Why do streets flood in Houston so easily?

Experts weigh in on Houston's street flooding dilemma

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HOUSTON – Every time it rains hard in Houston, the streets flood.

In Houston, the streets are supposed to flood. They’re designed as secondary storm channels to hold storm runoff and allow it to drain through storm sewers into bayous and rivers.

What a weather expert says

Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Linder had an answer for concerned residents.

Q: Why do the streets flood so often?

A: "The streets will flood so the homes don’t flood. The pipes underground that carry the water from roadways to the creeks can handle about 2 inches of rain an hour. So, we start talking about the rainfall rates we were seeing yesterday, 4 to 5, even 6 inches an hour, that’s just a tremendous amount of water that’s going to overwhelm the ability of pipes to carry that water."

One way to reduce street flooding would be to rebuild smaller storm sewer systems in older neighborhoods to increase drainage capacity.

Some neighborhoods are already in line for the change as part of the $2.5 billion bond issue approved by Harris County last summer.