Are you seeing where Houston TX is being inundated by rain from Hurricane Harvey?
National Weather Service radar:
Having been through a number of these storms in different locales, I want to give some insight:
- Not everyone in Houston is getting inundated by floodwater: It’s the nation’s 4th largest city and it’s not going away. Most people there are going to be fine, the ones who are not are in truly dire circumstances. It’s not going to get better right away, in fact, it’s likely to get much worse.
- There’s no chance to evacuate the city at this point. The time for that is long past. People should have took off Thursday last week. We know evacuating Houston is much more difficult than anyone would have believed, and it was already believed to be damn near impossible. Besides, people who could leave would just pack up the car, hook up the RV and go to Dallas or San Antonio. As was the case in Rita, most persons capable of departing, left.
- Those people who have difficulty in departing are the ones in the greatest trouble.
- Texas does not believe in civic planning: If you buy a home here, you had best believe you are on your own. Things that many of us East Coasters took for granted don’t happen here. For example, storm drains. Since it doesn’t rain often here, Texas doesn’t plan for things like flooding, or for that matter, earthquakes. When they happen, it’s just viewed as the Will of God and something we will have to get over.
- There will be plenty of finger pointing: The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott encouraged residents of Houston to evacuate. The call to evacuate was before the rain got going. The Mayor and local officials recommended against leaving, and now they are looking like idiots. Many of you don’t know or remember this, but in 2005, Houston conducted the largest evacuation of an American city, in response to Hurricane Rita. That storm was nowhere close in severity as this Harvey disaster, but was coming on the heels of the Katrina catastrophe.
- San Antonio is the nation’s capital for disaster response: We are better equipped to handle this or any other disaster short of nuclear exchange than anyone else in the country. If you’re in the southern U.S., you’re coming here in response to your disaster. Our city’s response to the Katrina disaster is an example for all cities to emulate. Anyway, for 48 hours, we believed we were going to suffer from a Harvey associated deluge. As usual, those weather forecasts were wrong. San Antonio is 150 miles inland. A flood here is big news because while we get local flooding, it’s nothing like a coastal city like Galveston or Houston (~ 25 miles from the coast) is going to see. Those include storm surge. San Antonio will get its storms, but it won’t go partially underwater like Houston is now.
Those things said, we are praying for our friends in Houston now. It is going to have some hard days ahead.