Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Historic flooding swamps southeast Texas

My brother-in-law has family in Houston and sent me this photo of major flooding in the northwest suburbs. (Photo Steve Bussiere)
Tropical storm Harvey continues to meander just off the upper Texas coast, sending torrents of rain into metro Houston. Rainfall amounts have reached epic levels, with over 42 inches (1070 mm) at the Houston National Weather Service office since Friday night. That amount of rainfall is well over the normal annual rainfall in Montreal of 785 mm. Look around your neighbourhood and imagine the water at, and even above the roof tops. Rainfall totals will exceed the Texas state record of 48 inches by the time this storm moves away.

This event has entered a territory never seen in modern times in North America. The result of the rain has been catastrophic flooding across southeast Texas. Thousands of water rescues have taken place, and the effort is ongoing. First responders are being joined by 12,000 Texas National Guard troops, as well as numerous Federal assets. Sadly the death toll has reached 7, and is expected to climb. Tens of thousands remain trapped in their homes. Houston is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the US, home to over 4 million residents.

This morning, tropical storm Harvey is located 145 miles south southwest of Port Arthur, Texas, drifting east at 3 mph. The system continues to pump copious amounts of tropical moisture inland over southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas. Forecasters expect another 1 to 2 feet of rain over the region before Harvey finally moves off towards the northeast on Thursday.

As of Tuesday morning, numerous rivers, lakes and reservoirs are rapidly exceeding record flood stage levels with the flood emergency worsening by the hour.

Major flooding is occurring across southeast Texas from tropical storm Harvey. (KHOU)

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