Once-in-100-years rainfall hit some Houston areas over the weekend

April 29, 2013 4:23:20 PM PDT
Many people in Houston are hoping more rain doesn't come their way, especially after storms brought flooding this weekend. The city says even with the flooding, the drainage plans worked.

You can see by the discolored grass how high the water got in a bayou that runs through a Westbury neighborhood. The area just couldn't drain fast enough, and nearby residents, felt the effects.

"You can see where my foot is. That's how high the water came," said resident Jerry Kersey.

He walked us through his waterlogged home, still soaked two days after a gullywasher that dropped four inches of rain on his neighborhood over the course of just an hour, and more after that.

"Had a river running through the house," Kersey said.

A little to the east, Erica Foster was driving home through the worst of the storm, passing cars submerged on Highway 288, which was closed by flooding in both directions.

"It sorta reminded me of Tropical Storm Allison, where there was just a sea of cars on the freeway," said Foster.

The two areas were among the hardest hit. According to the Harris County Flood Control District, they got the equivalent of a once-in-100-years rainfall, overwhelming drainage systems.

"You have the lines that actually will hold just so much liquid. And once they become charged with so much liquid, you're going to have overflow," said Alvin Wright with the Houston Department of Public Works.

TxDOT says its 10 pumps that help drain Highway 288 were working like they were supposed to, but the storm was too much for the system to handle.

"I think there's a lot of infrastructure work to do," said Foster.

Kersey, meanwhile, is weathering his fourth major flood in 15 years. Tired and soggy, but trying to take it in stride.

"Crying doesn't do any good. It's just like, nothing else you can do," he said.

The Harris County Flood Control District has already partnered with the city to make some drainage improvements in the area. Neighbors say it didn't seem to make much of a difference. The flood control district says more improvements are on the way.
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