COMMENT OF THE DAY: I-10 AND BUNKER HILL PAVING REPORT “. . . as someone who lives on Westview and who has lived in the area mentioned (or near it) for 15 years… let me tell you what was paved over. -Ditches on either side of Bunker Hill between Longpoint and Katy freeway. -Old Katy road, which had grass on both sides and a ditch. -A little shop (maybe a car dealership I dont remember) that was on an island between both sides of bunker hill, dirt and green was taken from there -the already mentioned quarry which was NOT all pavement. I went there often and it was very much dirt. Cars would get stuck there when it rained. -The daniel area that was also not all paved where those new apartments are (where there is standing water when it DOESNT rain due to poor drainage). This is not a flooding that hasnt happened in 20 years, the houses here are much older than 20 years… these houses are 50+ years old and it has NEVER happened.” [Alma, commenting on The Detention Battle of Bunker Hill: Flooding Above the New Katy Freeway]
When a year is put to a rain event, it by no means how often it occurs.
For example, a 100-year event does not happen every 100-years. A 100-year event means that in ANY GIVEN YEAR there is a 1% chance it could happen. It is possible we could have a 100-year event three years in a row.
This why the hydrology community is moving away from using the antiquated year based terminology for storm intensity. Now we use:
500-Year = 0.2% Chance Storm Event
100-Year = 1% Chance Storm Event
50-year = 2% Chance Storm Event
10-Year = 10% Chance Storm Event
Or, to put it another way, if there’s a 1% chance that a storm of that magnitude will occur in a given year, there’s a 99% chance that it will not occur. Also a 99% chance that it will not occur next year, etc. Which means there’s a better than 50% chance that a “100 year flood event” will occur sometime in the next 69 years. (log .5 / log .99 is approx. 69; 0.99 raised to the 69th power is just under 0.5)
500-Year = 0.2% Chance Storm Event = 50% probability within 346 years
100-Year = 1% Chance Storm Event = 50% probability within 69 years
50-year = 2% Chance Storm Event = 50% probability within 34 years
10-Year = 10% Chance Storm Event = 50% probability within 7 years
kjb434 – So you’re saying there’s a chance, albeit a .0001% chance.
Given that weather science is still in its infancy, posting “chances” of any kind of weather event seems full of hubris to me.
The weather discussion from the Nat’l Weather Service at 9:30 pm Monday April 27th basically said “looks like everything’s quieted down now & no more showers expected for several days”. I’ve been wondering if that guy got fired, cause within 4 hours all hell was breaking loose here.
I’ve lived just off I=10 & Bunker Hill for over 40 years & NEVER seen anything like this, even in 1992. Between the Katy expansion, Memorial City & the HEB complexes (& what’s going to happen to the retail strip below I-10?) Bunker Hill will be a disaster area every time we get a bad rain. It’s flooding below I-10 too, just not quite as bad yet.
“Given that weather science is still in its infancy, posting “chances” of any kind of weather event seems full of hubris to me.”
The chance storms discussed above are essentially design storms utilized for modeling purposes. When an actual rain even can be closely compared to a design storm, then the correlation is typically made.
The design storm is what is utilized for drainage infrastructure design and watershed analysis.
Plenty of people that didn’t expect it had their houses flooded. I lost two cars in my garage. There was no new construction around my house. Quit trying to blame other people for your problems and get some flood insurance.
jgriff is right.
We live in Houston. Very few if any homes are really safe from flooding (even pier and beam homes) from some of the rains we can get.
Houston and to the east along the Gulf Coast and the southern tip of Florida get the heavy potential volume of rain of any location in the US. Outside of the West Palm Beach to Miami corridor, we are the only large metro in the that experiences this potential volume of rain. The Florida coast doesn’t get the flooding we get because they are even flatter then us and have canals that are attached to the ocean. Any volume of rain can be absorbed by that.
Houston (to many people’s dismay) actually has a lot of topo but not enough to move water quickly. away to Galveston Bay and the Gulf. We have to utilized existing channels, detention, and the two reservoirs (which performed beautifully in this last storm) to move our rain water.
About new development flooding older neighborhoods. Don’t blame the developer. Blame the mayor and city council members. The issue with drainage is that it is not a sexy political topic until parts of the city flood. Then within a month or two it is not longer a sexy political topic again. Within the city limits of Houston, if new development get built where existing develop once occupied, then detention storage will not likely get build. The conditions of the site are really changing. Most home sites that get a small home removed and a new larger home put in its place are exempt from detention. If we want to change that, it’s in the political process. There just isn’t a critical mass of support for changes.