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Thread: Hurricane Harvey - Things non-Houstonians need to understand

  1. #1
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    Default Hurricane Harvey - Things non-Houstonians need to understand

    This was posted by someone on Twitter (I myself am in Central Texas - 160 miles NW of Houston):

    Things non-Houstonians need to understand:

    1. The streets and many of the public parks here are designed to flood. We sit just 35 feet above sea level, and most of the city is as flat as a pool table. We average about 50 inches of rain a year. The streets and parks serve as temporary retention ponds, accommodating slow, steady drainage through our bayous.

    2. We average about 50 inches of rain a year, but in the last 48 hours, many areas of greater Houston received 25 to 30 inches of rain. That's six to nine month's worth of rain, in two days. The drainage system, which works well in normal conditions, was overwhelmed. Officials are calling this an "800 year flood": that means there was a one in 800 chance of its occurrence. Even with advance notice, there was little means of preparing for this.

    3. It is impossible to evacuate a city the size of Houston. Harris County is 1700+ square miles, with a population of 6.5 million people. How do you evacuate 6.5 million people? During the hours leading to Hurricane Rita's landfall, tens of thousands of Houstonians attempted evacuation. The traffic jams lasted for days. One hundred people died. So far, six Houstonians have died in Hurricane Harvey, all of them (as far as I have heard) drowned in their automobiles. For more than a decade, the local mantra has been "shelter in place and hunker down." That's hard, but it's the right approach.

    4. Some outsiders are treating this disaster with schadenfreude: Texans helped elect an anti-big government president, and now we're going to need big government help. Houston is the bluest spot in Texas, and voted Clinton in 2016. Suggesting this is karmic payback for backing Trump is as inaccurate (and offensive) as Pat Robertson's suggestion that Hurricane Katrina was God smiting sinners. We really aren't thinking Red or Blue right now. We are taking a royal beating, all of us. Disasters don't care about ideology.

    5. You are going to feel this. Gas prices are going to skyrocket. Oil refined products, everything from PVC pipe to dry cleaning fluid, will rise in price. The stock market will take a hit. New Orleans is a fantastic city, but it's not a major economic force. Houston is the center of the nation's energy industry. It's home to dozens of Fortune 500 companies. And 85% of it is under water. It may be this way for weeks. The aftermath of Katrina captured the world's attention. The aftermath of Harvey is going to grab you by the lapels, and shake you 'til you're cross eyed.
    "My God, Woodrow. It has been quite a party, ain't it?"

  2. #2
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    The company I work for is headquartered in Houston. The folks I've been in communication with have said that it is unbelievable. My nephew also lives there, I haven't reached out to him yet but will in an hour or so. This is a major suck factor for the whole country, just due to the energy and tech that Houston holds. So much business that we don't even know about or that we take for granted is housed there.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for this post. The flooding is truly tragic. Prayers for all affected.


    Dave

    muggsy: Let's face it, being shot by a .380 will ruin anyone's day.

  4. #4
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    I find it hard to believe that any city could weather a rainfall of 30 to 40 inches without major problems. This is a time for the feds and anyone else that can help to step in no matter who they voted for, they are Americans and deserve all the help America can give them.

  5. #5
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    Not to take away from the flooding going on in Houston, but it pisses me off, the same during Katrina, that Houston has become the center of the story as New Orleans did. Seems the media has forgotten all about those on the coast who have no home left, same as Katrina. There is a major difference between your home being completely wiped away and one being flooded.

    Ask me how I know.

    I'm just sick and tired that a "major" city has flooding and that is all that is covered after a hurricane makes land fall. Blame this on the politicians who consider development as "progress". Build more and stuff more people into an area. For every inch of ground that is covered by a road, house or strip mall, that is one less inch of ground that can absorb water.

    As for an "historic" flood, Buffalo Bayou back in 1935 crested at over 54 feet. As of a few hours ago it was at 38 feet and rising. Much worse flooding right now than then. As for evacuation, too many folks wait for the "authorities" to tell them when to leave, even though there was plenty of warning about potential rainfall.

    The only reason that there was the evacuation prior to Rita was because Katrina hit two weeks before and we all know how bad Katrina was. Twelve years later people have forgotten how bad a hurricane can be and have become complacent. Harvey has shown this as did Katrina.

    Yes, I feel the folks down there. My wife's side of the family are down there and they had the sense to get up north before things got bad. Pretty sure at least two of their houses are flooded out but they aren't there to call 911 using up valuable resources.

    Guess what I'm trying to say is common sense isn't to common and I hate the main stream media.

  6. #6
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    I've hated the media for a long long time. Now they seem to be shifting the focus that gas prices are going to rise because Houston is flooded.

    You nailed it when you mentioned common sense ain't common these days. I see it every where every day.

    Sometime I feel like when your late to a party and everyone is already drunk and you feel like, who are you people. It's like that at work, on the road to work, in the stores, it's everywhere. I hate to leave home.
    http://bawanna45.wix.com/bawannas-grip-emporium#!
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  7. #7
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    When 40-50% of our national petroleum refining capabilities and a large percentage of our crude oil production is located along the Texas Gulf coast, you can bet Harvey is about to affect gasoline (and other petro related) prices.


    jd
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  8. #8
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    We have extended family living 100 miles from Houston - they got flooded out. One family was flooded out in Galena park (SE side of Houston), waded over to a friend's higher elevation house where they were flooded out again. Last we heard they were all sittin' in the back of a pickup truck in the driveway with their two dogs.

    As far as evacuation goes, we saw what happened with the last one, so that course would be more dangerous than staying. But there wasn't that much time, as Harvey hit the coast 180 miles down from Galveston. It wasn't a wind event for Houston, mainly flooding.
    "My God, Woodrow. It has been quite a party, ain't it?"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bawanna View Post
    I've hated the media for a long long time. Now they seem to be shifting the focus that gas prices are going to rise because Houston is flooded.

    You nailed it when you mentioned common sense ain't common these days. I see it every where every day.

    Sometime I feel like when your late to a party and everyone is already drunk and you feel like, who are you people. It's like that at work, on the road to work, in the stores, it's everywhere. I hate to leave home.
    Cynical old ****, ain't you? Welcome to the club. At least sorta. I still like out and about but I do, retired, get to do it on my own times and terms.
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  10. #10
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    Sure hope this very preliminary assessment (guess) is incorrect:

    Hurricane Harvey could be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history with a potential price tag of $160 billion, according to a preliminary estimate from private weather firm AccuWeather.

    This is equal to the combined cost of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and represents a 0.8% economic hit to the gross national product, AccuWeather said.

    “Parts of Houston, the United States' fourth largest city, will be uninhabitable for weeks and possibly months due to water damage, mold, disease-ridden water and all that will follow this 1,000-year flood,” said AccuWeather president Joel Myers.

    The Federal Reserve, major banks, insurance companies and other business leaders should begin to factor in the negative impact this catastrophe will have on business, corporate earnings and employment, Myers said.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/weath...ion/615708001/
    "My God, Woodrow. It has been quite a party, ain't it?"

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