John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The earth is so saturated from record rainfall that flooding is only expected to get worse.
As if having neighborhoods turn into impromptu wave pools isn’t enough, residents of Houston and eastern Texas are now facing more rain and storms that could last through Thursday.
The weather won’t be as impossibly wet as the 15-plus inches of rain that dropped in 24 hours from Sunday to Monday, but it will be a problem giving the sodden state of the earth. “The ground is saturated,” writes the National Weather Service. “It won’t take much precipitation to quickly produce flash flooding and additional rises or rivers/streams/bayous.”
The largest water-bomb of this deluge has already dropped, making Monday the rainiest day in Houston’s history, but moderate-to-major flooding on bayous and rivers is predicted to persist into midweek. That means it’s possible we’ll encounter more dismal scenes like these (for what it’s worth, it’s not recommended to enter floodwaters if you can help it, for the obvious drowning risk but also the presence of toxins, snakes, and fire ants):
Woman and child being evacuated in a fridge pic.twitter.com/TMx9kYG7Bf— Lauren Lea (@LaurenLABC13) April 18, 2016