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Archive for the ‘Green Stormwater Infrastructure’ Category

Harris County Floodplain Development

Map showing development in the Harris County Floodplains. Click here for a full size copy

“No amount of prevention could have prevented this kind of flooding.” “Houston did not do this to itself.” “There is no city, however it is governed, that could handle a Harvey.” 

The preceding are just a small sample of recent comments from prominent local leaders about Harvey, generally accompanied by statements implying another Harvey is not likely, and that just a little more of the same in the way of previous flood control is all we need.

If we cannot imagine another way to live with floods, then we had better hope that the last three years are a total anomaly and that we will not soon see another storm like Harvey.  On the other hand, if we think that Harvey would make a better benchmark for planning than the FEMA-defined 100-year floodplain, as some of our best minds do, then we need to radically reimagine how we coexist with big floods. (more…)

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Pier and Beam house-Daniel

The author’s son Daniel holds the line level with the first floor of our house in Eastwood.

Staying out of the floodplain is the number one measure that Houston needs to take to reduce impacts from flooding. Overbank flooding from the creeks and bayous is the deepest and most serious kind of flooding. But anywhere in Houston is subject to street or sheet flooding, the kind that occurs when the amount of rain exceeds the capacity of the storm drains. If an Allison lands in your neighborhood–40 inches in ONE day, not 4 like Harvey –and you are not elevated above the level of street flooding, you will get water in your house even if you are far from a bayou or a floodplain. A storm well short of Allison could do the same. (more…)

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Learn about natural tecalligator-09_smallhniques for cleansing and conserving stormwater for humans and wildlife, at any scale–backyard to campus to region. Our bayous and bays are greatly impacted by the quality of the stormwater flowing into them, and now is a great time to start improving it with practices we can implement at home, at school, or beyond.

The workshop is open to everyone, with particular focus on educators. TCWP demonstrates many years of partnering with schools and educators to produce innovative sites with a positive impact on water quality and wildlife.

Join us on Saturday, March 4, in a beautiful setting–the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory‘s new LEED-certified building in Lake Jackson, TX. (more…)

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