Areal flood warnings have been issued for the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs. Maps below show potential inundation areas for pool elevations pic.twitter.com/vhFAr8Owz4
NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) August 28, 2017
I knew better than to go back for a second look:
The first mandatory evacuations of the Houston area were ordered early Monday morning, four days after it was first clear Hurricane Harvey would drown America’s fourth-largest city.
What is now Tropical Storm Harvey dropped more than two feet of rain on Houston in 24 hours before a brief pause Sunday. The storm is expected to move back into the Gulf of Mexico, recharge, and dump more rain onto Houston by Wednesday. Fifty inches of rain are expected in some areas by the end of the week.
Already the storm has killed six people, rendered thousands homeless, and trapped 7 million people, one-quarter of Texas’ population, in a federally designated disaster area.
Officials in Harris and Fort Bend counties told some residents Monday morning to leave ahead of imminent flooding. The Brazos River southwest of Houston is expected to swell to 60 feet and overtop levees. There are fears the levees may fail, in a repeat of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Meanwhile, people living downstream from reservoirs designed to protect downtown Houston from flooding have been told to prepare for the controlled release of water by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to relieve pressure on dams.
When the storm previously known as Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday, it was the strongest storm to batter the U.S. coast in 13 years and the worst to hit Texas since 1961.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Houston residents that even in the absence of an official evacuation order, “you need to strongly consider evacuating.”
But there was immediate pushback from Houston officials, who said they knew better.
They know better now, too. They're on the ground here, assholes, and answerable to the people. Where the fuck are you, and who do you answer to?
These evacuations are specific, for areas that will be affected by releases of water from the Addicks Reservoir, which is a good 10 miles west of me (and I'm 20 miles west of downtown Houston). I mention the geography because this release will flow into Buffalo Bayou which flows into downtown Houston. I know people in neighborhoods being affected by this release right now.
The evacuation is calculated and careful. If they don't release this water, the dams overtop or worse, burst, and create whole new problems of flooding. An evacuation of the city, as Gov. Abbot once suggested (he's since soft-pedaled that advice) would have put millions onto roads as they flooded out. But ever anxious to justify itself and click-bait a story, The Daily Beast once again crows they were right and the people in Houston were wrong.