Hurricane Harvey has hit Houston and the surrounding communities very hard. Thousands of homes have water in them and many thousands of people have been evacuated from them. I have lived in this area for over 30 years and I have never seen damage this widespread and to this level before. If you are reading this and have never been here before it will be hard for you to grasp to totality of the affected area and the number of people Harvey has touched.
There is so much widespread damage it will take years for the city to recover from this. Literally thousands of homes will have to be gutted and treated for mold. Then these same homes will have to be rebuilt. Some homes will never be rebuilt and people will just abandon them because some of these homes have been flooded recently and have just been rebuilt. It’s a horrible situation for these people and a horrible disruption to their lives.
Some will ask well why are there homes being built in the line of fire of flooding or can’t drainage projects be put in place to manage this water? Well, believe it or not, the city and county have made big advances in the area of drainage and detention pond requirements. Projects now being built must have detention ponds that detain a certain amount of rainfall before it enters the drainage system. No drainage plans, however; can be expected to handle a Harvey event.
There is really no right answer except that you try and design future projects to handle the vast majority of rain and flood event scenarios. People have to live and work somewhere and this is the 4th largest city in America. Houston is a good place to live and there are a lot of good people here, but right now we are hurting.
This is a strong city and we will bounce back, but it will take time and help from all of America. If you can help, please do. Make sure your money goes to the right place such as The Red Cross or some reputable charity; don’t be deceived by thieves because they feed off events such as these.