Tackling the Barker and Addicks Lawsuits; Dennis Quaid Back in Bellaire; Tracking Harvey Dollars

Photo of Crawford Boxes during game 2: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool


5 Comment

  • Re: Spaghetti Warehouse

    “But the building is also known for being one of the most haunted spots in Texas, with ghosts “living” on the second floor.” …. and now we know why

  • Re: What Houston Can Learn from The Woodlands, Springwoods Village, and Cross Creek Ranch

    What this article does fail to mention, specifically regarding Cross Creek Ranch, is that CCR (not the band) drains into Flewellen Creek.

    2 miles downstream, dozens of homes flooded or were near-flooded by Flewellen and Jone Creek as a result of CCR’s drainage.

    So while I commend CCR for designating parts of the neighborhood as natural grass lands and native vegetation, let’s not be too quick to forget this is a master planned community that paved over a portion of the Katy prairie and played a big part in the flooding that took place downstream along FM 359.

  • @ NTexas2010: Do you suppose that the homes that flooded by Flewellen and Jones Creek might have flooded anyway, without Cross Creek Ranch having been developed? Is it possible that the development, which provided for substantial stormwater detention, might have actually been an improvement over natural conditions? I have to ask this question because…well, downstream flooding has been a problem for Houston ever since Houston was founded and was the only thing located downstream. It doesn’t take an extraordinary storm to overwhelm the stormwater capacity of any natural environs along the Gulf Coast. The new development is built to flood a hell of a lot less readily than the prairie it is built upon.

  • @TheNiche I have to agree with your assumption. Hydrology and Hydraulics are complex subjects and it is often difficult to analyze drainage scenarios with the eyeball test only. There is real science involved and it is impossible for a human to synthesize all the factors that play into such an example including land use cover, drainage conveyance, detention capacities, and length/slope/course downstream of a development in question. @NTexas2010 brings up a reasonably fair argument, but it is only speculation. I recently read an article that specifically discussed the INability of the Katy prairie and our typically clay-capped soils from truly absorbing significant amounts of rainwater. At some point, the ground above this notorious clay cap is saturated and additional rainfall will be forced to go wherever gravity takes it first. The fact of the matter is that hydrologists do include these factors into their drainage designs for new developments. When appropriately applied it is very likely that the newly developed area can – as you suggested – handle even more rainfall safely that it ever could in its natural state. This is not generally discussed, but the reality is that no engineer or developer EVER wants to see their project flood. It is bad for business, their reputation, and of course their end-users or tenants. Houston offers a challenging landscape for drainage engineers, and for the most part they do their job admirably well. We are a global knowledge center when it comes to such things. We do it better than most. Mistakes were made in the past when this knowledge was not fully understood or developed and codes were more lax. Such egregious errors are rarely committed today, but as with anything mistakes can and will continue to happen. Nothing and no one is perfect.

  • @ TheNiche:

    I would have to look at the significant rainfall events that impacted the area in question dating back to the 1970s to back my conclusion, but after asking our neighbors who have lived in their homes since the late 1960s and early 1970s, both stated that Flewellen creek never so much as approached cresting its banks, let alone broke them, at any point in 40+ years until the Tax Day floods last year.

    Needless to say they were astounded (and unhappy) when water came up to their back porch last year, and sickened when they had 2 feet of water in their homes this year.