Meanwhile on the Gulf

Several Facebook friends with Houston connections posted this. I’m not sure of the original source.

Things non-Houstonians need to understand:

1. The streets and many of the public parks here are designed to flood. We sit just 35 feet above sea level, and most of the city is as flat as a pool table. We average about 50 inches of rain a year. The streets and parks serve as temporary retention ponds, accommodating slow, steady drainage through our bayous.

2. We average about 50 inches of rain a year, but in the last 48 hours, many areas of greater Houston received 25 to 30 inches of rain. That’s six to nine months’ worth of rain, in two days. The drainage system, which works well in normal conditions, was overwhelmed. Officials are calling this an “800 year flood”: that means there was a one in 800 chance of its occurrence. Even with advance notice, there was little means of preparing for this.

3. It is impossible to evacuate a city the size of Houston. Harris County is 1700+ square miles, with a population of 6.5 million people. How do you evacuate 6.5 million people? During the hours leading to Hurricane Rita’s landfall, tens of thousands of Houstonians attempted evacuation. The traffic jams lasted for days. One hundred people died. So far, six Houstonians have died in Hurricane Harvey, all of them (as far as I have heard) drowned in their automobiles. For more than a decade, the local mantra has been “shelter in place and hunker down.” That’s hard, but it’s the right approach.

4. Some outsiders are treating this disaster with schadenfreude: Texans helped elect an anti-big government president, and now we’re going to need big government help. Houston is one of the bluest spots in Texas, and voted Clinton in 2016. Suggesting this is karmic payback for backing Trump is as inaccurate (and offensive) as Pat Robertson’s suggestion that Hurricane Katrina was God smiting sinners. We really aren’t thinking Red or Blue right now. We are taking a royal beating, all of us. Disasters don’t care about ideology.

5. You are going to feel this. Gasoline and other oil-refined products (everything from PVC pipe to dry cleaning fluid) will rise in price. The stock market will take a hit. New Orleans is a fantastic city, but it’s not a major economic force. Houston is the center of the nation’s energy industry. It’s home to dozens of Fortune 500 companies. And 85% of it is under water. It may be this way for weeks.

And in the meantime, there’s baseball, somewhere:

I checked this with a sports guy at Fox 26 Houston:



  1. fillyjonk »

    29 August 2017 · 2:30 pm

    #4 on that first list is the one that I find particularly galling. I want to tell people “Put your (profanity) politics away for ONE DAY and try to see other people as people, PLEASE.”

    Have also seen people actually wishing death on Texans because they assume they were all Trump supporters. That kind of thing makes me want to turn in my Human card and join up with the cats or horses or some other species.

  2. McG »

    29 August 2017 · 2:39 pm

    I have a book of Texas jokes purchased years ago in Fort Worth that tells of Lucifer complaining about getting a shipment of sinners from Houston because they’re too damp to light.

  3. In The Mailbox: 08.29.17 : The Other McCain »

    29 August 2017 · 6:08 pm

    […] Dustbury: Meanwhile, On The Gulf […]

  4. Holly H »

    30 August 2017 · 9:18 am

    McG, good one!

    On a more serious note, though…I agree about dropping politics for now. However….when it’s all over, it’s gonna be time to admit that 800-year events have changed considerably, due to (….. here it comes) climate change. Time to admit it and quit being shocked, every time an 800-year event happens every 10.

  5. nightfly »

    30 August 2017 · 4:04 pm

    The baseball scheduling thing is pretty small beer in the large scheme of things, of course, but I’m startled the Rangers are being so petty about it. Logistically, it is harder to go to Tampa than to simply swap out the series – and in this particular case, the logistics for both teams were much simpler than they could have been. Both these series are at the end or beginning of blocks of games for both teams, merely extending road trips or homestands instead of making the team travel cross-state and then return immediately.

    Instead the Rangers are forcing the Astros (average home attendance this season: 30,662) to play across the Gulf of Mexico in possibly the worst current MLB venue, in front of fans of neither team, on preposterously short notice. Result: 12-2 loss in front of 3485 paying customers.

    Honestly, they should sue.

  6. ETat »

    1 September 2017 · 6:47 am

    To those gullible little dumbDem partyline adherents: “it’s high pressure meets low pressure, not climate change”

  7. L. Beau Macaroni »

    2 September 2017 · 10:54 am

    From the newsletter:

    “Some of you are still dealing with Hurricane/tropical storm Harvey. Our thoughts are with you, and we hope you’re safe. Please check in when you can, and remember that Farkers have been able to help each other out during similar circumstances in the past. Feel free to reach out in the NotNewsletter thread or any Harvey thread if you need help getting through this.

    CatherineM posted a comment explaining things that “non-Houstonians need to understand” about what they’re dealing with right now. Please note that while this comment is in a TotalFark thread which normally wouldn’t be accessible to non-TotalFarkers, we’ve made it so that anyone with a Fark account can view this thread for a couple of days, but you must be logged into your Fark account to see it.”

    I think that the comment can’t be seen by non-subscribers anymore (yeah, I know that I’m a few days late commenting on even your post, Charles) but I believe this to be the original source of the comment.

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