Hurricane Harvey

Dr Zaius

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Fast moving clouds coming in, but no rain or wind so far.
 

Mister T

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This concept of "voluntary evacuation", i don't get it. It may be used by many people to stay in harm's way for many reasons. And they may regret it.
 

Dr Zaius

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I'm on the north side of Houston. Houston is the nation's 4th largest city, so officials here are asking people to evacuate from some areas but to remain in others. During hurricane Ike, Houston lost 25+ people in the madness of the evacuation, but no one to the actual storm. They don't want to repeat that.

It's been raining very heavy for hours now with just some light gusts of wind so far. It is pretty flat here, which is a concern, but we live on some of the highest ground around.

The most concerning thing is that there are man-made ponds scattered around this part of Houston, as well as a small river. That river often gets pretty flooded and I'm glad we're not any closer. Later on I'm going to take the Land Rover out and check the nearest man-made lake to see where the water is at.

The new house I just bought is only about 150 meters from one of the small lakes. I was planning to move in this weekend, but that ain't going to happen...

So far electricity is holding steady.
 

bendizoid

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Wow, how can 25+ people die in an evacuation ? Maybe it's sick/older people being stressed out. I guess your damned if you stay and damned if you leave.
 

Dr Zaius

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Wow, how can 25+ people die in an evacuation ? Maybe it's sick/older people being stressed out. I guess your damned if you stay and damned if you leave.
The tried to evacuate large portions of Houston, which is millions of people. The highways were all jammed and the gas stations ran out of fuel, causing a major traffic jam and trapping hundreds of thousands on the roads as the storm began to hit. Then this happened.
 

Dr Zaius

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Heavy, heavy rain for the last 12 hours or so, and it looks like it's going to continue for a few days.

The San Jacinto River is flooded and they're opening the dam at Lake Conroe to keep it from flooding. Those are both contributing to the flooding at Spring Creek.

As of now, officials are telling us to stay where we are and ride it out. If the San Jacinto and Spring Creek go over the bridge, that mostly cuts off the escape route for north Houston.

I'm going to go scout out the bridges in a bit to see what's what.

Wish I had a drone with a camera on it. That could have come in handy.
 

Dr Zaius

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Never seen rain like this before. It's been pouring nonstop for more than 24 hours and it doesn't look like it going to let up any time soon.

It flooded both north and south of us and many roads and bridges are impassable or shut down.

All we can do is wait it out now.
 

Dr Zaius

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Finally, the power is back on. It's been on and off for the last three days, but I'm hopeful it will stay on this time. Even the cell towers have been down, so no phone and no Internet.

I thought we would be safe here, and we were. But it ended up being a near-run thing.

Both the local rivers flooded, and we sit on the high ground in-between them. The water went from about 5 feet deep to 60 feet or so and both bridges north were closed. We couldn't (and still can't) go south as there's widespread flooding the further south into Houston you go. It's a real mess there.

So we've been sort of trapped on an island with rising waters all around us. The National Guard got a couple of HMMWV's across and set up a checkpoint. I went down and talked with them and some guys from the Cajun navy showed up with a boat so they could take medicine to an older gentlemen who was cutoff on an adjacent street. I got my Land Rover through about two feet of water, but it rapidly got a lot deeper and that's as far as I was willing to go.

The water got up to within 150 feet of the house, but as the rains finally subsided the water backed off. The sun is out now and both rivers are down at least 15 feet from where they were, so the bridges are again passable. If those waters had continued to rise, we would have had no choice but to retreat to the second floor as all the escape routes were impassable and officials didn't want anyone trying to leave.

Some wind kicked up last night and I was beginning to fear we were in for it again, but it passed by without incident and everything looks much, much more positive in the daylight. It's funny how quickly the gloom and dark of a big storm combined with relentless rain and wind can make the world seem like a very harsh and almost surreal place. I witnessed some obnoxious behavior at a local store when everyone was scrambling to stock up on supplies right before the storm got here, but for the most part people are lending a hand and coming together to get the city back on its feet as quickly as possible.

It's a good thing, too, as I've been reduced to sipping single malt whiskey with no ice.
 
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