cloudyn.png
Thursday May 23rd, 2019 4:56AM

Houston streets fill up with water; kids stranded at schools

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HOUSTON (AP) — It was a scene that has repeated itself countless times in the Houston area: heavy rainfall made area roadways impassable and flooded homes, schools and businesses.

On Wednesday, the Houston area was drying out after severe thunderstorms a day earlier caused flash flooding , inundating streets and stranding students at some schools. A break in the weather was expected to be short-lived as more rainfall was predicted over the next few days.

The rainfall was nowhere near what the area experienced during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, which flooded more than 150,000 homes in the Houston area and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage in Texas. But it represents what is becoming the new normal for Houston and surrounding communities, according to a local expert on flooding.

"We're going to have to learn to live with flooding in Houston and we haven't quite accepted that reality yet," said Jim Blackburn, co-director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters Center at Rice University in Houston.

There are various reasons why Houston repeatedly floods: The city barely rises above sea level; it has insufficient infrastructure, including drainage; and it's experienced rapid development over the years that has drastically reduced wetlands that could soak up stormwater runoff.

Students in the school districts in Cleveland and New Caney, northeast of Houston, were forced to spend at least part of Tuesday night at their campuses after flooded roads prevented buses from leaving and parents from reaching their children. About 60 students at an elementary school in Cleveland spent the night there.

In Kingwood, a suburb north of Houston, almost 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain fell, causing almost every street there to be under water for several hours, said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

"We're going to be in an unsettled weather pattern between now into Saturday and Sunday. We are watching the situation very, very carefully," Turner said.

Neighboring Fort Bend County issued a disaster declaration after receiving up to 11 inches (28 centimeters) of rain, said County Judge KP George, the county's top administrator.

In Sugar Land, a Houston suburb in Fort Bend County, up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain fell, flooding all major roadways and resulting in more than 100 abandoned vehicles, said city spokesman Doug Adolph. Most of the street flooding had cleared on Wednesday.

"It was pretty bad. It was raining nonstop, thunder and lightning and people were stuck on the side of the road. So, it wasn't fun. I swam home last night," said Matthew Graver, who lives in Richmond in Fort Bend County.

Blackburn said the rain overwhelmed local drainage systems, many of which need major improvements.

Houston's storm drain and pipe system is minimal compared with that of other cities and at most can take 1 1/2 inches (3.8 centimeters) of rain. Houston's streets serve as secondary drainage systems, and most will fill with water during intense rainfall, Blackburn said.

He also said some storms hitting the area are becoming "more and more severe and they tend to linger over multiple days and that's becoming a scary pattern and perhaps is related to our changing climate."

Scientists say climate change is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather such as storms, droughts, floods and fires, but without extensive study they cannot directly link a single weather event to the changing climate.

After Harvey, Houston-area voters approved a $2.5 billion bond program for a variety of flood control projects, more than 130 of which are already under construction.

"We need to spend the bond money and get those improvements made," Blackburn said.

___

Associated Press journalists John L. Mone in Richmond, Texas, and David Warren in Dallas contributed to this report.

___

Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Houston streets fill up with water; kids stranded at schools
The Houston area is drying out of severe thunderstorms caused flash flooding, inundating streets and stranding children at schools
5:01PM ( 3 minutes ago )
South Africa votes with corruption, jobs as big issues
South Africans are voting in presidential and parliamentary elections, with signs of a relatively low turnout amid some saying they are disillusioned by widespread corruption and unemployment
4:59PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Friend: High school senior freed from immigration lockup
The family a Tucson high school football player has lived with for years says he is free after being detained by immigration officials
4:56PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump to view hurricane damage, rally supporters in Florida
President Donald Trump is set to view recovery efforts in the Florida Panhandle following last year's Hurricane Michael ahead of an evening rally in Panama City Beach
4:36PM ( 27 minutes ago )
The Latest: School shooting suspect Devon Erickson
Charter school shooting suspect Devon Erickson is making his first court appearance, bowing his head during much of the proceedings with his dark hair streaked with purple covering his eyes
4:32PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Eickhoff allows 3 hits in 8 innings, Phillies blank Cards
Jerad Eickhoff allowed three hits in eight innings, César Hernández homered and drove in three runs and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0
4:14PM ( 50 minutes ago )
AP Sports
Nadal overcomes stomach virus to advance in Madrid Open
Rafael Nadal has reached the third round of the Madrid Open with a two-set win over Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime
2:58PM ( 2 hours ago )
Officer who killed teen was 'ticking time bomb,' lawyers say
Relatives of a Connecticut man killed by a police officer last month are calling for the officer to be arrested and say he was a "ticking time bomb"
2:40PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Marines say young recruit stopped school shooter
The U.S. Marine Corps says a student who helped subdue one of the Colorado school shooters is Brendan Bialy, a member of the Marines' Delayed Entry Program
2:15PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
R. Kelly judgment withdrawn after lawyers say he can't read
A lawyer for R. Kelly told a judge that the R&B singer didn't respond to a lawsuit brought by one of four women he's charged with sexually abusing because Kelly is illiterate and couldn't read the court documents
4:39PM ( 24 minutes ago )
The Latest: House panel votes to hold AG Barr in contempt
The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress
4:32PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Midwest downpours prompt more evacuations, flash flood fears
Rain swamping the nation's midsection is forcing people from their homes in Kansas and straining levees along the surging Mississippi River in Illinois, Missouri and elsewhere, prompting yet more flash flood concerns
4:28PM ( 35 minutes ago )
AP National News
AP Top 25 Podcast: New coaches most likely to succeed
There are 27 head coaches starting new jobs in major college football this season
10:59AM ( 6 hours ago )
Clemson, hoops assistant parts ways amid corruption trial
Clemson has parted ways with longtime assistant men's basketball coach Steve Smith, whose voice was on a federal wiretap played at the ongoing college corruption trial
9:22PM ( 4 days ago )
Clemson let's go hoops assistant coach amid corruption trial
Clemson has parted ways with longtime assistant men's basketball coach Steve Smith, whose voice was on a federal wiretap played at the ongoing college corruption trial
4:30PM ( 5 days ago )
College Sports
Ex-UConn basketball coach Kevin Ollie sues former assistant
Ex-UConn basketball coach Kevin Ollie sues former assistant, citing slander in NCAA comments
2:01PM ( 1 week ago )
Big payday for Beard after Texas Tech's run to title game
Texas Tech's Beard signs new contract with an average salary of $4.575 million through 2024-25 after run to title game
2:04PM ( 1 week ago )
College hoops champs Virginia won't be visiting White House
The Virginia Cavaliers, winners of this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament, say they won't be going to the White House to celebrate with President Donald Trump
7:53PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Friend: High school senior freed from immigration lockup
The family a Tucson high school football player has lived with for years says he is free after being detained by immigration officials
4:56PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Red wave sweeps Oregon as teachers walk out for more funding
Tens of thousands of teachers across Oregon have walked off the job to demand more money for schools
4:55PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Night deportations from Hungary crush Afghan families' hopes
U.N. Refugee Agency condemns Hungary's nighttime deportations of Afghan families as 'flagrant violation of international and EU law"
4:53PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Pence pinch-hit slam, Rangers rally past Pirates 9-6
Hunter Pence connected for a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning and Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth as the Texas Rangers rallied past the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-6
4:45PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Russell recalled from minors, rejoins Cubs after suspension
Shortstop Addison Russell is rejoining the Chicago Cubs after completing a 40-game suspension for violating MLB domestic violence policy
4:41PM ( 22 minutes ago )