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 Post subject: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:14 pm 
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After some horrific flooding in the 1930's, Houston established the Harris country flood was established and the Addicks and Barker reservoirs were built. The floodgates to the reservoirs opened into relatively uninhabited land. Basically the City of Houston allowed land that was in the direct path of the reservoir spillways to become part of the Houston sprawl.

People will be asking why so much development was allowed in these spillways.

Increasingly, cities should be planned with worst case weather scenarios in mind, especially low-lying coastal cities.

Harris County is also home to a huge amounts of petrochemical manufacturing. Arkema Chemical company evacuated ALL of its skeleton crew of personnel from a site that manufactures organic peroxides used in petrochemicals.If the chemicals are not kept refrigerated they explode. The secondary diesel-powered containers cooling the chemicals are now being overtaken by floodwaters. So there is also the worry of toxic petrochemicals being released into all of this standing water.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:48 am 
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This is going to get much worse for the people in and around Houston. But right now while people are still being rescued I'll postpone judgement of its causes.


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:16 am 
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Regardless of the current tragedy, you need to understand that "worst case scenario" is an entirely impossible conclusion. Jurisdictions typically anticipate 100 year flooding concept and some circumstances require a 500 year concept. In other words, most everything you live among is designed for what is deemed a "once every 100 years" flood event. This is a logical and practical method of design, because it balances expense (materials and labor), durability, and progress.

So, yes, a "Harvey-like" event is in hindsight seemingly avoidable, but the reality is that we are never capable of preventing the next natural imposition...in other words, a low lying coastal city will always suffer this sort of reality - it is unavoidable because "low lying coastal". It is like earthquakes in southern California - there will always be a stronger one than we can ever anticipate, let alone design against.

So, does this mean Houston was just poorly designed - probably. Our culture, and others, have seen a displacement in how cities are developed. Architects, Engineers, and Planners have been usurped by the Developer. One of the best examples of this idea is New York City. New York City is certainly a fascinating city with many architectural, engineering, and planning features - but - when you view the city itself as a whole, as a skyline, it becomes obvious that New York City has no real identity. New York City is a monument to real estate, to rent - and nothing else can be concluded from that dreadful commentary on our modern urban development.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:16 am 
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While nothing is natural disaster proof there are reasonable steps that can and should be taken to reduce the loss of property and life. Houston has a long history of flooding. Planning around a hundred year storm may have worked in the past but increasingly it is 500 year storms and insurance companies are figuring in 1000 year storms risks.
SEE http://www.azcentral.com/story/weather/ ... 613832001/


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:25 am 
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To piggy back a bit on this TreeHugger had a pretty good introduction/write-up on "predatory delay", something that always shines forth in these natural disaster type scenarios.

Link!

TreeHugger wrote:
Predatory delay: "the blocking or slowing of needed change, in order to make money off unsustainable, unjust systems in the meantime." It is not delay from the absence of action, but delay as a plan of action- a way of keeping things they way they are for the people who are benefiting now, at the expense of the next and future generations.


There is probably a little more generational blaming than I would prefer in both the referenced tweets and in the article. But the author Loyd Alter is in his mid-60's and he sees his contemporaries as being the primary factor in delaying progress so I can appreciate his perspective.

Quote:
Houston is a demonstration of the true cost of predatory delay; insufficient investment in flood control, pretending that climate change doesn't exist even as hundred year and five hundred year storms start hitting every decade. And while I know that this single event cannot be pinned directly on climate change, it's all piling up on us, from vast forest fires in Canada to droughts in the Middle East to rising waters.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:16 pm 
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Houston's problems ar just starting.
SEE http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/po ... m-effects/


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:38 pm 
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The CCC wrote:
While nothing is natural disaster proof there are reasonable steps that can and should be taken to reduce the loss of property and life. Houston has a long history of flooding. Planning around a hundred year storm may have worked in the past but increasingly it is 500 year storms and insurance companies are figuring in 1000 year storms risks.
SEE http://www.azcentral.com/story/weather/ ... 613832001/

Yeah, reasonable is what I just described. Unreasonable is you posting a link to a story claiming it says something and then it doesn't say that. And an insurance company does very little to prevent flooding.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:45 pm 
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MeDotOrg wrote:
People will be asking why so much development was allowed in these spillways.

Increasingly, cities should be planned with worst case weather scenarios in mind, especially low-lying coastal cities.


I don't know if you can really pin it on development in spillways, but rather the lack of political will, as you pointed out, to plan properly.

Houston is chronically in the red when it comes to their budget. I lost my favorite football team to TN because the city is managed in the red; they couldn't afford a new stadium. That's just one example of hundreds you could find about Houston politics and their complete and utter incompetence and cronyism.

Anyway. All development is going to have imperviousness. Water is going to hit a structure and be routed to a municipal system instead of being absorbed into the ground. It's not like planners don't know where water pools in Houston or any other floodplain for that matter. The city, from what I understand, took money the developers were charged for canal projects in these areas and used it to fund whatever they funded knowing that a disaster was 'in the future' and they'd just figure something out.

They need ~$500 million to build these canals in these floodplains, but they're broke.

Additionally they lack the political will to enact simple ordinances that would help drainage, like, for example, requiring: https://www.truegridpaver.com/?gclid=CjwKEAjwiqTNBRDV48OGlrLAk3ESJABrHfTKyFL9svtzKYYvqiNaRTdIDc2XHAI4wNS63iZSyt5XChoCp6rw_wcB which allows 98% of the water to get back into the ground rather than being routed to a drainage system. Simple solutions like that are brought about be good planning and are completely ignored because we vote complete and utterly unqualified people into managerial positions.

So, I do think we could figure out how to live with global warming if we were better at prevention rather than reacting to our own incompetence.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:30 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
Yeah, reasonable is what I just described. Unreasonable is you posting a link to a story claiming it says something and then it doesn't say that. And an insurance company does very little to prevent flooding.


Harvey has been declared a 1000 year flood. Plus Climate Scientists are predicting more of therm to come. Insurance companies can't prevent flooding. They insure against the risk. IE; Your automobile insurance company can't prevent you from getting involved in an accident. It insures against your risk of having one.


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:14 am 
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The determination of GOP legislatures whether at the federal or individual state level to reject any legislation, even legislation designed to prevent or mitigate natural disasters or provide for disaster relief, if that legislation contains any reference to climate change, is gobsmackingly stupid, ignorant and downright immoral! It is every bit as stupid and ignorant as requiring public schools to teach geocentrism or that the earth is flat! In fact, it would not greatly surprise me if Trump suddenly started tweeting support for the flat earth theory! It is becoming ever more apparent to me that there is a real possibility that Trump may really be that stupid!

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:48 am 
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Drumpf demands that the sea tide doesn't rise. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:31 pm 
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It now appears the American tax payers would not be on the hook for this storm if Texas had been allowed to secede from the United States as it wished.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:34 pm 
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The CCC wrote:
Drumpf demands that the sea tide doesn't rise. :lol:

Can you imagine the tirade Trump will have if the sea tide ignores him? At least General Kelly will get a break if Trump tantrums at the sea.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:49 am 
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moksha wrote:
It now appears the American tax payers would not be on the hook for this storm if Texas had been allowed to secede from the United States as it wished.


Exactly. Their arrogance has no place in our united nation of imagining they are better and more picked on than anyone else in our nation. I am glad to help them out, and have done so, but I betchta they are darn glad they DIDN'T secede. If there is ever any talk again about it, I say let them go, and good gosh dang luck yer gonna need it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Bad Wolf is named Harvey
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:54 am 
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It looks like Irma's probability of hitting inside the gulf is now fairly remote. That's good. Anywhere along the east coast still has a decent chance of being hit by a major hurricane. That's less good.


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