What Houston area is doing to reduce flood risk


While Hurricane Harvey may have been the perfect storm, the greater Houston area has seen its fair share of significant flooding in recent years -- Memorial Day in 2015 and Tax Day in 2016.

All the conditions had to come together perfectly for Harvey to produce the amount of rain and the coverage of rain that it did," Jeff Lindner, with the Harris County Flood Control District, said. "We've seen this before where we go through these cycles." 

He explains why we flood so much.

"A lot of it is due to our climate. We get really big rains here," Lindner said. "The second is our topography. We're very flat."  

Whether it's stubborn thunderstorms or tropical systems, there are steps being taken to reduce the risk of flooding, like Project Brays in the Meyerland area, widening channels and creating additional stormwater retention basins.

"We're going to have to start getting serious here in Harris County and Houston that we live with a flood threat," Lindner said. "We're also working on a real-time flood forecasting system where we're moving the water through our channels and forecasting in time how high we think the water levels are going to get. " 

The flood control district is also working on a pilot project to see just how good their forecasts can be.

"And I want to caution everybody that, like meteorology forecasts, forecasting water, it has some uncertainty, too," he said.