Harvey comes knockin'

In Flotsam and Jetsam

By Riverboat
Sept. 1, 2017 at 2:14 a.m.


When two inches of rain falls, you can skip watering the plants for a couple of days. With 4-5 inches, you probably had trouble driving to work. If the rain gauge goes up to 10, chances are you checked to make sure your flood insurance was up to date while you were stuck inside with pets making some water of their own. More than 20 inches and you’re checking the Book of Genesis to verify God’s promise after Noah and his nuclear family emerged from the ark.

Over the past four days, Houston and surrounding counties got deluged with over 40 INCHES of rain. One town east of Houston recorded 51.88 inches of rain, setting a national record. Yay. Go team.

A depression formed into a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday a week ago. The eye was not defined, but wasted little time coalescing into a full-blown hurricane. By Friday, it became the first category 4 hurricane to hit Texas since Carla in 1961. It struck Rockport and headed straight to Victoria. Thankfully, family members there had joined an exodus for higher and more remote ground.

That put Houston on the “dirty side” of the storm, meaning we would get less wind, but more rain. It began in earnest by noon on Friday. From then until noon Tuesday a relentless downpour deluged Houston and everywhere next to it: Conroe and Kingwood in the north; Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City in the southwest; Dickinson, Friendswood and League City to our southeast. As if that weren’t enough, the damned thing went back to the gulf to pick up more water to dump on Beaumont.

The sun came out on Wednesday. The sound of rain drumming on the roof has been replaced by the sound of helicopters monitoring the extent of flooding, ferrying supplies or rescuing stranded victims. For the first time in four days I slept through the night without being woken by a severe weather alert. Every few hours my cell phone would shiver and shriek an alarm, followed by a voice from the Department of Important Announcements.

Shelters all across Texas have opened their doors to help. Long lines formed outside George Brown Convention Center in Houston to accommodate . . . volunteers. It’ll be long recovery, but I’m confident we’ll turn out okay. - Patrick Hubbell


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