It’s been a tough week for Houstonians. Last Sunday night we experienced an extremely uncommon rain event with some areas receiving a foot of rain within a few hours. At our house, we got 9.2 inches over a five or six hour period. There are many locations around the area that have experienced flooding, but it was Cypress Creek (which is close to the house) that we’ve been watching closely.
It was a pretty rough storm to ride out. Due to the intense lightning, we lost a transformer in the area and power to our house. It would been another 24+ hours before it would return. All night we were awakened by lightning strikes that would illuminate the house. We also had 4 or 5 public service alerts on our cell phones. They really should manage those better as we received a lot of duplicates that sort of causes you to try to tune them out. Regardless, we didn’t spend much time sleeping that night.
The next morning as I tried to make my way to work, the intersection between home and work was already flooded. Not only did it have water covering it, it had a lot of water covering it. Little did I know just how extensive the flood waters would be.
Cypress Creek runs roughly horizontal and with it out of its banks, Cypresswood road was flooded for several miles. This created a problem for me since I live north of the creek and work south of the creek. With it flooded, I (along with many others) was required to make a detour around the problem area. Monday night it took me an hour to get home from work. This was an inconvenience for me, but those living close to the creek were suffering with the real threat of water intrusion in their home. In fact, there’s one couple that we just met that had 5 inches of water in their home.
In order to gauge the extent of the flood, a co-worker suggested that I take a look at www.harriscountyfws.org. The web site reports rainfall and creek levels around the county. It’s automated, so there’s no waiting for updates. It quickly became my go to site to determine how the rain had and was impacting the level of water in the creek. You can see in the graphic above, that even though the rain event was on the night of the 18th, it wasn’t until 2 days later that the creek level peaked. So even though many people were going back to work, others were watching the water creep closer to their homes. On Wednesday and Thursday, we had what I would consider some big storms roll through the area. Relative to the Sunday rain event of 9.2″, the 0.64″ and 1.44″ seems nominal and looking at the creek water level, have only minimal effect.
This morning the Bammel church spent some time ministering to those affected. It was a touching service and I really appreciated it. You could say that we have storms that we must face from time to time. Casting Crowns’ “Praise You In This Storm” felt very appropriate to be played at the start of the service.
We’ve only been here a short time, but I feel a new bond with my fellow Houstonians. Just like the times during Katrina and Gustav, you feel some connection with those that experienced the same (or similar) walk. I’m looking forward to something closer to normal this week though.