorities announced controlled releases of water from both of the inundated dams.

    Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers expect the Barker Reservoir will also have uncontrolled releases in the coming days. Uncontrolled releases from both dams are expected to flow into Buffalo Bayou and increase the waterway’s already high levels.

    The water spilling out of the Addicks Reservoir Tuesday morning will likely reach subdivisions north of Tanner, left of west Eldridge Parkway to West Little York, and over to Beltway 8, Lindner said.

    Affected subdivisions include:

    Twin Lakes
    Eldridge Park
    Lakes on Eldridge
    Lakes on Eldridge North
    Independence Farms
    Tanner Heights
    Heritage Business Park

  • One third of Friendswood homes are still flooded.
  • Flooding along the Brazos River in Brazoria County is expected to happen today.
  • Last night mandatory evacuations for Inverness Forest and Northgate in north Harris County were issued due to Cypress Creek flooding.
  • President Donald Trump is visiting Texas today to inspect the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, starting with Corpus Christi.
  • Still a lot of road closures, especially on the east side of town.
  • HEB has reopened some area stores, though only until 3 PM today.
  • A series of Tweets that explain how Houston flood control plans developed, and why an evacuation notice for the entire city was not practical. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Legal Insurrection’s Kemberlee Kaye is reporting from her home in Houston. She also touches on the impossibility of evacuating the entire city.
  • List of school closures in Houston. Short answer: All of them.
  • A roundup of debunked rumors from Harvey. No sharks on the freeway, no planes flooded on the runway.
  • Two dumbasses trying looting homes following Harvey. Both get shot. Which part of “Texas” was unclear?
  • The Houston Texans final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys has been moved to Arlington.
  • Houston Astros to Texas Rangers: “Hey, we got this 1000 Year Flood thing going on here. Want to swap our upcoming home-and-home series?” Rangers: “Die in a flood.”
  • Update: Breaking news:

    Update 2

    Houston police officer drowns in Harvey flood waters:

    The officer, an HPD veteran who has been with the department for more than 30 years, was in his patrol car driving to work downtown Sunday morning when he got trapped in high water at I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road.

    Search and rescue crews are currently recovering his body. The department has not yet formally notified the officer’s family.

    Hence the lack of a name at this point.

    “The officer’s death is the 15th fatality in Texas claimed by Hurricane Harvey.”

    Update 3

    Bridge collapse in east Houston:

    I think this is the bridge:

    Update 4

    HPD officer who drowned today identified as Sergeant Steve Perez:

    Update 5

    Some insight into the scope of the problem:

    3:49 p.m.: How much of Harris County is actually covered by water?

    According to meteorologist Jeff Lindner, between 20 and 30 percent of Harris County is under water as of Tuesday afternoon.

    Harris County is 1,777 square miles. Let’s take the low end of Lindner’s estimation — 20 percent. That would be 355.4 square miles.

    Or:

    Bigger than the entire city of Austin.
    Bigger than 15 times the size of Manhattan, which is about 23 square miles.
    Bigger than 7 times the size of San Francisco, which is about 47 square miles.

    University of Tampa associate professor fired for saying Hurricane Harvey was ‘karma’ for Texas voting for Trump. Which I’m sure went over really well in another Hurricane-prone state that also voted for Trump…

    Update 6

    Houston death toll now stands at 24.

    The convention center is full of storm refugees, so they’re opening up the Toyota Center and NRG Stadium.

    Houston Flood Update for August 28, 2017

    Monday, August 28th, 2017

    As now-tropical storm Harvey continues to slowly move eastward, Houston is still recovering. Though experiencing a lull right now, there’s still more rain to come tonight, and runoff will swell rivers and bayous. “Houston is likely to endure heavy rain and catastrophic flooding through Wednesday.”

    More mandatory evacuations have been announced for parts of Waller, Fort Bend, and Brazoria Counties, Conroe, Missouri City, Bay City, and Rosenberg, among others.

    The death toll still stands at six. Which happens to be one less than the number killed by violence in Chicago over the weekend.

    8:15 a.m.: Corps continuing Addicks, Barker releases

    By some measures, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is talking about Harvey not in terms of the storm of the century, but the storm of the millennium for the Houston area.

    Balancing flooding and damage on both sides of Addicks and Barker reservoirs, Corps officials said they will continue releases downstream along Buffalo Bayou via the two dams. More than 25 inches of rainfall behind the two mammoth earthen dams has the reservoirs spilling into suburban developments.

    “The volume of water flowing into the reservoirs is unprecedented in the dams’ history,” Edmond Russo with the Corps said.

    With more rain possible, officials said the best course is send some of the water along Buffalo Bayou. Designed to handle a 1,000 year storm, Russo said in a Monday morning news conference the reservoirs are teetering on exceeding that level of flooding if worst-case rain scenarios occur.

    There are almost 100,000 people without power, but 96% of Houstonians do have power. Remember that more than 3 million people lost power after Ike, and for some people it took several weeks to restore, possibly indicating lessons learned.

    Hundreds of intersections are still closed due to high water, including just about all of Houston’s freeways.

    Many Houston refineries have shut down in the wake of Harvey. This has lead to predictions of skyrocketing gas prices in some quarters, but it will probably only temporarily offset the oil glut, and I would expect most if not all of those will be up and running again within a week.

    An explosion and fire at the Lone Star Legal Aid building on Fanin in downtown Houston. No word yet on any injuries or whether it was actually caused by the flood.

    More drone footage of flooding:

    More flood footage (including, for some reason, non-flood footage at the airport). Some NSFW language and repeats footage at the end for some reason.

    Houston Suffers Catastrophic Flooding

    Sunday, August 27th, 2017

    Houston in now suffering from catastrophic, historic flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey:

    Tropical Storm Harvey officially became Houston’s worst storm on record overnight, dumping heavy rains across the city and into overflowing bayous, leaving swaths of the city submerged in floodwater.

    “It’s catastrophic, unprecedented, epic — whatever adjective you want to use,” said Patrick Blood, a NWS meteorologist. “It’s pretty horrible right now.”

    Brock Long, FEMA’s administrator, said on CNN that Harvey is “a storm the United States has not seen yet.”

    Some parts of Houston have gotten more than 20 inches of rain, and at least five people have died.

    Houston’s CBS affiliate KHOU is off the air because their office has flooded.

    Here’s some video. Street flooding:

    Flooding and tornadoes:

    Drone-eye view of neighborhood flooding, I think from somewhere in suburban SE Houston:

    Compilation of various flooding footage, including bats swimming because they can’t get back to their home under the bridge (and some NSFW language at the end):

    And keep in mind Houston suffered severe flooding not only from Ike in 2008, but also in the Memorial Day flood in 2015.

    Update: 15 seniors rescued from Dickinson nursing home.

    Some official tweets:

    Update 2:

    Ben Taub hospital being evacuated due to flooding and power failures.

    Update 3

    It’s bad:

    FEMA director says Harvey could be worst to ever hit Texas.

    In a telephone interview with The Washington Post, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director William “Brock” Long said Harvey could top all previous Texas storms in terms of total damage.

    “This will be a devastating disaster, probably the worst disaster the state’s seen,” Long told The Washington Post from FEMA headquarters in Washington.

    Casualties, thankfully, remain well below record Texas storms.

    The 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston, essentially scrubbing the island by tossing the bay across it, killed an estimated 6,000 to 12,00 people.

    1:35: Two Houston-area airports cease flights

    Hobby and Bush Intercontinental airports have ceased operations until further notice.

    Roughly 850 travelers are stranded at the two Houston-area airports.

    Hobby Airport closed around 3:30 a.m. when water reached the runways. Roughly 500 travelers were stuck at the airport Sunday morning. The airport facilities haven’t suffered any structural damages. Bush followed suit.

    11:14 a.m.: MD Anderson closed Sunday and Monday

    With roads in the Texas Medical Center impassable, MD Anderson Cancer Center said outpatient services, surgeries and all appointments are canceled for Sunday and Monday.

    “Statewide, Abbott said there are 316,000 people without power, not including the Houston area.”

    “As of 1 p.m., more than 76,000 customers in the area were without power.”

    Cruise ships are unable to dock in Galveston because the port is closed and they couldn’t go anywhere if they could disembark due to flooded roads.

    Note: Houston water has NOT been shut off.

    Update 4

    Six Houston deaths total including a homeless man in La Marque who may have just dropped dead.

    Update 5

    Mandatory evacuations have been called for parts of La Grange as well as parts of Fayette County along the Colorado River.

    La Grange is more than 100 miles inland of the Gulf of Mexico…

    Also, President Trump is coming to visit on Tuesday.

    Update 6

    Took a break to take care of three downed trees in my front yard using lopers and a hatchet. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be sore tomorrow…

    Footage of the aftermath of Harvey’s destruction in Rockport.

    Compilation of more Houston flooding, including some overlap with previous clips (the KHOU flooding):

    Update 7

    Both FEMA and the Coast Guard are on the scene assisting with rescue operations.

    6:13 p.m.: Harvey flooding forces release from Addicks and Barker

    Col. Lars N. Zetterstrom with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced late Sunday afternoon that rising levels in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs will force authorities to release water from both dams. Based on the corps data, the rising waters will place residents and their homes in dangerous situations.

    “We will have to release water to reduce the risk flooding in the Houston metropolitan,” he said. “Until we realize the actual rise we can predict how many homes would be impacted.”

    Homeowners near the reservoirs will likely have water seep into their homes prior to the release.

    Some of the released water will flow into the Buffalo Bayou and increase the already bulging water levels. This will lead to officials issuing a voluntary evacuation for residents living along bayou.

    The corps plans to release water by 2 a.m. Monday at Addicks and 11 a.m. at Barker.

    Here Comes the Flood

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

    Randall Munroe, the guy who does XKCD has an interesting post up on the possibility that the current Mississippi flood may overwhelm the Old River Control Structure that keeps the river from shifting course to the Atchafalaya, as I discussed last week.

    And continuing the Peter Gabriel kick from my other blog, here’s a young Peter Gabriel doing “Here Comes the Flood” on the Kate Bush Christmas Special circa 1979:

    In other news, there was a Kate Bush Christmas Special…

    (Hat tip: Dwight.)

    When The Levee Breaks

    Sunday, May 1st, 2011

    Rains have been so heavy (at least and north of here; in Austin, we’ve gotten squat in the way of rain the last two months) that the Army Corps of Engineers is planning on blowing the levee at Bird’s Point, Missouri, to prevent Cairo, Illinois from flooding. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has refused to issue an injunction against demolishing the levee.

    More here.

    The issues are complex and daunting. However, that won’t prevent me from using that as thinly-veiled justification for posting the late Blues guitarist John Campbell’s version of “When the Levee Breaks.”

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)