Daily Archives: August 27, 2017

Now That’s More Like It . . .

Well, after yesterday’s lack of rain here in Conroe, about 1am this morning that all changed.

Like you’d flicked a switch it started pouring down, heavier than any time in the last couple of days. And it continued the rest of the night and into the daylight. If it’s not pouring down hard, it’s still a steady heavy drizzle, and it really hasn’t stopped.

All of the news anchors keep comparing this storm and the resultant flooding to Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. But it seems like everyone has forgotten about Tropical Storm Claudette in July 1979.

Never a hurricane, Claudette came into the Gulf after crossing over Cuba. Then proceeding across the Gulf of Mexico, it came on land near Houston and stalled. For the next couple of days rain just poured down without stopping.

On July 25th It dumped 42” of rain on Alvin, TX, southwest of Houston, a record for 24 hour rainfall in the US that still stands to this day. Many other cities south of Houston had totals over 30”.

Here’s a traffic cam photo at i-610 just south of I-10 east of Houston

Harvey Traffic Cam

Those traffic signs are normally 20 feet above the road, which shows how deep it is over the roadway.

About noon I decided to drive around the park to see how it was faring around here. I was curious about the low area along the small creek, (or ‘crick’ as we say in Alabama) as you come down the hill from the Ranger Station.

Harvey Lake Conroe Entrance

But except for the orange cones, which several trucks drove right past, everything looked good.

Lake Conroe was definitely over its banks.

Harvey Lake Conroe Lake

I thought that might be an RV in the flood waters, but it turned out to be a pontoon boat with too tight an anchor rope. Hope it doesn’t get pulled under as the water rises.

Harvey Lake Conroe Lake Pontoon Boat

I heard later in the afternoon that the COE was going to start releasing water from the lake to lower the level.

This Great White Egret seems to be the only guy that’s happy about all the rain

Harvey Lake Conroe Egret

When I got back to the rig I checked my  homemade rain gauge. I set this kitty litter bucket out just after midnight Saturday morning and I don’t know when it overflowed, but the bucket is 16” tall so there’s been at least that much rain here since then.

Kitty Bucket Water Level

I dumped it out about 2pm, so we’ll see how much more we get.

Last minute update before I postd the blog at 11pm. We’ve had another 5 inches of rain in the last 9 hours.

A little before 3pm we got a text message from the Lake Conroe TT saying that there was a break in the 8” water main feeding the park and that the water would be off until further notice. Glad I topped off our fresh water tank the other day.

Just now, about 7:30, we got another text message saying the water line break had been repaired. Yay!

There have been dueling recommendations between state and local authorities about whether or not to call for a mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas of Houston. Especially since the last evacuation of Houston was an unmitigated disaster all by itself.

In late August 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the New Orleans area. With around 1800 fatalities attributed to the storm, it was a real shock to the Gulf Coast. So when just a month later, Hurricane Rita initially made a beeline for Houston, mass panic ensued.

Originally forecast as a CAT 5, the strongest Gulf storm on record, Rita scared the crap out of a lot of people. And about 2.5 million of them headed north out of Houston on I-45, all at the same time, creating the largest gridlock in US history.


Rita Evac 1

Rita Evac 2

More than100 people died in the evacuation. Drivers were stuck in traffic for more than 20 hours, and heat stroke struck down dozens. A bus carrying nursing home patients caught fire, and 24 died. People ran out of gas just sitting in the gridlock and fights broke out along the roadway. It was described as ‘a hellhole.’

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And then, still out in the Gulf, Rita downgraded itself to a CAT 3 and made a 90 degree turn to the right, missing Houston almost completely, ultimately coming on land around the Texas/Louisiana border. Down in the Clear Lake area, we got no rain whatsoever, leading to this famous photo.


Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Thought for the Day:

Meanwhile in Texas


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