05/29/15 11:30am

HOW TO SEE YOUR PHOTOS ON SWAMPLOT Railroad Bridge on I-45 North of Downtown HoustonGot some good flood pics you’d like to share with a wider audience? Or maybe some drier images of Houston street or strip-mall life that deserve to be highlighted on this site? The Swamplot Flickr pool is hungry for your photographic contributions! To join, just click the “+ Join Group” button at the top of this page. Pics that are more Houston-as-you-see-it than Chamber-of-Commerce-y are preferred. Just be sure to provide location info for each cité-vérité image you submit — or geotag them, if that’s easier. Photo of I-45: Paul via Swamplot Flickr Pool [license]

05/29/15 10:30am

MIDTOWN SUPERBLOCK IN ITS FLOODED MUDPIT PHASE So as not to sully the footwear, yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony for a park, underground parking garage, apartments, another smaller park, and a restaurant space or 2 on the Midtown Superblock was staged on a small imported pile of dry dirt next to a driveway facing Anita St., far from the giant holes filled with stormwater and mud that now take up much of the 6-acre site between Travis and Main St. south of McGowen. Here’s your aerial view of the scene. [Previously on Swamplot] Video: Adam Brackman

05/29/15 8:30am

Flooding on North Fwy. North of Downtown Houston, May 26, 2015

Photo of I-45 from North St. on Tuesday: Bill Shirley [license]

Headlines
05/28/15 4:30pm

FLOOD NIGHT AT THE EDWARDS CINEMA GREENWAY PARKING GARAGE Edwards Greenway Grand Palace 24, 3839 Weslayan St., Greenway Plaza, HoustonSUV-deprived Woodland Heights resident Mimi Swartz explains how she and her husband came to spend the very wet night of May 25th reclined in the front seats of their Honda Civic in the parking garage of the Edwards Greenway Grand Palace 24 at 3839 Weslayan St. — with a flank steak thawing in the wayback. They were on their way to a dry, refrigerator-equipped hideaway at the Hotel Derek when a stalled train and some high water blocked their tracks: “Next thought: About 0.7 miles to the south was a multiplex. We could catch a late show. Afterward, surely, the rain would have stopped and the water receded. If not, this place at least had covered parking. All during the 10:45 show of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ — four other rain-soaked refugees had had the same idea — I couldn’t help thinking that if we’d had a truck like that of Charlize Theron’s character, I’d be asleep in bed instead of wondering how someone had managed to digitize her arm out of every shot. By 12:45 a.m., the rain had not stopped. For a while, we stood in the parking garage beside the car, and I tried to snap cellphone photos of the lightning. The street below us displayed an impressive current. Finally, John and I got in the car and put the seats back as flat as they would go. Thirty years ago, this would have been exciting.” [NY Times] Photo: Cinema Treasures

05/28/15 3:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A BETTER WAY TO TELL IF YOUR HOME IS GOING TO FLOOD Flooded Home“My neighborhood flooded in Allison in 2001, and then again on Monday night. I can’t tell you how many ‘so much for the 100-year flood plain‘ comments I heard walking up and down the street. What it really means is that it is a flood (or more properly a storm, or my favorite, ‘rain event’) that has a 1% chance of happening every year. So what that really means is that if you live in the ‘100 year flood plain’ you have a 26% chance of flooding during your 30 year note. And for many of these areas the 100-year storm on which these maps are based have 100 years or less of accurate rainfall data. A better rule of thumb is to remember: (1) if you live near a bayou and it rains A LOT, you will probably flood at some point. (2) if it’s raining A LOT and the road you are on dips below the grade of the adjacent roads, it’s probably going to flood and (3) if it’s raining A LOT where you are in Houston, you can count on it flooding.” [Txcon, commenting on That Place on I-45 North of Downtown Where the Cars Always Seem To Hang Out After It Floods] Illustration: Lulu

05/28/15 2:45pm

Lawless Kitchen and Spirits, Rice Hotel, 909 Texas Ave., Downtown Houston

The bar taking over for Downtown’s shuttered State Bar and Lounge opened quietly yesterday. That’s pretty good timing for a new establishment in an older haunt that’s a flight up from street level: Lawless Kitchen and Spirits is now serving food and drink on the second floor and over-the-sidewalk perch of the Rice Lofts building, carved from the former Rice Hotel at the corner of Texas Ave. and Travis St.

Here’s the streetside balcony, a suitable platform for viewing traffic, parades, flooding, or anything else of interest —from a safe distance above ground:

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Lawless Kitchen and Spirits
05/28/15 10:00am

Proposed Site of Bingham Court, 1005 Bingham St., Houston

Proposed Bingham Court Townhomes, 1005 Bingham St., First Ward, HoustonWhat’s going on behind their backs? A closeup of the rendering for Bijan Builders’ planned Bingham Court Townhomes shows an unusual confluence of necks and freeways off to the left of the image. As a view of the site at 1005 Bingham St. (at top) confirms, the hackles of the oversized busts of George Washington, Stephen F. Austin, Abraham Lincoln, and Sam Houston that make up David Adickes’ Mount Rush Hour quartet (aka American Statesmanship Park) front I-45 and I-10 right next door to the First Ward site.

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Hackles Rising
05/28/15 8:30am

I-45 North Fwy., Houston, May 26, 2015

Photo of I-45 North on Tuesday: Marc Longoria

Headlines
05/27/15 3:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE’S HOUSTON’S REAL-TIME FLOOD MAP? Houston Water Map“Has anyone posted a map of the residential streets that flooded yesterday? I’ve seen neighborhoods mentioned wholesale, but I also understand it was hit-and-miss from street to street. Thank you!” [Heather, commenting on Houston Floods Again; Kingwood’s Rise; How the East End Got Its Rail] Illustration: Lulu

05/27/15 3:15pm

Flooded Cars on I-45 North at Patton St., Near Northside, Houston, May 26, 2015

If you’re compiling a list of best photo spots for during or after another one of Houston’s every-dozen-years-or-so never-seen-anything-like-it flooding events, you’ll probably want to make room on it for the stretch of I-45 North between the N. Main St. and Patton St. exits. Back in 2001, images of cars and trucks floating along an insta-lake in this same spot made national news. And yesterday, pix of the automotive flotilla pictured above found their way to Facebook feeds and front pages around the globe.

But the low spot just north of Downtown wedged between Brooke Smith and the Near Northside was also a tough place to be when the water started rising, reports the Chronicle‘s Dane Schiller. Drivers found an early morning traffic jam in the rain changed nature quickly: “A surge was coming at them, squeezed by high barrier walls into the confines of the interstate. In less than 15 minutes, there was nothing to do but abandon ship.

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05/27/15 11:15am

Flooding at AMLI 2121 Apartments, 2121 Allen Pkwy., North Montrose, Houston

Flooding at AMLI 2121 Apartments, 2121 Allen Pkwy., North Montrose, HoustonA resident of the bayou-side North Montrose apartments at 2121 Allen Pkwy. now known as AMLI 2121 (and formerly as the Bel Air; see the pictured monument sign) has cataloged a few of the nicer cars that were likely totaled yesterday as they took on water in the lower level of the garage of the complex. Included: a Lexus IS250, a Nissan 370z, and an Audi A4.

The pop-up lake that appeared on Allen Parkway and the adjacent Buffalo Bayou Park has already subsided considerably, though underpasses are still filled with water. Liquid levels lowered in the garage too, which sits underneath the apartment structure, just east of Montrose Blvd.

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Wet Spaces