Category Archives: Weather

Finally rain

Got a brief thunderstorm late yesterday afternoon with more expected today. First rain in several months. Wonderful watching it pour off a neighboring roof, proof of the old saying that gutters are useless in Texas.

Hope it doesn’t match another old Texas saying that droughts are broken by floods.

UPDATE:  Twelve days later we’re still waiting for rain, with “extreme fire hazard” signs all about.

Flood watch

Been keeping an eye on weather radar since we’re under a flood watch until Saturday afternoon. Got the place dry enough, until I smelled mildew and discovered a cardboard box in the closet that was soaked.

Got the box out to the front porch. Full of old CDs as well as water. I left it on the porch. I hope someone steals it. Meanwhile used towels to clean up the water and put a fan on the spot to further dry it out. Going to buy some Lysol spray for the walls.

Any more tips, your Excellency? Two walls in the closet are concrete but the back wall may be sheet-rock. Not sure. Suppose I should say the death toll so far stands at one. A fellow who was swept from downtown into the river/lake and found floating, drowned. Long way from the rancho happily.

The flood

Used to say we don’t get no floods up here in the hills. Forgot about the towel brigade because it hadn’t happened in a few years, ground saturated above us here in the valley. Thought to myself, when it was pouring outside tonight, should get out of bed and check. Didn’t. Getting old.

Until an hour or so after the rain stopped. Stepped into water in the family room, the lowest part of the house. Not quite ankle-deep but has soaked the big rug good. Have been using a wet-vac but it’s slow going. Probably better to let it evaporate under the fans and with the door open.

Until the rain starts up again about noon. Towel brigade and flood vaccing then. Going to call a rug cleaner that picks up and delivers about 8 a.m. to get ahead of the rush maybe. Will update.

UPDATE:  Got the rug out for drying and cleaning. Then fought off another flood about 1 pm , until I started losing. Then the storm quit us. Whew.

JD’s challenge: Rising Brazos River

As of Monday, anyhow, his most recent post from his home in Brazoria:

“Just stopped in to feed Bosco, check up on stuff, and grab a couple of things. Brazos water is still maybe a block away, toward the river. Which river, by the by, is about five miles wide now. Fortunately for us, it’s five miles wide to the other side. We are (so far) on the high side.”

Five miles wide. Oops. Still a block away, but the sewage plant is underwater.

“Gotta go. No toilets in Brazoria. Sewage treatment plant is underwater, so no drainage is requested. I’m not going to violate that request, though I a[m] relatively positive I’m about the only household that cares if I make shit come up in other folks showers and tubs.”

Thoughtful of you. Good luck. Water’s got to go down sometime. May it be soon.

UPDATE:  He came home on the 6th to find all okay: “This is the second year we’ve had Brazos flooding come fairly close to our house. Think God is giving me a hint? I’m looking for some higher ground.”

The sound of chainsaws in the morning

Lots of limb and tree clearing going on in the neighborhood. Obviously a lot more like what we had. Next street over had an old tree uprooted and fall in the street, blocking traffic. It’s being cleared away as I write this on Wednesday.

Harvey damage: broken tree limbs

If you can make out the three yellow spots (click on the photo to biggerize it) you’ll see the broken limbs from a tree on the north side of the rancho. Tool shed visible through the branches. Super-saturation with rainwater combined with 45 mph gusts brought them down. Now to clean them up. May take a few days to get it scheduled with a tree service. “Is it an emergency?” asked the receptionist. “Because we’ve got trees fallen into houses and onto cars.” Well, no. I can wait.

UPDATE: Our landscaper got a crew out Tuesday and cleared all this away. Said one good result is the grass will grow better now without the shade.

Historic flooding

Not at the rancho, fortunately, as we are on the northwestern side of Austin at a higher elevation than most of the rest of the city. But more likely in the downtown area, along Shoal, Waller and Onion creeks, and definitely south and east of I-35: Bastrop, La Grange, Giddings, Kyle, Lockhart.

Because as of 1 a.m. Sunday they have had upwards of 17 inches of rain. With much more to come. Wave after wave. Through Thursday. Rain all day, every day. All because Harvey has stalled about 80 miles due south of Austin and is stationary and pulling Gulf moisture up and around Austin. In a counter-clockwise rotation. Like a fire hose. With no atmospheric event to stop it.

Houston likewise is being hit hard already. A town where 4 inches of rain causes flooding has, so far, had 15 inches and more. With more to come. This is as KVUE’s chief meteorologist Alberto Ramon says an historic event. A potentially catastrophic event as the Colorado and Guadalupe Rivers get out of their banks.

There’s been nothing like this in a hundred years or more.