We use terms like “100-year events” to help understand the likelihood of certain weather events. However, they really only work if they’re accurate. According to new research, Houston needs to be prepared for more rain events. This is particularly concerning considering Houston has not been able to make much progress in flood mitigation in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
100-Year Rain Events
A 100-year rain event can be thought of in two ways: (1) the rain event on average would occur once every one hundred years or (2) the rain event has a 1% chance of happening every year. A 1% chance is pretty low, but according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Houston’s 100-year rain events are occurring more frequently.
A 100-year rain event can drop 13 inches of water in a 24-hour period. According to a study by NOAA, these events are closer to a 25-year event. This means that in any given year, there is a 25% chance a rain event will drop 13 inches of rain in 24 hours. Those chances are a lot worse.
The increase in rain events led the NOAA to redefine 100-year rain events for the Houston area – they are now defined by rainfall of up to 18 inches in 24 hours.
Hurricane Harvey Drops Unprecedented Rainfall
NOAA’s updating of 100-year flood events isn’t surprising for Texans who withstood Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. The National Hurricane Center determined the flooding brought on by Hurricane Harvey was greater than a 1,000-year event, the highest level that’s ever been calculated. Regardless of the odds, Hurricane Harvey happened and Houston – as well as the rest of Texas – wasn’t prepared.
Two of Houston’s reservoirs, the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, were unable to hold the rainfall dropped by Hurricane Harvey. Not only did these reservoirs fill nearly to full capacity, causing flooding of thousands of homes, but controlled releases were needed to prevent catastrophic dam failure which caused flooding downstream. Houstonians can expect future rain events to cause serious property damage and the city isn’t prepared.
Get Help With Your Reservoir Claim
Houston residents upstream and downstream of the reservoirs released in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey saw first hand how unprepared Houston was for a catastrophic rain event. If the Addicks or Barker reservoir flooded your home, contact Raizner Law today. We can help explain your legal options and pursue compensation.