08/29/17 09:41 AM
Re: Houston pals..

We're in Missouri City which is a suburb due south of Houston. Through midnight last night we've had 32" of rain but we're dry.

Our biggest concern right now is the rising Brazos River which is expected to crest tomorrow at 59'. That is of course well above major flood stage and 4' higher than the previous record. It will probably remain in major flood stage for a week or two.

There has been a massive evacuation of subdivisions along the Brazos, and there are quite a few, because the levee system was not designed to contain what is turning out to be an 800 year event.

Houston is an absolute disaster. The 2 reservoirs to the west of the city have reached capacity and, despite some planned releases, water is supposed to top the spillway today. The bayou that takes the water goes through downtown Houston.

The downtown theater district, which was basically destroyed in 2001 after a tropical storm deluge, has been destroyed again, despite a massive amount spent on flood gates to protect them.

The rain is following moving off to the east so perhaps the bayous can drain and clear some of the flooded neighborhoods and streets.

In terms of loss of life and overall destruction of a city, this isn't as bad as what Katrina did to New Orleans. But in terms of human impact and cost of the damage, it is much worse. Some homes destroyed in heavy rains from "typical" events (the "Memorial Day Flood" of 2015 and the "Tax Day Flood" of 2016) were just in the process of getting rebuilt, and in some cases raised to prevent future issues. Now they start over. There are probably thousands of homes that have never flooded that did this time.

At the moment the city is still in rescue mode and hasn't begun to assess the damage.

In the middle of all this stress, we decided to brighten things up a bit by booking a trip back to the BVI for 07/2018, our first in 14 years.

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