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Old 03-21-2018, 09:13 AM
 
15,520 posts, read 20,970,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfre81 View Post
What I don't get is we treat the land here like it's unlimited in supply, but we insist on building right up against reservoirs and canals that have been proven to be inadequate for the needs of the region, on land that should probably be left for the water to go. It can't permeate the concrete that covers the former swamp or rice field that existed there in the paleoclimatology models that give us concepts like "500-year flood."
That's called "capitalism"
Build as many houses as possible on the land that you have to maximize your profits
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Old 03-21-2018, 09:23 AM
 
Location: ✶✶✶✶
15,022 posts, read 27,484,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopo View Post
That's called "capitalism"
Build as many houses as possible on the land that you have to maximize your profits
For the builders, yes. For insurers, not so much.

They already do a rent-control model of sorts for windstorm insurance, before we even go into floods. At some point they will quit writing policies altogether.
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Old 03-21-2018, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Northwest Houston
5,683 posts, read 5,667,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oskar_Z28 View Post
Deepening the pool will not help alone if you can't get the water out fast. "Save the buffalo bayou"....? How about - clear the buffalo bayou of all trees and underbrush, widen it - there is room, slab it and allow the water to move downstream easier from both reservoirs. They've done it with other bayous.

Terry Hershey is rolling over in her grave reading this post. Houston has enough ugly wide open cemented ditches. Buffalo Bayou is not the worse culprit when it comes to flooding anyway. Those Damns need upgrading nobody is disputing that, so lets do that and leave a little nature along some of the Bayous.
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Old 03-21-2018, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil (temporary)
474 posts, read 1,402,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Lance View Post
Terry Hershey is rolling over in her grave reading this post. Houston has enough ugly wide open cemented ditches. Buffalo Bayou is not the worse culprit when it comes to flooding anyway. Those Damns need upgrading nobody is disputing that, so lets do that and leave a little nature along some of the Bayous.
You can build the dams higher, but that will flood more people upstream (think a bigger chunk of Katy). Right now the amount that can be released from the dam does not match what can be moved downstream, so Buffalo Bayou overflows. It overflowed during tax day flood, memorial day flood, and when dams were opened by Army Corps of Engineers. Why have a reservoir is you can't drain it without affecting people downstream. This should be addressed first. I got flooded downstream when US gov decided to flood us last summer, and I do live by Terry Hershey park (don't go there anymore though because my kids and family is traumatized by what happened). I would trade the park for LA River type of ditch any day if it means that my risk of flooding is decreased when the dams are opened.

Or build a 3rd reservoir. Where you say? West of 99 south of 290......but wait, another master planned development is going in there - Bridgeland, with a lake, and cool stuff. We can't have that cause some developer already decided that is the next area for expansion of houston.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:10 AM
 
Location: ✶✶✶✶
15,022 posts, read 27,484,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oskar_Z28 View Post
Or build a 3rd reservoir. Where you say? West of 99 south of 290......but wait, another master planned development is going in there - Bridgeland, with a lake, and cool stuff. We can't have that cause some developer already decided that is the next area for expansion of houston.
It's like this. I've said it once and I'll say it again.

I can point to the tax day/Memorial Day/Harvey floods as the latest in a long line of explicit signs from God that seven million people were not intended to ever live in a concrete sprawl across this swamp. There were others before it and there will be others like it later. That said, we can keep letting developers decide where insurers are going to write flood policies and let them make a buck now at the expense of another buck in the future, or we can start doing the smart thing now.

It's a joke that we can talk about how much vision went into putting a roof over a baseball stadium in the 1960s, and putting fake grass on the field after the roof killed the real grass, but in the 2010s we don't have a coherent plan to prevent a future disaster that will kill tens of thousands if those dams ever have a full failure. It's going to make Katrina look like a minor thing.

Planning is a four-letter word here. I'm so tired of that thinking. It's a disservice to everyone who lives here, whether they are aware of it yet or not.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil (temporary)
474 posts, read 1,402,564 times
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Right on....I am leaving this place when I can. Had too many close calls and one horrible experience. I have a job here and that is only thing that makes me stay. Not big on the growth that we are experiencing or the concrete jungle feeling of any large city. I moved here 20 years ago when the city was smaller (or at least felt smaller). It was already too big for my taste but in the 90s, I took what job I could.
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:17 AM
 
15,520 posts, read 20,970,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfre81 View Post
That said, we can keep letting developers decide where insurers are going to write flood policies and let them make a buck now at the expense of another buck in the future, or we can start doing the smart thing now.
Agree,
I laugh every time I look at Houston map and see how obvious it is that developers run this city.
I see it when I see several sections of the same road that don't connect to each other.

Here's a few examples:
Northpointe Blvd
Gulfbank Rd.
West Rd
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Houston/The Hague
1,092 posts, read 1,109,608 times
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Excavating the reservoirs may help, but it would be involve a tremendous amount of deforestation, and may provide limited benefit if you just end up with slightly deeper reservoirs that are always full of a little bit of water (due to the shallow water table).

As was said, a bigger issue is the mismatch between the release rate capacity of the dams and the throughput of Buffalo Bayou. Really, we need a multifaceted solution, achieved with commitment and integration from the City, County, and ACOE:

-Excavate reservoirs if the water table issue isn't insurmountable.
-Add a third and possibly fourth reservoir to mitigate inflow into the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.
-Expand the capacity of Buffalo Bayou to accommodate outflows from the reservoirs. This would be the trickiest and most contentious part of any solution, since it would involve taking the property of wealthy stakeholders and worsening flooding potential in some areas for the greater good. If you look where flooding occurred along Buffalo Bayou - the damage radius was huge from Hwy 6 to Gessner - many homes that were 3-4+ blocks from the Bayou flooded badly. Flooding was much more limited to the east of Gessner, and some homes that directly back up to the Bayou didn't flood. There's a choke point east of Gessner. Terry Hershey Park isn't the problem - this section of the Bayou was straightened and widened long ago, and large swaths of undeveloped land on both sides can accommodate overflow. If the Bayou were similarly widened east of Gessner, you would've seen far less flooding from Gessner to Hwy 6. However, to accomplish this, you'd have to convince a LOT of wealthy property owners along the Bayou to sell. What's worse, eliminating the choke point could actually make flooding worse to the east of Gessner. This would be a very tough sell, politically. OTOH, many property owners near the most-natural section of the Bayou and its tributaries are fed up with its constant meandering and erosion, which are normal features of a natural waterway, but cause a problem when people build right up against the Bayou and install huge retaining walls which subsequently are undermined. Widening the Bayou and getting homes further away from it would eliminate this issue.
-Find other ways to get water out of the reservoirs. We missed a huge opportunity by not building a massive underground culvert when I-10 was widened over a decade ago. This should be revisited - it would be expensive, but a lot less so than another Harvey-like event (much less an even worse situation that would've occurred if one or both dams had failed). It's true that this culvert wouldn't help much if a large storm surge was present in Galveston Bay, but a hurricane whose "dirty side" is over the west side of Houston would likely generate the highest surge well west of the bay. Another option would be connecting the Barker reservoir to Brays Bayou and expanding the western end of Brays. This would be politically difficult for similar reasons as the Buffalo Bayou widening, but one way to sell it is that widening Brays Bayou would create more capacity and hopefully mitigate flooding in general, and that if Brays were called on to relieve the Barker reservoir, outflow could be managed so that no additional homes would be flooded (beyond any that flooded earlier during the hypothetical storm). I'm not even sure if this would be feasible, but it should be examined.
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:48 AM
 
Location: ✶✶✶✶
15,022 posts, read 27,484,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopo View Post
Agree,
I laugh every time I look at Houston map and see how obvious it is that developers run this city.
Some may be getting the idea that I got on here for the first time a few weeks ago to trash Houston. It's not like that. They'd prefer not to hear about how their lifestyle is endangering their own future and the future of the entire region. I'd prefer not to have to say it in the first place, but it's clear that the lessons of Harvey have not been taken much to heart.

Instead it's still "we have this land, so we should build and live on it." And one day, we will die on it.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Northwest Houston
5,683 posts, read 5,667,816 times
Reputation: 4589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oskar_Z28 View Post
You can build the dams higher, but that will flood more people upstream (think a bigger chunk of Katy). Right now the amount that can be released from the dam does not match what can be moved downstream, so Buffalo Bayou overflows. It overflowed during tax day flood, memorial day flood, and when dams were opened by Army Corps of Engineers. Why have a reservoir is you can't drain it without affecting people downstream. This should be addressed first. I got flooded downstream when US gov decided to flood us last summer, and I do live by Terry Hershey park (don't go there anymore though because my kids and family is traumatized by what happened). I would trade the park for LA River type of ditch any day if it means that my risk of flooding is decreased when the dams are opened.

Or build a 3rd reservoir. Where you say? West of 99 south of 290......but wait, another master planned development is going in there - Bridgeland, with a lake, and cool stuff. We can't have that cause some developer already decided that is the next area for expansion of houston.
Straightening Braes Bayou may have actually made matters worse for that part of town. When you straighten a Bayou you actually decrease the amount of water the bayou holds within its banks. The only time straightening is called for is when the waterway bends back to the downstream direction such as where the confluence of White Oak and Buffalo Bayou come together near Downtown.

Build the additional reservoirs and let the development around Katy adjust, Terry Hershey Park and a more natural looking Buffalo Bayou is way more important than new development in Katy.
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