Houston stormwater managers sound hopeful note amid disaster

This city has struggled for years to control routine flooding as stormwater managers waged a losing battle against developers. But experts see signs the tide may be turning, even as the city copes with a flooding disaster in what’s been a monster wet month here. Extreme thunderstorms that rolled through on Memorial Day evening trailing weeks of relentless rain have called attention to a network of drainage canals and two major federal flood control projects. If just one of those 70-year-old dams fails, experts say, the flood would likely eclipse damage done to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in 2004 given Houston’s much larger population. Mayor Annise Parker acknowledged in a press conference yesterday that flooding in some areas is chronic — the result of relentless development paving over wetlands that would have soaked up stormwater. “We had localized street flooding, sheet flooding in certain areas, and the underpasses, the places in Houston that often flood in a very severe rain flooded,” she said. Eenews.net

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