reports tonight from Houston
that water levels at Addicks and Barker Reservoirs were continuing to
rise sharply despite controlled releases starting at 1 AM on Monday.
According to these reports, the reservoirs had received upwards of 25
inches of rainfall. The National Weather Service indicated that
another 25 inches may be on the way in total. And despite the
controlled release, reservoir levels were continuing to rise at a
rate of 4 inches per hour.
(Addicks and Barker Reservoirs spill into Buffalo Bayou, which then flows into downtown Houston. Earlier today controlled releases were begun in an attempt to slow water rise in the reservoirs. This release is failing to prevent rapid water rise within and around these reservoirs. Movement of flood waters into the reservoirs is pushing waters into subdivisions near the reservoirs even as risk of levee failure is rising. Image source: Harris County Flood Control District and Weather Underground.)
unprecedented rainfall totals caused
city officials to warn that: “This event has the potential to
exceed a 1,000 year flood plain threshold.” It’s worth noting
that the Levees in Fort Bend County were designed only to manage a
100 year flood event and that the expected 59 foot crest of the
Brazos River represented an 800 year flood event.
by evening, very heavy thunderstorms were running in to Houston
across Galveston Bay. These storms again pummeled the city with
extraordinary rainfall amounts — pushing flood thresholds still
a result, concern about the communities surrounding these reservoirs
is hitting a fever pitch. Flooding is now expected in all of the 41
city subdivisions surrounding Barker and also in all of the 52
subdivisions surrounding Addicks. In addition, three other
neighborhoods could see flooding if water flanks the Addicks
addition to these neighborhoods, officials have called for a
mandatory evacuation of Inverness Forest on Cypress Creek and
Northwood Pines on Spring Creek as a result of potential levee
the day, there have been numerous indications that these reservoirs
were under serious stress as more and more water rushed downstream.
As of late afternoon, water levels had risen to 105 feet in the
Barker reservoir. Observers of levees at the time had already noted
that water was near overtopping in some places. This tweet from Jeff
Linder shows water very close to the top of the Inverness Levee.