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Mon Jun 19, 2017, 08:59 AM

Houston - Greatest Property & Casualty Flood Losses Since 1960 Of Any City In America

Sam Brody is not a real estate agent, but when his friends want to move home they get in touch to ask for advice. He is a flood impact expert in Houston – and he has plenty of work to keep him busy. The Texas metropolis has more casualties and property loss from floods than any other locality in the US, according to data stretching back to 1960 that Brody researched with colleagues. And, he said: “Where the built environment is a main force exacerbating the impacts of urban flooding, Houston is number one and it’s not even close.”

Near the Gulf coast, Houston is also at annual risk from hurricanes: it is now into the start of the 2017 season, which runs from June to November. Ike, the last hurricane to hit the Houston region, caused $34bn in damage and killed 112 people across several states in September 2008. There is little hope the situation is going to get better any time soon. Earlier this month, days after Donald Trump announced the US will withdraw from the Paris accord on climate change, a new report warned that rare US floods will become the norm if emissions are not cut.

In May 2015, eight people, many of them motorists, died in Harris County when a storm dropped 11in of rain in parts of the city in 10 hours. Last year, another six lost their lives in an April storm that hurled 240bn gallons of water at the Houston area. An inch of rain fell over the county in only five minutes, with a peak of 16.7in in 12 hours. The events damaged thousands of homes, turning major freeways into canals and piling up vehicles as if they were in a junkyard. The 2016 flood cost an estimated $2.7bn in losses and prompted more than 1,800 high water rescues.


It is a worrying vision of the future: stronger and more frequent storms with fewer natural barriers, while rapid and haphazard urban development with limited oversight creates new at-risk zones or worsens drainage in known problem areas. The Harris County flood control district did not respond to requests for comment; its executive director, Russ Poppe, told the Houston Press last year that there are regulations to stop builders from increasing flood risks and that it is difficult to protect against exceptionally violent storms.



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Reply Houston - Greatest Property & Casualty Flood Losses Since 1960 Of Any City In America (Original post)
hatrack Jun 2017 OP
Gothmog Jun 2017 #1

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 04:08 PM

1. Interesting article

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