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flood watch
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 13974
Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
The bit about the impermeability has hit the nail on the head. My lawn would regularly flood from run off after heavy rains from the garage and driveway until i got a rainwater tank and put some 'ag pipe' (pipe with holes in it) and drilled a few holes in the lawn. Maybe Houston council should google "urban swales".


I read somewhere about that area having particularly impermeable soil, which adds considerably to the effects of tarmac, concrete and infrastructure.
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
Maybe Houston council should google "urban swales".


The UK has gone a long way towards SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Schemes) over the last few years to get away from the old Victorian combined foul and surface water drainage schemes in many of our towns. These combined systems were responsible for much nasty flooding in the past when storms overwhelmed the capacity of the system and sent sewage, albeit diluted sewage, into the streets and houses.

The SUDS are often part of the open space requirement for a development serving a dual purpose. Hopefully children are not playing outside during a sudden downpour or if the are they can swim!
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 4283
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
BritDownUnder wrote:
The bit about the impermeability has hit the nail on the head. My lawn would regularly flood from run off after heavy rains from the garage and driveway until i got a rainwater tank and put some 'ag pipe' (pipe with holes in it) and drilled a few holes in the lawn. Maybe Houston council should google "urban swales".


I read somewhere about that area having particularly impermeable soil, which adds considerably to the effects of tarmac, concrete and infrastructure.

The biggest problem is the flatness of the coastal plain. Most streets in Houston are at fifty feet above sea level and the Bayous that drain the city are only slightly above sea level and are tidal. The land is so flat that Austin Texas 150 miles away is only at 450 feet above sea level so the pitch of the land and river bottoms is just one foot in two and a half miles.
If you property has six feet of water on it you need to drive fifteen miles to expect to find dry ground.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 13974
Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that info., vt. At 30 metres above sea level, I didn't think my house was high - but it sounds like Houston is half that.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
Thanks for that info., vt. At 30 metres above sea level, I didn't think my house was high - but it sounds like Houston is half that.

My own house sits at 530 meters and the village eight kilometers away sits at just 260.M If I ever have flooding at the house the whole Connecticut valley and basin is in trouble.
What we do get here in cases like Irene is rapid runoff off the steep hillsides to the valley floor which can't move down the valleys flatter narrow floor fast enough. I can be high and dry on my hill but all the bridges between me and any sizable town can be washed out.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're at 95m on the side of a hill so I suppose that one day we will have a beach front property. Hopefully the weather won't be too hot to enjoy it.

With that sort of rain fall I don't think Houston would have been any different with "urban swales" or even "urban swales the size of Wales". If the weather continues as it has been this year relocating might be a better option. I certainly wouldn't buy anything below 7m above sea level and would go for much higher than that to be safe. I would also be careful of valley bottom locations, anything down stream of a reservoir and steep valley sides would also be a no-no.
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We get significant flooding round here at a place called "Dam End" (the clue's in the name). But, apart from that, the the rest of the town is well above any floods and where I live is one of the highest points, just off the "market place".

Last edited by Little John on Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Mr Bocker famously said, regarding extreme sea level rise,

"My own advice is too impractical to be of much use"

"find a self sufficient hill top and fortify it"
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BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 242
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
emordnilap wrote:
BritDownUnder wrote:
The bit about the impermeability has hit the nail on the head. My lawn would regularly flood from run off after heavy rains from the garage and driveway until i got a rainwater tank and put some 'ag pipe' (pipe with holes in it) and drilled a few holes in the lawn. Maybe Houston council should google "urban swales".


I read somewhere about that area having particularly impermeable soil, which adds considerably to the effects of tarmac, concrete and infrastructure.

The biggest problem is the flatness of the coastal plain. Most streets in Houston are at fifty feet above sea level and the Bayous that drain the city are only slightly above sea level and are tidal. The land is so flat that Austin Texas 150 miles away is only at 450 feet above sea level so the pitch of the land and river bottoms is just one foot in two and a half miles.
If you property has six feet of water on it you need to drive fifteen miles to expect to find dry ground.


Flat it certainly was, but very green and lush in parts. I think they had 60 inches of rain over the course of the hurricane. If an urban swale could get rid of 1 inch I would call it a success. At that degree of slope the Roman aqueducts could just about transport water to cities so drainage will prove difficult. So therefore you need to either collect the water temporarily, soak away the water, expect to get flooded or move to another city.

As an example of my work. Before I moved into my place all the roof water from the garage and three quarters of the house roof was discharged into the street, either to flow into the river or when the river level is higher than the pipes to the river (never has happened in 8 years) will flood the street. Instead I put in a second rainwater tank that collects the garage and collect a larger area from the house roof in the existing rainwater tank. Overflows from both are discharged into pipes under the lawn. I drilled a couple of soak-aways through the turf (which I have found to be a very waterproof material when wet) and now I no longer contribute to the 100 metre long puddle in the street anymore. In addition the lawn is much greener. I even got some exercise using a manual post hole borer.

Of course Australian conditions are different to the UK but I think Texas would be more similar.

If no-one in Houston does anything then they will need to expect more flooding.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
As an example of my work. Before I moved into my place all the roof water from the garage and three quarters of the house roof was discharged into the street, either to flow into the river or when the river level is higher than the pipes to the river (never has happened in 8 years) will flood the street. Instead I put in a second rainwater tank that collects the garage and collect a larger area from the house roof in the existing rainwater tank. Overflows from both are discharged into pipes under the lawn. I drilled a couple of soak-aways through the turf (which I have found to be a very waterproof material when wet) and now I no longer contribute to the 100 metre long puddle in the street anymore. In addition the lawn is much greener. I even got some exercise using a manual post hole borer.

Of course Australian conditions are different to the UK but I think Texas would be more similar.

If no-one in Houston does anything then they will need to expect more flooding.


Great work, BDU, the sort of thing we're trying to do, collect water in tanks and soakaways to release slowly, rather than go straight into the very small stream running near us, which the next door farmer allows to silt up...

So many farmers in this county and elsewhere on the island have drained their lands, causing us (the taxpayers, the people who pay these numbskulls' subsidies) to fork out even more to try drain towns and villages that their actions have flooded.

Drainage simply means moving the water somewhere else.

A better idea has been employed by the motorway builders, using settling ponds. Run-off collects in them and is let out slowly. They also provide undisturbed (noisy and smelly from the traffic though) habitat for quite diverse wildlife.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Irish have contributed to any flooding they endure through the destruction of their peat bogs for fuel over the years.

The motorway designers specified the settling ponds rather than the builders. They also act to allow pollutants to either settle out or evaporate before the water enters a water course.

Allowing a water course to silt up helps delay the water on its way down stream thus reducing the flooding situation downstream. In doing this it will help cause local flooding, though. Therein lies the dilemma!
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 13974
Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
The Irish have contributed to any flooding they endure through the destruction of their peat bogs for fuel over the years.


Defo.

kenneal - lagger wrote:
The motorway designers specified the settling ponds rather than the builders. They also act to allow pollutants to either settle out or evaporate before the water enters a water course.


True. The trees and shrubs they plant on motorway embankments are a great help too.

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Allowing a water course to silt up helps delay the water on its way down stream thus reducing the flooding situation downstream. In doing this it will help cause local flooding, though. Therein lies the dilemma!

Our particular river runs alongside lands owned by a pathological tree hater and avid drainage installer. Rolling Eyes I recall him saying that 'cattle shelter under trees so they're not doing their job'. Honest. Oh, and he was worried about pests nesting in trees too. And we pay him to think this way.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
....
Our particular river runs alongside lands owned by a pathological tree hater and avid drainage installer. Rolling Eyes I recall him saying that 'cattle shelter under trees so they're not doing their job'. Honest. Oh, and he was worried about pests nesting in trees too. And we pay him to think this way.


I once had a bank manager who refused me a loan saying that it was the bank's job to make money not mine!! He also told me that my organic enterprise wasn't any use because his cancer surgeon had told him to avoid too much fibre in his diet. If he'd had the fibre in his diet in the first place he wouldn't have got cancer!! I changed banks soon after.

There are, unfortunately, many people in this world who think backwards. Even more unfortunately, many of them are in positions of power!!
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Potemkin Villager



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 783
Location: Narnia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Don't you realise, PV, that these disasters are good for our economies. All the sales of replacement goods will raise GDP no end!! Shocked

And how many of those stick built houses will have to be completely rebuilt after being in the water for a week or more?


Silly me, I must admit to occasional relapses into bouts of irrational naivety! Must learn to think like an economist.

More cynically, I am wondering if the UK task force heading off in the wake of Irma is unconnected with concern in the city of London with the off shore banking infrastructure on various Caribbean islands.
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Potemkin Villager



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Location: Narnia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For example Barbuda and Antigua.

http://fortune.com/2017/09/07/hurricane-irma-damage-barbuda/

"Antigua and Barbuda's GDP has been on an upward trajectory in recent years after enduring the financial crisis that was made worse for the island by the scandal involving Texas billionaire Allen Stanford, who was the nation's largest investor. Stanford redeveloped large swaths of the island and at one point was the nation's largest employer.

But when a Houston court convicted him in 2012 of running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme from his offshore bank in Antigua, his empire crumbled and the island's reputation was tarnished."

Sounds a bit like the curse of Gaia to me.
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