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Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 26 Mar 2018, 18:25:06

Underground Tunnels Proposed For Houston Flooding

T
he flood control district in the Houston area is considering a proposal to build massive underground tunnels to drain floodwaters from bayous across the county.

Harris County Flood Control District officials said the idea could be a bold answer following Hurricane Harvey to dramatically improve Houston’s defenses against deadly floods.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the project could cost several billion dollars and take several years to complete. It would build a network of deep tunnels to carry water from several of Houston’s waterways, so that they’d be able to keep a 100-year storm event within their banks.

Republican Rep. John Culberson of Houston said this project could be partially funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency hazard mitigation grants.

Commissioners will vote Tuesday, March 27, on whether to pursue a feasibility study to assess the tunnel proposal.


https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/arti ... -flooding/
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 11 Apr 2018, 14:51:00

Gigantic water tunnels won’t save Houston from the next Harvey

Last month, Harris county officials approved more than $100,000 to study the tunnels project, which would cost billions of dollars and take years to construct. The idea has the support of the city’s Republican member of Congress and his Democratic challenger.

Elon Musk also quickly chimed in his enthusiasm on behalf of his tunnel-drilling company, because... of course he did.

https://www.chron.com/news/politics/houston/article/Will-Elon-Musk-save-Houston-12781470.php
This philosophical clash — build tunnels or plan a careful retreat — is perhaps the first major skirmish pitting climate adaptation against climate mitigation in a major U.S. city. The outcome could set the tone for decades to come. Knowing what we know about human nature and denial, a Texas-sized arms race against the sky feels all but inevitable. .
..

https://grist.org/article/gigantic-wate ... xt-harvey/
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 26 Apr 2018, 21:57:22

Houston, Texas

”The Memorial Day 2015, Tax Day 2016 and Harvey floods all reached or exceeded the 500-year standard, which refers to a storm that has a 0.2 percent chance of happening in any given year.”

...and yet...

Houston City Council unanimously backs plan to build homes in flood plain

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/h ... 863712.php
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 27 Apr 2018, 08:35:21

doboi - FYI: Not just the city of Houston but the entire Harris County is a flood plain. Just some areas are more prone to a flood: 50 year FP, 100 year FP, 500 year FP, etc. In fact, the entire Texas coastal area is a flood plain. There ain't no hills here. LOL. Not a great problem getting flooded...if you have the proper insurance. The city is also requiring houses to be built 2+ feet above ground level in certain areas.

Similar to most CA and all of L.A.: should they not build new homes/business because they are in a severe earth quake zone?
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 27 Apr 2018, 17:30:02

Time to start intentionally depopulating the are then, just like NOLA.

(I thought you lived on a bit of a hill, or a hillock, or a slight rise...? :) )
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 28 Apr 2018, 11:13:39

dohboi - Yes: I live on a local ridge that's the highest ground level along the coast between south Texas and the state of Alabama. Higher by just a matter of feet. Every inch of ground from hundreds of that miles from across the Mexican border to northern Florida was deposited by a steam that passed over area and dropped sediment. IOW one huge flood plain. Look a map of the Gulf Coast and you'll see river after river running from the north to the south into the Gulf of Mexico. I've mentioned before the Gulf of Mexico "geosyncline".

geosyncline: a large-scale depression in the earth's crust containing very thick deposits. In the case of the GOM syncline how thick? Seismic data indicates at least 40,000’ thick. And every foot of those sediments was deposited by streams/deltas that were then 10’ deep…or less. So how do you stack 40,000’+ in such shallow water? A very active and long lasting “subduction zone”. The bottom of the Gulf Coast Basin has been sinking for many millions of years. Which is why all the streams/rivers have been running “down hill” to the basin for millions of years: it was essentially a constant hole that remained a hole despite being constantly filled with sediments. Which is also why the GOM is one of the most prolific hydrocarbon producing areas in the world. A “perfect storm” of a tremendous thickness of reservoir quality rock along with TRILLIONS of cubic feet of potential oil/NG source rock. And most deposited in very shallow water. The one huge outlier of sediment sources: the Mississippi River carrying down sediment from a very large portion of North America. But still most of it sediments have been deposited in water depths of 10’ or less over many millions of years.

IOW the entire area of the coastal GOM is one huge flood plain. Just a question of how often it gets flooded on average: 1 year, 20 years, 100 years, 500 years, etc. BTW the Rockman lives on the east shoulder of the San Jacinto River and had Harvey waters up to his front steps. A mile to the west on the opposite shoulder of the SJR it had some of the worst Harvey flooding. And 4 miles to the east of the Rockman’s homes folks in Baytown along Cedar Bayou made it thru the Harvey rains without flooding…initially. And 3 days after Harvey passed, as the rains that fell 30 miles to the north moved south from the Cedar Bayou head waters, all those homes were then flooded. An area that had not flooded as far back as memories could recall.

Welcome to life on the Gulf Coast.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 28 Apr 2018, 11:40:49

RM, it's not so much a sea-level rise, but rather land-level fall that is the cause of much flooding.

Same here. Plate subduction is occurring on a massive scale here along the northern California Coast, at the Mendocino Triple Junction, probably the most active earthquake region in the country. Just offshore from here, 7 miles off the coast, 30 miles southwest from my home.
The Gorda plate is subducting, towards N50ºE, under the North American plate at 2.5 – 3 cm/yr, and is simultaneously converging obliquely against the Pacific plate at a rate of 5 cm/yr in the direction N115ºE. The accommodation of this plate configuration results in a transform boundary along the Mendocino Fracture Zone, and a divergent boundary at the Gorda Ridge.[2][3]

It's kind of pretty/creepy watching the towering redwoods sway like a country girl in a hoedown. Not coincidentally this area is also a hotbed of climate change hysteria. They confuse land-down with water-up lol

Reminds me of my words of wisdom regarding falling crude prices beginning in 2014: not so much a supply glut, but rather a demand dearth. Sometime you see what you want to see.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 28 Apr 2018, 12:00:38

Thanks for all the general info. There are of course more technical definitions of more specific types of 'flood plain' than the general, historical way ROCK seems to be using the term here, as indicated in the linked map:

http://www.harriscountyfemt.org/

(You have to zoom in a bit before the distinct color coding starts to appear on the map)

There is only a limited part of Houston that falls into the .2% flood plain category.

We know that, going forward, these will be much more than ".2%" likely to flood again. So yeah, it was an idiotic decision by the Houston city council, but not unexpected, since short term real estate interests and profits are very powerful influences in most cities, and, I am told, especially in Houston.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 28 Apr 2018, 13:08:01

pstarr wrote:Reminds me of my words of wisdom regarding falling crude prices beginning in 2014: not so much a supply glut, but rather a demand dearth. Sometime you see what you want to see.

Except words of prevarication and/or distortion and/or disinformation aren't "wisdom". In your case the claims of the low oil prices in recent years being a "demand dearth" have been consistently TOTAL nonsense.

Global oil demand has been steadily increasing every year since the 2008-2009 great depression. Americans could afford oil just fine at $40ish dollars, just as they are affording in now at nearly $70 without any meaningful economic hit.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/271 ... ince-2006/

But keep spinning. shortonoil might slink by here occasionally, read your nonsense, and even believe.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby Armageddon » Sun 29 Apr 2018, 10:06:58

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
pstarr wrote:Reminds me of my words of wisdom regarding falling crude prices beginning in 2014: not so much a supply glut, but rather a demand dearth. Sometime you see what you want to see.

Except words of prevarication and/or distortion and/or disinformation aren't "wisdom". In your case the claims of the low oil prices in recent years being a "demand dearth" have been consistently TOTAL nonsense.

Global oil demand has been steadily increasing every year since the 2008-2009 great depression. Americans could afford oil just fine at $40ish dollars, just as they are affording in now at nearly $70 without any meaningful economic hit.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/271 ... ince-2006/

But keep spinning. shortonoil might slink by here occasionally, read your nonsense, and even believe.




Americans haven’t been this poor and indebted in decades

http://govtslaves.info/2018/04/american ... n-decades/
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 29 Apr 2018, 11:45:56

dohboi – No, not the way the Rockman defines a “floodplain”. How the United States Geological Survey defines a floodplain: “The floodplain is the relatively flat lowland that borders a river, usually dry but subject to flooding. Floodplain soils actually are former flood deposits.”

https://water.usgs.gov/edu/100yearflood.html

The city or country or real estate concerns can define “floodplain” anyway they want. But it doesn’t change the facts that every square foot of the ground in Houston was deposited by one of the streams that cross the city. IOW every square foot of Houston is that “relatively flat lowland that borders a river, usually dry but subject to flooding.” Did you see the large areas (greater the .2) :of Houston that flooded as a result of Harvey? Guess what those areas were: “the relatively flat lowland that borders a river, usually dry but subject to flooding.”

I didn’t describe a key component of the definition of a floodplain: the region where streams/rivers periodically migrate across over time. IOW every square foot of Houston has been covered (at some time in the past) by anyone of the numerous streams that cross the areaConsider the history of the Mississippi River. When you see it on a map today that’s where it is TODAY. Did you know that at one time the MR once flowed thru an area east of New Orleans? On average it changes channel about every 25,000 years. It’s a hydraulic gradient thing. Those semicircular islands off the coast of the state of Mississippi mark that eastern position of the former MR delta. Did you know that at one time the MR flowed down the west side of the state thru Lake Charles? The entire southern portion of La. is the floodplain of the MR: every square foot of the ground in south La. was deposited from the MR.

Just as very square foot of Houston is “soils actually {laid down from} former flood deposits.”. IOW for many tens of thousands of years every square foot of the area now occupied by the city of Houston has been periodically flooded by the streams/rivers crossing the county. Efforts are constantly being made to keep those waterways from migrating out of their channels. Sometimes it works…sometimes it doesn’t.

The Rockman had to buy his retirement home in the Houston area because that’s where he was working. But being a geologist that could read a topographic map he could buy on the highest land in the region. Which, coincidentally, was some of the least expensive real estate in the region. BTW some of the worst areas flooded by Harvey are some of the most expensive.
Last edited by ROCKMAN on Sun 29 Apr 2018, 11:58:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 29 Apr 2018, 11:57:48

Thanks again, ROCK, for your further clarifications.

The article was about local real estate, so their definitions, however much R doesn't like them, are the most relevant to the the discussion at hand. But again, I'm always glad to get the broader perspective as well.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 29 Apr 2018, 12:08:33

dohboi - You probably already know this: as an area begins to develop the best land develops first. In time what's left? The crappy flood prone land. And where was the high priced land left undeveloped in Houston? The west side...where most of the expensive flood damage occurred.

You've probably seen the same dynamic where you live.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 29 Apr 2018, 12:16:57

dohboi - "so their definitions...are the most relevant to the discussion at hand." Sorry, I still don't follow you. How are those grossly misrepresentative presentations "relevant"? Perhaps you mean in a negative way. Also it has nothing to do with what I like or don't like. It has to do with presenting the correct FACTUAL DATA.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 29 Apr 2018, 14:13:07

OK, ROCK, you tell us your definition of a .2% (500 year) floodplain. I actually don't agree with their definition/determination of this exactly, because the goalposts are changing with GW. But I really would be interested in what yours is. Is all of Harris County a 500 year flood plain? 1000 year?

I really feel, though, that you are making this a debate when I am basically agreeing with you on the broader definition of the term, and I'd really rather not take a whole lot longer coming up with definitions and sub-definitions of terms.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 30 Apr 2018, 09:57:52

dohboi - I'm not talking about any "broader terms". I've focused on very narrow and specific terms. But now I see your problem: you're trying to relate Houston's floodplains to global warming. If mankind had not burned 1 Btu of oil/NG/coal the potential for flooding across the entire system of floodplains that Houston sits in would be identical to what it is today. IOW the Houston area has been a floodplain for many hundreds of thousands of years. And those 50 year/100 year/500 year "floods" are made up numbers: there is no basis for such stats.

Been thinking about the problem you and others may be having visualizing the situation here. Do you live in a “hard rock” area? IOW are some of you local land areas consolidated rocks perhaps millions of years old? That ain’t us. LOL The entire Texas Gulf Coast isn’t like that: every square foot is DIRT…not ROCK. IOW every bit of the land in Houston is made up of soils that are flood deposits. The streams run north/south and empty into the Gulf of Mexico. Periodically every one of those water ways have flooded. As those flood waters come out of the channel the velocity decreases and the sediment falls out.

I don’t know how to make it any clearer: every home built on the Texas coast line (and not just in Houston) is sitting on sediments deposited during some flood event. Every home in Houston that flooded during Harvey was built on top of FLOOD DEPOSITS. Flood deposits that may have been laid down thousands of years ago. What does that tell you about those made up stats about X years floodplains? IOW some of those west Houston homes flooded may have been built on flood deposits laid down 1,000 years ago. Well, they just had another flood: so they were built in a 1,000 year floodplain. Did that mean that area would never be flooded again? Obviously not since they were flooded during Harvey. And it happened right on schedule: 1,000 years from the last flood event.

Sorry I didn’t catch your trying to link the floodplains in Houston to global warming: our floodplains would exist exactly as they are today whether global warming is happening or not. It rains on the Texas coast and rivers come out of their channels and flood the countryside. Been happening long before Homo sapiens were here.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 30 Apr 2018, 10:03:12

Thanks for the clarifications, again. We'll just have to see going forward how many more "500 and 1000 year floods" occur in this area in the coming years and decades.

But note already: Houston is experiencing its third ‘500-year’ flood in 3 years...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... 03ba4141d1

Hurricane Harvey has brought “500-year” rainfall and flood conditions to the Houston area, according to officials at the Harris County Flood Control District.

As of August 31, widespread areas around Houston have experienced flooding reaching 1,000-year thresholds or more.

But 500-year floods, as it turns out, happen more frequently than you might expect. The Houston area alone has seen no fewer than three such events in the past three years, according to local officials: Memorial Day floods in 2015 and 2016, followed by Hurricane Harvey's torrential rains this year....

...climate scientists do believe that global warming is creating conditions that allow these storms to become more powerful, and perhaps even more frequent.

Climatologists say the mechanism by which this is happening is fairly straightforward. “Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air,” according to the 2014 Climate Assessment produced by the U.S. government. “Global analyses show that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has in fact increased due to human-caused warming. This extra moisture is available to storm systems, resulting in heavier rainfalls.”...

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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 30 Apr 2018, 10:20:24

dohboi - Just occurred to me the similarity with our floods and landslide catastrophes in CA. Saw a reports some years ago about a CA subdivision that was completely wiped out by a mudslide. A geologist showed gully that cut thru the area. The subdivision was built on top of a series of at least a dozen mudslide deposits. Mudslides that occurred over a period of thousands of years...long before global warming began. Only an idiot would not expect another mudslide to tear thru the area, right? It was just a question of time, right? Just like building a home in west Houston on top of sediments laid down by a flood event: just a matter of time...RIGHT?

BTW the story about west coast mudslides and landslides have been repeated dozens of times. And because real estate agents did not point out the risks.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 30 Apr 2018, 10:50:31

dohboi - "Climatologists say the mechanism by which this is happening is fairly straightforward." As has been said before: when you only have a hammer everything looks like a nail. LOL. When climatologists have only global warming as a dynamic to work with all events seem related to global warming. Geologists familiar with the last 100,000+ years of Gulf Coast sedimentation are not restricted in that way. We have a very visible depositional history to draw from. Actually, we have deposits that indicate the area was once much more flood prone then it is today. Long before AGW became a factor.

It might help if you understood how flood control efforts to prevent downtown Houston from flooding was THE primary cause of the Harvey flooding. Those west Houston flood waters would not accumulated if the original drainage dynamic had existed as it was for thousands of years. A major portion of west Houston (the Addicks et al reservoirs) were specifically designed to accumulate flood waters and then release them slowly thru the natural drainage system. But the reservoirs filled to brim and were on the verge of failing. So the gates were opened wide. IOW many of the most expensive homes were INTENTIONALLY sacrificed to save the integrity of the reservoir dikes,

IOW none of west Houston would have been flooded were it not for the flood controls designed to protects downtown Houston. In reality those expensive subdivision were intentional built immediate adjacent to te reservoirs because they expected those flood control structures to protect them.

They were wrong.
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Re: Houston, We Have A Problem--Floods Shut It Down

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 30 Apr 2018, 18:39:04

"When climatologists have only global warming..." blah, blah, blah...

Sorry, stopped reading there.

Climatologist have all of climate to study, and they have much 'more' than gw (whatever that statement might mean).

No interesting in caviling with someone so deep in denial.

Best of wishes to you and yours on an increasingly uncertain future.
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