Flooding in Houston May 26, 2015 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Hope the Houston and Texas Mefites are safe and dry. I haven't seen flooding this bad since Hurricane Ike.

Y'all stay safe now.
posted by arcticseal to MetaFilter-Related at 12:19 PM (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Yes, Texans, report in please!
posted by Melismata at 2:02 PM on May 26, 2015

Mad_Carew and I are dry and safe. Weather here in Austin right now is mid-80s and sunny, though there will be more rain later this week.
posted by immlass at 2:49 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

We made it through fine, though my wife's office building is closed due to water damage and her boss's house flooded, as did several other friends.
posted by beowulf573 at 3:02 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I left Texas Friday night just ahead of the latest storm - it looks like San Antonio got off relatively easy this weekend compared to the Hill Country and Houston.

I've been in flash flooding situations in Texas before and it's incredibly frightening. I really feel for the families of those who have drowned or been swept away.
posted by muddgirl at 3:07 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

My neighborhood in Houston is okay, although it's been surreal watching the news and seeing the apartment complex where I used to live (next to Brays Bayou) all flooded on the first floor. It didn't even flood during Allison. I feel sick thinking about the people who drove into high water and didn't drive back out again. These local floods are no joke.

The rains were pretty incredible last night, but I was lucky that my house sits high enough and the drainage was good enough that I didn't have any flooding. I'm also feeling lucky that I had off today, so I was able to just sit around the house and stay off the streets as instructed.

More scattered thunderstorms on the way for the rest of the week, which is less than awesome. The ground is already completely saturated. I wish there was a way to ship some of this to California.
posted by Salieri at 3:40 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

My wife and I were returning from a weekend vacation in the Hill Country to her parents house near Waco and it was honestly the scariest drive I've ever done. Just white-knuckle gripping the steering wheel driving 25 mph with barely any visibility. Thankfully no real water logging on the road, though there were a few rough spots. Had to pause for a bit to let a tornado move out of the area we were driving into at one point. Luckily neither my in-laws or our house (further north) was affected by flooding, but I know some of my friends weren't as fortunate.
posted by kmz at 3:53 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

My neighborhood got roughed up by the winds and the local creek, with many trees down and at least one car (unoccupied) carried away by water. Our apartment complex is built up and off the road a bit so we were fine, except for two roof leaks and a power outage.
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:38 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm in Massachusetts now, but my non-MeFite wife and cat and our apartment in Austin are all okay.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:42 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Uncle Ira and I didn't even lose power up here in Dallas, but my sister's car got stuck in some high water (she lives near Brenham) and her good samaritan had this baby deer he'd just rescued in the passenger seat of the truck. She got out with just a few hundred dollars in damage and a cute photo/story instead of being washed away, thank goodness!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:51 PM on May 26, 2015 [20 favorites]

Safe and dry, although we worked from home today. No man is an island, but sometimes one's house can play make-believe.
posted by blurker at 5:38 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

Hell of a night, but all good here. I'm over by Brays Bayou. Couple of friends places got flooded, but nothing important lost.
posted by IanMorr at 8:47 PM on May 26, 2015

Sugar Land checking in. All good here. ALL THE RAIN and spectacular lightning last night (with an amazing view from the fourth floor apartment I currently enjoy), but thankfully the roads were able to handle the runoff without issue.
posted by Ridge at 8:57 PM on May 26, 2015

Glad to hear people are safe, and I really want people to keep checking in, but what I realize is that I almost never know where non-local-to-me MeFites are from until there's some sort of disaster.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:58 AM on May 27, 2015

And more rain overnight that is just now clearing up. The lake in my backyard is getting larger.
posted by beowulf573 at 6:14 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dallas has seen a ton of rain in the last week, but the flooding has been isolated to the outer suburbs. We had another thunderstorm last night, and the Trinity River is flooded but staying within the levee. It is actually sunny right now for the first time in weeks.
posted by Benway at 6:14 AM on May 27, 2015

I hope item is ok.
posted by Melismata at 6:57 AM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

All you Houston folks please label your photos. I grew up there and I want to know how bad it was in the Heights (where Mad_Carew and I used to live) and in Westbury (where I grew up). /nosy parker

I mention this both because Burhanistan's photo looks familiar and because someone on FB posted this which is the Hillcroft bridge over Braes Bayou and scary to me as a former resident of the area.
posted by immlass at 7:55 AM on May 27, 2015

Here in San Antonio, a vigorous flood control improvement plan was started in 2007. It is bearing fruit. SARA got water flowing around the downtown core as much as possible. The southward extensions of the Riverwalk are designed with flooding and flow control in mind.

We are soggy from the rain and the ground is nice and saturated. The Edwards always needs more water. We are in good order.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:59 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

As a former Texan, it breaks my heart to see what is happening. Be safe everyone.

Does anyone have any links for disaster relief, charity, donations, etc?
posted by Fizz at 8:42 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Monday night was spectacular. Our home inside the West Loop got 10 inches of rain overnight, according to our 5 gallon bucket rain gauge. Come morning the street was full of water, and water was surging out of the storm drains, rather than going in. By 9:00 in the morning the street had drained. At 8:00 my neighbor came home with his family, having gone out for dinner the night before. He said that they had spent the night in their car on the elevated West Loop, with all of the exits flooded.

Driving around the Galleria area was interesting after the water cleared. There were many abandoned cars on the streets, at odd angles and up on the medians. There was a big blue Dumpster in the middle of Post Oak Blvd, which must have floated out there. It seemed to me that Mercedes and BMWs were overrepresented in the flooded cars. I coworker spotted a flooded Rolls Royce. I wondered about the demographics, and if the Mercedes drivers expected the flood waters to part for them.

This high water mark on Buffalo Bayou at the West Loop was two feet below the bridge.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 9:33 AM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hmm, can't think of any Houston or region-specific disaster relief groups that are active right now--perhaps other folks know of one.

Also, as Burhanistan points out, this was a pretty serious tragedy where people lost lives and there was certainly a lot of property damage but the flood waters are going down pretty quickly and long term damage is likely to be less severe than the news might make it seem.

It is still raining off and on, though, so I'm keeping an eye out.

The lightning, by the way, was incredible.

I'm used to huge Plains thunderstorms where you can see the lightning rake the sky from the atmosphere down to the horizon and the wind howls and snarls into that eerie pre-tornado pitch and the rain falls hard for maybe half an hour and then it's over.

This Texas storm was huge booms of thunder followed immediately by the cracks of lightning--again and again and again for hours upon hours--with the lashes and waves of rain just never letting up.

And after all that, yesterday was dry and the waters receded quickly and it was glorious to have a bonus day to the three day weekend.
posted by librarylis at 9:47 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

We had several hours of constant rain in Houston this morning, and they expect more over the next few days. We're not out of the woods yet, so I'm glad this thread is open in case folks need help.
posted by blurker at 11:07 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I woke up in bone-dry California to a Weatherbug alert on my phone -- a dam near my parents' house, SW of Dallas, was in imminent danger of failing and they were going to shut a major highway down. Water seems to be receding now and the dam is in tact. Funny thing about it is that when I was back there in December, they had actually drained the lake to make way for a new housing development (I think). It is now full again, they've had so much rain. (It's a very small lake, though. Actually more of a really big pond than anything lake-like.)

My dad only half-jokingly worried aloud whether the trees in their yard would remain standing. The ground is so saturated, he's worried the trees and their roots will just pop out of the ground.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:12 AM on May 27, 2015

I'm glad to see people checking in and are OK.

This high water mark on Buffalo Bayou at the West Loop was two feet below the bridge.
We lived inner loop on Richmond and Buffalo Speedway and I used to drive Allen Parkway every day into DT. Some of the footage is just horrifying.
posted by arcticseal at 3:08 PM on May 27, 2015

For folks interested in the amount of rain going into the reservoirs, check Water Data For Texas. If you look at the Austin municipal reservoirs, you'll get an idea of how much rain has been running off the (saturated) ground in the last week.

Also much remarked upon by my Austin friends on FB: Is The Lake Full Yet? (Lake Travis).
posted by immlass at 4:20 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Fine here; my girlfriend got stuck here - Houston Westchase - overnight (yay for spare CPAP machines, etc) because we couldn't get out of my neighborhood, but everything was fine the next morning.

Had to re-route a couple times on the way to take her to work, but it's all good.
posted by mrbill at 5:15 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

We lost power on Saturday through Sunday and it was scary all in the dark with torrents of rain falling and giant trees blown down and split by lightning just a block away. Water was rising in a low area near the house but the water stopped just short of my house. The poor guy behind me had a xeriscaped yard and they lost all their crushed stone to the floodwater. So our street looks like a gravel road with limbs on the side.

My roof didn't leak and for that I am thankful. But two day with no electricity drives it home how much of our lives revolve around the web and TV and tunes and weather radar. I don't have a cell phone so no way to check the forecast or report the outage. The night was really long not knowing how long the storm would last or if the water would stop rising. I was lucky this time.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:15 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

The skies just opened up again, judging by the view outside my window. Monday was like a Mini-Sandy, having moved down here after living in Jersey my whole life. Austin's Hyde Park's roads were all flooded out and I got hailed on making a short trip midday.

I'm starting to think this sort of weather if following me around.
posted by lownote at 12:14 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

We've got another band hitting Austin in the next hour or two and then going straight through toward the southeast to Houston. Austin's on a flash flood warning until 4:15 AM unless they drop it earlier. Stay high and dry, everybody!
posted by immlass at 10:19 PM on May 28, 2015

The corner of the neighboring block has now been denuded of trees. The next tree down the block is a flimsy looking fella who has previously been blocked by strong winds by all the other trees, trees which are now gone. This lone survivor is also crammed in between two different sets of electrical wires and he can't fall without taking then down, I suspect. Hopefully last night was the last bad storm we'll get...
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:31 AM on May 29, 2015

We're done for the week per the weatherpersons up here in DFW, but I'll tell you one thing; that was a hell of a lot of rain. We busted the May record for all time and nearly busted the record, period, for inches a month, coming in just a few below the 1922 17 inches record.

We live on a hill, not near a creek, but the rain was coming down so hard and fast during the last band this morning that our back yard, which is saturated, filled up like a lake and floated a bucket and a doormat off our porch and around the corner of the house. The break didn't come a moment too soon. No idea what's in store for us the rest of the season; weather is no longer predictable thanks to climate change, I'm starting to accept.
posted by emjaybee at 7:37 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

We never were this cold before somebody invented that chill factor.

Apparently it's now over except some rivers and streams have yet to crest. That satellite view yesterday afternoon was some scary shit. For the last week my windows have been open and air condition off until past 3:00 in the afternoon which has not happened before in the last week in May since I have moved to the Gulf Coast.
posted by bukvich at 6:26 AM on May 31, 2015

I was at a little campout with 2800 of my closest friends. It was very wet.

On Monday the 25th—the last day of the event—we knew we were in for more rain, and we were hustling to get people off the site quickly, just to avoid more people getting their vehicles stuck in the mud.

At about 4:00 PM, a tornado touched down 9 miles away. We had our own weather station on the property that gave a pegged-out wind reading of 50 mph, and rainfall readings that I'll just describe as unreliable. That storm abated after an hour or so, but (unbeknownst to us) the dam upstream was having the biggest release in the past five years. Coupled with the completely saturated ground, the waters started rising at about 6:00 PM, initially at about 1" per minute. They continued rising until 1:00 AM, but as early as 7:30 PM, the event site was divided into three islands. About 130 people wound up being stuck. But a lot of these people were well equipped and well trained, and the whole incident went about as smoothly as one could hope. By morning the waters had receded and we could leave.

I'm still cleaning my camping stuff.
posted by adamrice at 7:41 AM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

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