Monday, April 18, 2016
Houston's Tax Day Flood
Today is Tax Day. But, in Houston, nobody's talking about that. Instead, we are dealing with rising water. Lots of it.
For hours and hours, it's been raining cats and dogs and all kinds of other critters. The bayous - dozens of them - have inched up and out of their banks and their flood waters are rolling across the pancake-flat plains of our beloved city. Already, thousands of homes in more than 70 neighborhoods are taking in water. Rescues are happenings, but only by boat.
Streets and highways have also been overtaken by the bayous. Early this morning, hundreds of drivers found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many had to abandon their cars to seek safety. Some of those were able to get out just moments before their cars became totally submerged in the rushing water.
For many of us, the heavy downfall and the aftermath are reminiscent of the storm we had last Memorial Day and during Tropical Storm Allison, which hit us hard in 2001.
Even so, local news reports tell us "today's storm is even more widespread and devastating" than either of those incidents.
Thankfully, my home is located on ground higher than most others in the greater Houston area. My streets drain well. Rising waters are not threatening me here.
Still, like the rest of Houston's citizens today, I am home.
The schools and universities are closed. The medical clinics are open only for emergencies. Scheduled meetings and social events have been postponed for another time.
Sadly, in Houston, today has been canceled.