August 29, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Harvey Hell

Words fail to describe the disaster unfolding before us so I’ll try a picture from the Texas Department of Transportation.

The dark blue symbols with the slash through it are road closures; the light blue circles are flooding.  To give non-Texans a sense of scale, the east-west distance of this map is over 300 miles.  So far, thousands of homes have been inundated.  Tens of thousands of people are out of their homes.  The ENTIRE Texas National Guard has been activated with over 12,000 personnel mobilized.  The US Coast Guard has brought HALF of its US helicopter fleet to the Houston metro area.  The shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center is now near capacity with 5,000 people who’ve lost their homes, and shelters all over the area are running full.  Gasoline shortages are just right around the corner since most of the refineries here are shut down; both of the metro areas major airports are still shut down.

The only word that begins to capture this disaster is unprecedented. Unfortunately, one word that can’t be used is unexpected.  This is what happens when you pave over hundreds of square miles of land that was once prairie.  This is what happens when you build homes on top of watershed and up against major rivers and bayous.  This is the expected result of unbridled development without appropriate oversight for infrastructure.  We’re finally reaping the result of what we have sown for years, and if we’re honest, there is major work to be done beyond simply repair these thousands of homes and buildings.

We’ll see if our elected officials will follow through after the television lights turn off.

Catastrophic Life Threatening

August 27, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Dammit!

First time ever here, the NWS has issued a “Flash Flood Emergency for Catastrophic Life Threatening Flooding.” The freeways are mostly underwater. Thousands of homes are underwater. The fire department and volunteers are actually running out of fuel performing water rescues.  The Coast Guard has announced it’s already performed 300 rescues.  The KHOU television station has flooded.

The center of Harvey is just sitting on top of Victoria, which puts Houston right in the path of giant rain bands flowing continuously out of the Gulf dumping tons of rain on the city.  The NWS is forecasting this continuous rain for at least the next two days.  Water is rising everywhere, all bayous are out of their banks, the Brazos and San Bernard are at flood stage.

The situation in Houston is, in a word, grim.  Here comes another rain band. Gotta go for now.