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#287774 - 08/28/17 12:59 PM Hurricane Harvey  
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waterbug_wpb Offline
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Hoping all affected are safe. The rainfall totals so far in Houston could fill up the Great Salt Lake.... twice..


Jay

-- Have You Seen This? --
#287777 - 08/29/17 05:52 PM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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brucat Offline
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Agreed, thoughts and prayers for all in the path of that monster.

Is that Great Salt Lake thing true? If so, that's frightening.

I read that they purposely were silent regarding evacuating Houston, for fear of more people dying in cars in gridlock, based on some events during Rita (after Katrina). What an awful choice to be faced with, as a citizen, or leader responsible for so many lives.

Mike

#287778 - 08/30/17 02:43 AM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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northsea junkie Offline
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It's always cruel to watch the damage caused by nature disasters and its effect on victims.

It did remind me on the big overflooding of the Southwest part of Holland in 1953 by a very severe Northwesterly storm.
1840 people were drowned.

But since that disaster the government started the very expensive Deltaproject in order to prevent such in the future.
That project took years to be finished, but was infact a prolongation of the government policy with regard to the fact that a great part of the western half of Holland is below sealevel.

Its very important to recognize that it all makes part of our arisal history as a delta region of the east european rivers.
My ancestors created since centuries ago therefore a separate law-giving and enforcement Institution besides the normal parlementary and governmental power and the democratic control by small states and towns. It's a sort of third power.
We pay also a separate tax for that institution!

I'm writing this comment because I happen to live on top of a very ancient (so-called) sleeper dike half a mile from the Northsea. This dike was supposed to hold the water if the sea-facing main dike should break in a storm. Normally there were no houses allowed on such a dike, but by special circumstances (which is again another story) my house was founded there in 1852.
So I still am the only man (and woman) in my wide surrounding living 7 m. above sealevel.

Should the sea start flooding, I have no fear for the water but for the overwhelming crowd who is flying to my house on the only safe ground!




ronald
RAIDER-15 (homebuilt)

hey boy, what did you do over there, alone far out at sea?..
"huh....., that's the only place where I'm happy, sir.
#287779 - 08/30/17 01:11 PM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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I am glad that the mortality count is relatively low so far.

There has been much talk on the radio as it pertains to "what should we have done better?" In this weather event.

I believe the consensus points were as follows:

- It is unlikely that all 6 million+ residents could successfully evacuate in any reasonable amount of time

- The entire Houston area (city proper and associated suburbs/townships) do not need to evacuate

- It is unreasonable to assume that surrounding area(s) could absorb that many additional people for any amount of extended time

- The perils of wind are greater along the coastal towns than further inland

- The peril of storm surge carries greatest potential for loss of life due to rapid water level rise

- The peril of "freshwater flooding" is more gradual and while less of a threat for loss of life (initially), there is greater threat of folks being stranded for extended periods

With those points in mind:

- Better information on what areas are likely to flood, and greater notification of residents in those areas (geo-targeted text messaging has potential --- "Get the F out" from emergency mgmt.)

- Review of evacuation plans for those residents with special needs (medical, special needs, those lacking transportation)

- Phased evacuation notices (coastal first, high flood risk next, etc)

And the biggest improvement would be that residents themselves take more responsibility in their own outcome. The information on the storm's approach and it's potential for flooding/surge was well documented.


Jay

#287780 - 08/30/17 01:14 PM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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52" of rain over a few days is really hard to plan for. I'm sure there will be some learnings and take-aways but with that much population in the direct line of that system...That's a lot of people, only so many roads, coupled with a somewhat shorter than normal prediction of severity.

Last edited by Jake; 08/30/17 01:17 PM.

Jake Kohl
#287781 - 08/30/17 02:05 PM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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northsea junkie Offline
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J & J, you are both missing my point.

It's not about rescue plans or evacuation schemes which you should bother about now.
It's about dikes, dunes etc. It's about creating overflow areas where the water can be stored, installing pumping engines, etc. It's about the future!!!
Or will you rather wait for the next time?

And because of the scale of all these measures that has to be issued by a governmental authority which has to issue a special tax for that.


ronald
RAIDER-15 (homebuilt)

hey boy, what did you do over there, alone far out at sea?..
"huh....., that's the only place where I'm happy, sir.
#287782 - 08/30/17 10:15 PM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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Tax and government are not really popular over here, ask the Brits about that...

The sheer scope of the areas at risk is mind-boggling. The entire Gulf coast, Atlantic coast, and as we're seeing now, even states well inland can be devastated by these storms.

Forecasting has come a long way, but is still not a perfect science. Even if that many people could be safely moved, it would take a week or more, and the storm tracks can change a lot in that much time.

Mike

#287783 - 08/31/17 01:26 AM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: brucat]  
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Originally Posted by brucat
Tax and government are not really popular over here

Mike


Nor are climate change and world climate agreement. While they certainly have to do with growing nature disasters.

Listen, I'm not an activist who want to change the world. On my age it's more : "Apres moi le deluge".
But at one moment, as a community, you have to scratch one's head and take these events as signs. And act.


ronald
RAIDER-15 (homebuilt)

hey boy, what did you do over there, alone far out at sea?..
"huh....., that's the only place where I'm happy, sir.
#287784 - 08/31/17 06:09 AM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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I highly agree with Ronald's comments, and much as I would think there will be planning toward future emergencies, I agree that funding of those plans will be left sorely out of the plan...

I am not entirely certain at what point New Orleans should decide to change their look to something similar to Venice, Italy... How long can you pump water out of that area as it continues to sink below sea level?


Jay

#287785 - 08/31/17 07:20 AM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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You guys are completely missing the point, it's a pretty impossible logistical problem to solve, not to mention a financial one. The area to be protected is simply too big to protect from all of these storms. And, it's not just the storm surge (encroaching sea) to worry about, the four feet of rain in this storm was well inland, way beyond what a sea wall (of any size) would protect.

We all pay for the repairs through higher taxes and insurance. And sadly, people pay the ultimate price with their lives. But, we can't protect everyone from everything. The odds of dying in your car on a sunny day (crash) far outweigh your odds of seeing a flood coming to your area.

Lots of us shake our heads when people build homes on the seashore, sometimes on stilts. Eventually, a storm comes and wipes them out, and the owners act surprised and insist on rebuilding. It's worse when we have to contribute to the insurance premiums to make that happen.

Mike

#287787 - 08/31/17 11:06 AM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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Mike, you are absolutely right about the very large area that has to be protected. But it's not so bad that three states are completely flooded by rainwater.

There are high grounds and low grounds if you look more precisely. And that's also the entrance for searching the way out of this problem. It's all about water-management on a small scale. So dividing the area in logical parts and then try to introduce Water-management.
Which means looking to the sewerage systeem, the distance to the sea, under or above sealevel, presence of dikes, dunes. The ability of the ground to store water in itself, is it covered up with houses,buildings, stones, roads etc. Is there a possibility to store water on fields with dikes, or lakes, etc. And is the danger coming from the sea or from the rain, or both.

Mike, you mentioned f.i. the people who build homes on the seashore. Well, ofcourse that should be forbidden . In Holland we have a lot of these zones where it is not allowed to build.

It's clear that there is no quick and cheap solution for this immens problem, but first the mentality has to alter from defeatism to protest and problem-solving on a small scale.

Mike, you concluded harshly that paying for all the repairs by taxes and Insurance might be better?/ more sensible then paying a lot of money for preventing the odds of these floodings.
Taking into account the growing climate change, I do not follow you there.


ronald
RAIDER-15 (homebuilt)

hey boy, what did you do over there, alone far out at sea?..
"huh....., that's the only place where I'm happy, sir.
#287788 - 08/31/17 08:31 PM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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People do migrate away from these areas after a disaster like this. Honestly, it's why I don't live any closer to the coast (I'm about 200 miles away). I once thought I wanted to live on the coast but decided that the thought of running from massively destructive weather and the possible damage/loss to property just isn't worth it.

I nearly ended up on the coast but a problem with the company doing the hiring delayed the process four weeks. A hurricane blew through three weeks into that process and I decided, nope...no thanks. I spent a few days in Port Arthur at an oil facility doing an emergency assessment to build an expedited repair plan on production equipment that had been underwater after Hurricane Rita in 2005 (Port Arthur was also hit very hard then too). I'm not sure how Rita compared locally there to this one but I imagine this one is worse. Rita decimated that facility and they (and/or their insurance company) spent about $400,000 repairing just the two machines we had in there - and we were practically NOTHING compared to all of the other machinery and processing equipment.

New Orleans saw roughly 20% of it's population not return after Katrina and I'm sure Houston/Port Arthur/Port Aransas will be similar. I'm afraid that the migration away from these heavily impacted zones is the future - which may not be a terrible thing in the long run. The storms and devastation are increasing.

Last edited by Jake; 08/31/17 09:20 PM.

Jake Kohl
#287790 - 09/01/17 06:54 AM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: brucat]  
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Originally Posted by brucat


Lots of us shake our heads when people build homes on the seashore, sometimes on stilts. Eventually, a storm comes and wipes them out, and the owners act surprised and insist on rebuilding. It's worse when we have to contribute to the insurance premiums to make that happen.

Mike


I agree completely that people should not be surprised when they place their home in a high-hazard area (coastline, wildfire, flood zone, volcano, etc) and the "impossible" happens and wrecks their home.

I like the concept of "spread of risk" by having all parties share a bit to help those unfortunate enough to suffer catastrophe. But this concept should not act as an enticement for risky behavior such as continued development in high-risk areas.

One little homeowner insurance tidbit I find encouraging is that if your home is destroyed, the carrier pays the replacement cost but that does NOT mean you have to rebuild the house where it stood. You can rebuild the house pretty much anywhere else if you so desire. I think some folks took advantage of that after recent disasters (wildfire, flood, quake, etc)


Jay

#287792 - 09/02/17 01:43 PM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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It's not my personal conclusion that paying damages is "better" than paying to protect this huge area, nor am I trying to sound "defeatist." Our society has decided to take this risk-based approach.

I hate it because there are literally lives at stake, but have to come to realize that it's not possible to keep everyone from dying in these monster storms.

Mike

#287793 - 09/03/17 05:50 AM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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In the Dutch newspapers there is a lot of attention to this floods in Texas and Houston. I explained before that there is a planelogical simularity with the situation ih Holland.
Hence this interest and solidarity of the Dutch people ( and hence my posts).

The Texas Tribune published last week that more then 8500 buildings are build in the floodline of the damaged area. Mind you, this line indicates already 100 years the region where you don't want to be if the water comes.
Ironically the house prices appear to be much lower overthere and the people who live there, seem to have financial not much other choice.
It is quite a blame for the government that they subsidize these flood-assurances for the people in the vulnarable ares.
Such an assurance in the floodline of Harris County seems to be dirt cheap and at first sight less risky. Logical this all trapped the people.

But, properly, such a floodassurance ought to be more expensive (the risk increases). Which will make, as a positive result, living there less attractive.

When the water will sink in this weeks, the distress of broken houses, cars and drowned people will be shown.

I (we) hope that this will not be to bad. Anyway, these subsidizing will be hard to defend in the future...........



Last edited by northsea junkie; 09/03/17 08:43 AM. Reason: language

ronald
RAIDER-15 (homebuilt)

hey boy, what did you do over there, alone far out at sea?..
"huh....., that's the only place where I'm happy, sir.
#287822 - 09/07/17 09:11 AM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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NorthSea, The USA has this core principle of Federalism. That means each state determines the standards and rules about things like coastal development and building codes. Rational universal solutions and standards are trumped by local concerns, culture and tradition. So, that lets each locality do their own thing.... like build a major city in a swamp below sea level without building dykes.... or build a huge major city on more reclaimed bayous without worrying about storm water runoff. The bottom line of course is that they would have to raise their taxes to build the systems that mitigate predictable disasters. Now... AFTER the STORM.... these very same folks insist that their personal catastrophe (insured or not insured) is now a national problem and want cash to rebuild just the way they had it before.

The US solution is to throw this mitigation versus cleanup/rebuild issue into national politics. How much Cash should the US Government give to the Texas people who won't use their rainy day fund or raise their taxes to pay for their personal crisis. Ditto Florida. Ditto the west and the fire problems The dutch solution sound like it is a national plan and you have a consensus of what to build and what standards to enforce. In a properly functioning federalist system.... the US government should cut texas a loan with a rate based on their contribution and willingness to meet rational universal standards. Ditto the payouts to the West and Florida.


crac.sailregattas.com
#287829 - 09/08/17 06:03 AM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: Mark Schneider]  
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Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
NorthSea, The USA has this core principle of Federalism. That means each state determines the standards and rules about things like coastal development and building codes. Rational universal solutions and standards are trumped by local concerns, culture and tradition. So, that lets each locality do their own thing.... like build a major city in a swamp below sea level without building dykes.... or build a huge major city on more reclaimed bayous without worrying about storm water runoff. The bottom line of course is that they would have to raise their taxes to build the systems that mitigate predictable disasters. Now... AFTER the STORM.... these very same folks insist that their personal catastrophe (insured or not insured) is now a national problem and want cash to rebuild just the way they had it before.

The US solution is to throw this mitigation versus cleanup/rebuild issue into national politics. How much Cash should the US Government give to the Texas people who won't use their rainy day fund or raise their taxes to pay for their personal crisis. Ditto Florida. Ditto the west and the fire problems The dutch solution sound like it is a national plan and you have a consensus of what to build and what standards to enforce. In a properly functioning federalist system.... the US government should cut texas a loan with a rate based on their contribution and willingness to meet rational universal standards. Ditto the payouts to the West and Florida.



Mark, thanks for your eloquent elucidation. It answered the questions and unsatisfying issues in my mind. Maybe it is medicine for other members too.

thanks again.......


ronald
RAIDER-15 (homebuilt)

hey boy, what did you do over there, alone far out at sea?..
"huh....., that's the only place where I'm happy, sir.
#287836 - 09/08/17 12:23 PM Re: Hurricane Harvey [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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I don't know if I agree with Mark's reasoning or not, but you can't over-state how difficult it is (politically) to accomplish anything here. Especially things that are expensive. Logic has no seat at the table.

This country is young (relative to Europe and elsewhere), but people have built in stupid places, for stupid reasons, and have too much invested to walk away.

There have been major construction projects (freeway system, reservoirs, etc.) which have required major changes to extremely large areas, but not in a very long time (pushing 75 years?). And, it's usually the little guy who loses his house, for pennies on the dollar.

Mike


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