COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: ABANDONED NEIGHBORHOODS MAKE GREAT DETENTION PONDS “I grew up off Fairbanks/West Little York area. TS Allison was the third time Creekside Estates and Woodland Trails West II had flooded which meant those homes wouldn’t be insured for future floods. Both of those neighborhoods are almost completely gone now, mainly just streets people use to cut through. Even with all the new construction/neighborhoods built near Breen Rd, nothing around has flooded since. The south side of WTW where Gulf Bank runs through flooded twice in late ’90s, along with Philippine St. in Jersey Village. Neither of those areas have had a third flood event; not Ike, Memorial Day flood, Tax Day flood or Harvey could flood them. A huge reason why has got to be because old Creekside Estates and WTW II hold so much of the water that would’ve flooded them out that costly third time years ago. Sometimes you have to cut loose some fat for the overall good and I know it sounds heartless but I’ve seen it work. These very flood prone neighborhoods just have to be made into retention areas because it works.” [mas, commenting on How About We Don’t Sell People Homes in Areas That Keep Flooding, and Other Crazy Ideas for Houstonians To Discuss Amongst Themselves] Illustration: Lulu
The various flood events locally have left more than debris and destruction behind, they’ve left data, which can be assembled, bought, sold and used by those who are interested. Let those who buy in previously flooding areas beware and be responsible for their own decisions while at the same time our flood agencies are continuing to improve things.
And it’s another chance to pat the old timers on the back who built houses on blocks in areas that were known to drain well. The nabe where I live was part of one landowner’s 190+ acres assembled in the 1870s-90s in what used to be Harrisburg and then houses were built in the 20s-40s and we have never had flood problems. Houses built from the 50s on were sometimes built on the soggy, low-lying leftovers located in vast periodic mud puddles better suited for large crawdad and croaker populations.
I grew up in Bellaire & Meyeraland(1950’s-1970’s). I say have the Feds come in and buy ALL 1600 homes in Meyerland and make it a huge retention pond. Which would function as a lake/park during non-rainy periods. And use imminent domain powers if need be. Cause the flooding is getting worse and we can’t build our way out of this mess. Bring in Dutch engineers and technology. The Netherlands has got it down pat. They’re reclaimed some land from the North Sea. But I can hear the cheap ass /tightwads that will not want to pay for it. Either pay now while it’s cheaper or later when the costs go HIGHER..
I say start building structures with a smaller foot print ( smaller concrete foundations) on at least 10 foot high RE-ENFORCED steel and concrete piers and have no living space on the ground.Because by the time the fricking developers gut any meaningful updated codes/regulations they will be MORE severe flood events.. And in the mean time elevate new lots 3-4 feet higher than the present grade and build the new construction on pier & beams. I’ve seen several new construction homes in Memorial built this way. Of course they’re million dollar + homes,but instead of building homes with sprawling foot prints which cover previously drain-able lawns/lots !!!
The Netherlands build to 1000 year storm standards. Do you want to pay taxes for that?
It’s a quality of life question really:
do you want to always have a little less money in your pocket, but a home that never floods?
do you want to have more money in your pocket, but a home that can flood easily?
I know my facebook told me last night that the answer to the question is, more money in your pocket. This is judging from the number of people complaining about the tax that our Mayor recently proposed.
People in Houston need to talk with people in other parts of the country to be able to understand the need for funding massive improvements in our flood control infrastructure. I had friends and family from LA to Philly telling me to get out of the city and come stay with them as soon as it was possible to travel out of the city. My sister even offered to drive her minivan over 1,200 miles to come rescue me. I still have family asking me whether they should cancel plans to visit over Thanksgiving for fear that hotels will be full and no rental cars are available.
It is easy to get all worked up about taxes when you did not get flooded and go into the usual red state “don’t tax me, tax that guy behind the tree” mode. But much more is at stake for Houston than whether parts of the city keep flooding. We run the risk of being seen as a city that is not worth the risk for existing and prospective businesses. People in Houston are getting used to these flood events and are not pressed into action by aerial footage on CNN showing Buffalo Bayou turning into a raging torrent. But everywhere else in the US, people see that and are completely freaked out by it. If we continue with applying band aids and do not make any big dramatic moves to improve our flood control infrastructure, we will not only be risking future catastrophic flooding but will also be risking losing current and future business to cities that are on higher ground away from the path of hurricanes and tropical storms.
What @Old School said all the way.