4 takeaways from Jeff Lindner's talk on Hurricane Harvey, flood control

Coverage on Hurricane Harvey was one of the top Community Impact Newspaper stories of 2017.

Coverage on Hurricane Harvey was one of the top Community Impact Newspaper stories of 2017.

For its February luncheon, the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce invited Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District, to speak about the effects of Hurricane Harvey in Harris County and the surrounding area. Lindner's talk included a discussion of flood statistics and safety tips. Here are four key takeaways:


Harvey’s damage rivals that of Hurricane Katrina


According to Lindner, Hurricane Harvey is the second most damaging storm in the U.S. behind Hurricane Katrina, the category 5 hurricane that hit the southern U.S. in 2005. Harvey caused an estimated $125 billion in damage, some of which is still being assessed, Lindner said.

A HCFCD analysis of the damage found that:

  • 300,000 vehicles flooded

  • between 100,000-140,000 structures flooded

  • 60,064 people were rescued







The effects of Harvey were unexpected, even to meteorologists


Although the storm was anticipated to be big, Lindner said the magnitude was not understood until much later.

“The comprehension of what two, three, four feet of rain was going to do was probably off, including for us, the meteorologists,” he said. “We all had an understanding that we were going to have flooding. We all had an understanding that it would be like [the] Tax Day [floods]. But, we did not have the comprehension that it was going to be all of the county and all of the surrounding counties."





Rainfall totals were unprecedented


Compared to previous storms, the acceleration of rainfall during Harvey was alarming, Lindner said. Within three hours, 15 inches of rain had fallen, and another 35 inches had fallen by the second day, according to HCFCD data.

One trillion gallons of water had fallen in four days, equivalent to 68 percent of Harris County’s rainfall in a normal year. The rainwater from Harvey would run through the Niagara Falls for 15 days and fill the Astrodome 3,200 times, Lindner said. The storm also dropped 6-7 more feet of precipitation than the Tax Day floods of 2016.

“Harvey exceeded the previous worse storm in American history by 14 inches,” he said. “It truly was off the charts.”





Tips for citizens caught in a flood event


Lindner said when an event like Harvey happens, it is better for community members in flooded homes to get on their roofs rather than staying in their attics.

“We learned from Hurricane Katrina that if you go into your attic, we cannot see you,” he said. “First responders cannot see you from a helicopter if you’re in your attic.”

Boat owners who are able to help during a flood should also call and coordinate with local officials for rescues, Lindner said.

“Every available government resource had been deployed,” he said. “Please call us and coordinate with us. We were sending—based on 911 calls—people to areas, and somebody had already rescued that [person] we did not know about. We were spending resources in areas that didn’t necessarily need it anymore.”




MOST RECENT

Main Chick Hot Chicken opened its first brick-and-mortar location July 23 in Sugar Land. (Courtesy Main Chick Hot Chicken)
Main Chick Hot Chicken opens in Sugar Land; Urban Bird Hot Chicken coming to Cy-Fair and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news for the Houston area, including two new chicken restaurants.

The meals will be available at no cost for all students with zero requirements for qualification. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harmony Public Schools to offer free meals to all students

The meals will be available at no cost for all students with zero requirements for qualification.

Shop Texas Boutique is opening its first storefront July 31. (Courtesy Shop Texas Boutique)
Shop Texas Boutique to hold Cy-Fair grand opening

The "Christmas in July"-themed grand opening is scheduled for this weekend.

Houston-area residents will be able to apply online for a one-time payment of $1,500 from July 28-Aug. 11. (File photo)
$30M COVID Relief Fund opens for Harris County residents as eviction moratorium ends

Sourced by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, eligible residents will receive a one-time payment of $1,500 to support urgent needs.

The Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve will break ground on a new expansion project in September. (Emily Jaroszewski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve in Harris County breaking ground on new project in September

Construction of new pedestrian trails is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022.

Pride Houston Parade
Pride Houston fall parade and festival canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

The downtown annual parade and festival, scheduled for Sept. 25, will be replaced by a Montrose block party and other events, organizers announced July 25.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

Urban Bird Hot Chicken is coming soon to the Cy-Fair area. (Courtesy Urban Bird Hot Chicken)
Urban Bird Hot Chicken adding new location in Cy-Fair

The restaurant serves Nashville-style hot chicken in sandwiches, tenders and fries.

Bel Furniture has purchased the former location of Star Furniture. (Courtesy Baker Katz)
Bel Furniture buys former Star Furniture property in Willowbrook area

The 60,935-square-foot store sits on 2.38 acres near Willowbrook Mall.

Raising Cane's is opening two new locations in the Cy-Fair area by the end of the year. (Courtesy Raising Cane's)
Raising Cane's opening two locations in Cy-Fair area

Raising Cane's is opening two new locations in the Cy-Fair area by the end of the year.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Average testing positivity rate nears 10% after sharp increase

Over 97% of people nationwide who are being hospitalized because of the disease are unvaccinated.

The Coffee Drip Co. opened July 19. (Emily Jaroszewski/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Coffee Drip Co. opens in Cy-Fair

The coffee shop offers espresso beverages such as lattes and mochas as well as breakfast sandwiches and pastries.