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Old 07-05-2018, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Greater Houston
4,514 posts, read 8,599,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedimenjerry View Post
That's not what I said. They're similar in that you can go years without being involved in one but as soon as one happens, it can be major or even life changing and it can all happen without much warning. Your chance of being in a tornado is much slimmer yes.
Also tornados and hurricanes are similar in that they are cyclones with a well-defined center. Only problem is that hurricanes are not as intense the further from the eye you are. Tornadoes are pretty much all eye, so when one hits, it's intense, unexpected, and the path is unpredictable.

We don't know much about why tornadoes form where they hit or what causes them to take a certain path because gathering data is very dangerous.

Around the region 5 years ago, a group of storm chasers died outside of Oklahoma City when a tornado unexpectedly crossed them.
https://youtu.be/5H0NEliGFoc

This same storm system injured other chasers due to its unpredictability, famously including Weather Channel Metrologist Mike Bettes.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:50 AM
 
1,865 posts, read 997,841 times
Reputation: 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by As Above So Below... View Post
Let me help you out here. People who who say the cities are completely different are usually:

1) Houston people who have delusions about how important and grand their city is and think Dallas could not possibly compete on any level.
2) Dallas snobs who think their city is just so much nicer and luxurious to the point that Houston is a mosquito infested hell hole to them.
3) People from other parts of the state that love one city and hate the other.

Whereas people who see more similarities than differences have usually:

1) Lived in both.
2) Are not from Texas.
This sums it up. End of thread.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:13 PM
 
12,202 posts, read 17,569,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmonkey View Post
Eh, it's not so cut and dried as that. I remember the Fort Worth F3 tornado in 2000 that caused widespread damage in downtown Fort Worth, and it was part of a pretty widespread storm system that caused a lot of damage in a lot of other communities in North Texas. And while hurricanes are always widespread in their reach, their damage isn't quite as ubiquitous as you make it sound. The same areas tend to get hammered by hurricanes (and by regular flooding too), so if you avoid living in the coastal areas, such as most of Galveston County, and the pie wedge south of BW8 roughly between I-10 east and I-45 South, and avoid living right along the bayous or in low-lying areas, you significantly reduce your chances of ever experiencing hurricane damage or flooding. Unfortunately, a lot of developers have been greedy, and a lot of people have been stupid, and built and bought in areas there never should have been houses. And a lot of people are stupid and never buy flood insurance, even though its really cheap. I'm an environmental scientist and have done my share of stormwater permits, so I'm probably a little more aware than most, so when was buying my house I looked at the topos before considering any houses, but even if you don't know how to read a 7.5 quad, a little common sense can help you select a house out of harms way. And by the time you're looking at houses in North Harris County, even hurricane wind speeds have lessened by the time a storm gets to you. My parents have lived up there since 1971, and neither of their houses has gotten so much as a broken window or a fraction of an inch of water through Alicia, Allison, Ike, or Harvey. By picking where you live and by watching the weather so you can get out of dodge if you don't want to ride one out, you can keep yourself pretty darn safe from hurricanes down here, but tornados up there, none of that helps. If one decides to hit your house, Dorothy, you're screwed.
This post is so logical.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:19 PM
 
107 posts, read 85,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmonkey View Post
Eh, it's not so cut and dried as that. I remember the Fort Worth F3 tornado in 2000 that caused widespread damage in downtown Fort Worth, and it was part of a pretty widespread storm system that caused a lot of damage in a lot of other communities in North Texas. And while hurricanes are always widespread in their reach, their damage isn't quite as ubiquitous as you make it sound. The same areas tend to get hammered by hurricanes (and by regular flooding too), so if you avoid living in the coastal areas, such as most of Galveston County, and the pie wedge south of BW8 roughly between I-10 east and I-45 South, and avoid living right along the bayous or in low-lying areas, you significantly reduce your chances of ever experiencing hurricane damage or flooding. Unfortunately, a lot of developers have been greedy, and a lot of people have been stupid, and built and bought in areas there never should have been houses. And a lot of people are stupid and never buy flood insurance, even though its really cheap. I'm an environmental scientist and have done my share of stormwater permits, so I'm probably a little more aware than most, so when was buying my house I looked at the topos before considering any houses, but even if you don't know how to read a 7.5 quad, a little common sense can help you select a house out of harms way. And by the time you're looking at houses in North Harris County, even hurricane wind speeds have lessened by the time a storm gets to you. My parents have lived up there since 1971, and neither of their houses has gotten so much as a broken window or a fraction of an inch of water through Alicia, Allison, Ike, or Harvey. By picking where you live and by watching the weather so you can get out of dodge if you don't want to ride one out, you can keep yourself pretty darn safe from hurricanes down here, but tornados up there, none of that helps. If one decides to hit your house, Dorothy, you're screwed.
Exactly. Great point and observation.
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
5,270 posts, read 7,201,228 times
Reputation: 2039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmonkey View Post
Eh, it's not so cut and dried as that. I remember the Fort Worth F3 tornado in 2000 that caused widespread damage in downtown Fort Worth, and it was part of a pretty widespread storm system that caused a lot of damage in a lot of other communities in North Texas. And while hurricanes are always widespread in their reach, their damage isn't quite as ubiquitous as you make it sound. The same areas tend to get hammered by hurricanes (and by regular flooding too), so if you avoid living in the coastal areas, such as most of Galveston County, and the pie wedge south of BW8 roughly between I-10 east and I-45 South, and avoid living right along the bayous or in low-lying areas, you significantly reduce your chances of ever experiencing hurricane damage or flooding. Unfortunately, a lot of developers have been greedy, and a lot of people have been stupid, and built and bought in areas there never should have been houses. And a lot of people are stupid and never buy flood insurance, even though its really cheap. I'm an environmental scientist and have done my share of stormwater permits, so I'm probably a little more aware than most, so when was buying my house I looked at the topos before considering any houses, but even if you don't know how to read a 7.5 quad, a little common sense can help you select a house out of harms way. And by the time you're looking at houses in North Harris County, even hurricane wind speeds have lessened by the time a storm gets to you. My parents have lived up there since 1971, and neither of their houses has gotten so much as a broken window or a fraction of an inch of water through Alicia, Allison, Ike, or Harvey. By picking where you live and by watching the weather so you can get out of dodge if you don't want to ride one out, you can keep yourself pretty darn safe from hurricanes down here, but tornados up there, none of that helps. If one decides to hit your house, Dorothy, you're screwed.
But let’s be honest, a lot of that has to do with the lack of zoning laws that restrict developers from building subdivisions in flood prone areas. A lot of people that drive up from Houston into Dallas, wonder why there isn’t significant development along I-45. The vast majority of the area is located in the Trinity River floodplain. Much of I-45 turns into a long elevated bridge when heading towards Downtown. Our zoning laws would not allow anything to be built within the floodplain. Houston’s lack of zoning has contributed to the flooding issue.

Edit: the only thing that’s built in the floodplain is the water treatment plant and that’s protect by levees.

Here’s the area on google maps https://goo.gl/maps/oTCD1W7QKHz

Last edited by Dallaz; 07-05-2018 at 01:46 PM..
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Old 07-05-2018, 03:38 PM
 
257 posts, read 93,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallaz View Post
But let’s be honest, a lot of that has to do with the lack of zoning laws that restrict developers from building subdivisions in flood prone areas. A lot of people that drive up from Houston into Dallas, wonder why there isn’t significant development along I-45. The vast majority of the area is located in the Trinity River floodplain. Much of I-45 turns into a long elevated bridge when heading towards Downtown. Our zoning laws would not allow anything to be built within the floodplain. Houston’s lack of zoning has contributed to the flooding issue.

Edit: the only thing that’s built in the floodplain is the water treatment plant and that’s protect by levees.

Here’s the area on google maps https://goo.gl/maps/oTCD1W7QKHz

Sorry, but no, you're wrong, zoning or the lack thereof in Houston really doesn't have much at all to do with flooding in Houston, despite what you and many people have been misled into believing, and the catastrophic flooding during Harvey would have still happened if we had a city with strong zoning. Zoning dictates what kind of buildings can be built and what kind of activities can occur on a specific parcel of land, not whether or not you can build on a particular parcel of land for flood control reasons. At the time major Sunbelt cities were seeing explosive postwar growth, zoning was not seen as a method to deal with flood control, and even if they had been, our understanding of flood control was so rudimentary back then that such zoning wouldn't have done any good, would likely have made things worse. An example of mid-century flood control techniques is the channelization of streams, straightening them out and lining them with impermeable concrete walls and banks, which we now know is the exact wrong thing to do. Most jurisdictions plan for and manage floods not through zoning, but through flood control districts and floodplain management programs. Harris County has had the former since 1937, and Houston has had the latter since at least the 50s. Houstons floodplain management program requires permits for any construction within the 100 year floodplain, but doesn't govern the 500 year floodplain, which is a problem, but Dallas doesn't govern building in the 500 year floodplain either.

Also, Houston's current city limits are largely a result of annexation of formerly unincorporated areas during the late 20th Century. Houston would annex an area once it had become developed enough to provide a large taxbase, thus the actual land use patterns in an annexed area were already largely fixed BEFORE Houston annexed it, so it would have ALREADY developed BEFORE it came under jurisdiction of City of Houston.

Another reason even strict zoning with flood control in mind in Houston wouldn't prevent flooding in Houston (and thus another reason lack of zoning has little to do with Houston's flood problem) is because zoning is only enforceable within Houston city limits.The city of Houston can't control what developers do in Katy, etc., it's outside their jurisdiction (and guess what, the City of Katy proper is zoned!). But the watersheds Houston is in encompass areas much larger than Houston, and even extend outside Harris County. A lot of the water that floods Houston is sheeting off the land in unincorporated Harris County, in Montgomery County, Waller County, Liberty County, and into waterways that flow into Houston.

And while Houston doesn't officially have "zoning", it has other laws that constitute zoning by another name: laws that say how much land is required to build a house; local covenants that determine building size and use; regulations that require new houses, offices, or restaurants to provide a certain amount of parking spaces; and rules that dictate how close new buildings may be to the street. The land-use regulations that Houston does have actually encourage the greenfield-eating development that characterizes the city’s exurbs. That is what zoning looks like. The most anomalous land-use law in Houston might be the one enacted just before the millennium that shrank the minimum lot size to 1,400 square feet for areas inside the Interstate 610 loop. That change led to a spurt of townhouse development and urban density. Neighborhoods intent on combatting that densification have since enacted their own little requirements prohibiting subdivided lots.



And the land around the Trinity River just south of downtown Dallas was not prevented from being built due to City of Dallas zoning ordinances, but because that land was bought up by the government starting first in the late 19th century when they had the unfeasible idea to make the Trinity a navigable waterway for commerce and started building locks, and later in the 30s when they started building levees for flood control. Land was also bought up in the Houston area in the 30s for this reason, which is why we have Barker and Addicks Resevoirs, those huge areas of undeveloped land around I-10 and Hwy 6. Not so different from the undeveloped areas along the Trinity south of Dallas, and again, zoning had nothing to do either one.






I don't say this out of any anti-zoning bias, in fact, I favor zoning and better urban planning than Houston has ever had, I just feel compelled to correct inaccurate information when I see it. Zoning is great, but it does not affect whether a city will have a flooding or not. Greedy irresponsible development has and continues to play a large role in Houston's flooding problem, but since most of that development took place in areas before they were annexed/takes place in areas that have not been annexed, zoning wouldn't have helped.

Last edited by Reefmonkey; 07-05-2018 at 04:06 PM..
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Old 07-05-2018, 04:13 PM
 
Location: "The Dirty Irv" Irving, TX
1,853 posts, read 815,960 times
Reputation: 2283
I don't deny the real danger of tornadoes if you happen to be unfortunate enough to get hit by one. I have a great uncle who was killed in one.

What I am saying is in Dallas they are rare enough to the point that they statistically should have no effect on living there. For example Delta Air Lines Flight 191 which crashed at DFW and killed 137 people in 1985 has, as far as I can tell, killed more people than tornadoes have in Dallas Country in all of recorded history.

While certainly less likely, Houston also can and does get occasional tornadoes. In either city, if one landed in the wrong place it could kill thousands of people, but that hasn't happened yet.

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-t...on-1818187.php

Lots of cities have similar or higher tornado risk than Dallas.
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Old 07-05-2018, 04:56 PM
 
1,184 posts, read 1,070,952 times
Reputation: 1764
I'm not sure if the lack of zoning has contributed to Houston's recent flooding, but I'm very sure that our lack of regulation has contributed to it. Yes, the historic rainfall with Harvey would have brought flooding. It is a false narrative to say that Houston flooded because of bad zoning or because of lack of regulation. BUT, it is equally false to pretend that our lack of regulation didn't make it worse. Our lack of regulation DID make it worse. Houston has always been a city more concerned with short-term gain than with long -term vision and we paid the price for that with each major flood of the last four years; yes, the floods would have come anyway, but our shortsighted regulatory strategies have made every flood worse.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:05 PM
Status: "Impeach "The Bareback Don"" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Katy,TX.
3,467 posts, read 6,814,869 times
Reputation: 3183
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerbear30 View Post
I'm not sure if the lack of zoning has contributed to Houston's recent flooding, but I'm very sure that our lack of regulation has contributed to it. Yes, the historic rainfall with Harvey would have brought flooding. It is a false narrative to say that Houston flooded because of bad zoning or because of lack of regulation. BUT, it is equally false to pretend that our lack of regulation didn't make it worse. Our lack of regulation DID make it worse. Houston has always been a city more concerned with short-term gain than with long -term vision and we paid the price for that with each major flood of the last four years; yes, the floods would have come anyway, but our shortsighted regulatory strategies have made every flood worse.
Agree
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:15 PM
 
257 posts, read 93,213 times
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It’s not like, though, that Houston’s regulatory environment has been particularly bad and Dallas’s has been better, or Texas’s has been bad but lots of states have done it right. US regulation of urban development has been particularly bad, with a very few exceptions. Houston is just experiencing some of the worst of it, floodwise, because we are a flat low lying costal city, like Miami, Mew Orleans, and other cities facing similar problems, now that climate change fueled sea rise has reached the point it has. The Allen Brothers really could’nt have picked a worse spot for what would become a majors metropolitan area- a flat, low lying swampy confluence of several small to medium sized rivers smack in the northwest bend of the Gulf coast where hurricanes would be steered into it with regularity.
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