Houston dating lines

A month after the Tax Day flood, another mega-storm hit the city, dumping well over a foot of rain on parts of Harris County, home to Houston, in 24 hours.

The area's history is punctuated by such major back-to-back storms, but many residents say they are becoming more frequent and severe, and scientists agree. Scientists, other experts and federal officials say Houston's explosive growth is largely to blame.

"More people die here than anywhere else from floods," said Sam Brody, a Texas A&M University at Galveston researcher who specializes in natural hazards mitigation. As millions have flocked to the metropolitan area in recent decades, local officials have largely snubbed stricter building regulations, allowing developers to pave over crucial acres of prairie land that once absorbed huge amounts of rainwater.

That has led to an excess of floodwater during storms that chokes the city's vast bayou network, drainage systems and two huge federally owned reservoirs, endangering many nearby homes — including Virginia Hammond's.

Eight months after the Tax Day flood, Hammond's home is still in shambles, with almost no furniture, kitchen cabinets or place to cook.

She wants someone to buy her out, but she's not optimistic.

Homeowners don't need insurance to get a mortgage in the 500-year floodplain, but many buy it anyway.

And it turns out that Houston has seen the most urban flooding of any other area in the country in the past four decades, according to recent analysis by Brody, the Texas A&M scientist.

their agenda to protect the environment overrides common sense," he said.

On top of that, scientists say climate change is causing torrential rainfall to happen more often, meaning storms that used to be considered "once-in-a-lifetime" events are happening with greater frequency.

Rare storms that have only a miniscule chance of occurring in any given year have repeatedly battered the city in the past 15 years.

But Talbott acknowledged that projects in the works wouldn't come close to protecting against something like a Tax Day flood.

Those include retrofitting old drainage, widening bayous and building more ponds to temporarily store floodwater.

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So they have formed a group called "Residents Against Flooding," and recently, the group sued the city of Houston and a local tax reinvestment zone this year, demanding better drainage.

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