News and Further Reading

Flooding Risk Assessment Report

Download my free report This report describes various methods for assessment of flooding risk in Clear Lake City, TX. It also presents a summary of damage from Hurricane Harvey to supplement the risk assessment. The included map products show publicly available data obtained from FEMA, Harris County, and the City of Houston. The report is […]

Insights from detailed topographic map

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) assembles and maintains the National Elevation Dataset (NED). NED is designed to provide national elevation data in a seamless format with consistent datum, elevation unit, and coordinate reference system. These map products are available at the following resolutions: one third arc-second (approximately 10 meters) for the conterminous United States […]

Development has routinely been allowed in floodways

An article in today’s Houston Chronicle by Mark Collette and Mike Dempsey (refer to link below) describes how construction of homes in floodways has frequently been allowed to proceed against expert advice. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/What-s-in-a-floodway-In-Houston-20-000-12409821.php?utm_source=chron&utm_medium=linkmodule&utm_campaign=btfpm Floodways are the areas with the highest risk for flooding damage. They consist of the channel of a river or stream, plus […]

New definition for the 100-year storm?

An article in the Houston Chronicle by Mahir Zaveri dated November 28, 2017 is entitled: “NOAA may reclassify 100-year storm definition because Houston storms have been so bad” The subtitle is “the results could spur sweeping changes to maps, development regulations” http://www.chron.com/news/politics/houston/article/Federal-rainfall-study-shows-dramatic-growth-in-12386006.php It states that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has conducted an […]

Exploration Green project – significant mitigation of flooding in Clear Lake City?

A November 17, 2017 article by Katie Riordan in the Texas Tribune entitled “In search of a flood fix, one Houston community turned to a golf course” summarizes the Exploration Green project. https://www.texastribune.org/2017/11/17/search-flood-control-solution-one-houston-community-turned-golf-course/ Many Clear Lake City residents are familiar with this project, which is now in the early phases of development. It is a […]

Extra attention to 500-year flood plains – University Green example

A University Green resident via social media pointed out an example of repeated flooding outside of any Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and away from any bayous. University Green is located in the southeastern portion of Clear Lake City immediately south of the University of Houston – Clear Lake campus. It is adjacent to the […]

Houston may force hundreds of residents to raise their homes

The Houston Chronicle ran another front page article today regarding flooding issues in Houston. The title is “Harvey damage could force hundreds in Houston to raise their homes” by Nancy Sarnoff. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Harvey-damage-could-force-hundreds-to-raise-their-12411490.php To summarize some property owners that flooded during Harvey will need to elevate their homes if they want to continue living there. If […]

New flood plain rules for Harris County

The title of a front page article in today’s Houston Chronicle is “County tightens flood plain rules – more rigorous standards for new development could impact growth”. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/County-OKs-stricter-development-rules-aimed-at-12408266.php?cmpid=gsa-chron-result The result is that there will now be new, tougher regulations for flood plain development in Harris County. New construction will be required to be built to […]

Where was damage from Harvey in the Clear Lake City area?

Actual flooding and damage to houses and structures is compiled by FEMA in the form of claims made to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This information for individual structures is privacy-protected and not available to the public. Customarily the only information available concerning flooding history is the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report provided […]

FEMA published a predictive model for flooding during Harvey – was it accurate?

On August 27, 2017 FEMA published a Damage Assessment Model listing predicted inundation depths and degrees of damage at the level of individual land parcels throughout the Houston area. The methodology by which this was produced is described in a document at the link below:https://data.femadata.com/NationalDisasters/HurricaneHarvey/Data/DamageAssessments/ Although the publication of this model was too late to […]