HOUSTON (KTRK) --Deadly storms dumped an astonishing 240 billion gallons of water over Harris County earlier this week. Almost 20 inches of rain fell in western Harris County, pushing some creeks to 500-year flood levels. This immense rainfall flooded thousands of homes and businesses, but it would have been far worse for the city of Houston if not for the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.
It's estimated that 67 billion gallons, or almost 30 percent, of the water that fell over the county has drained into these reservoirs on Houston's west side. This record amount of water would normally flow into Buffalo Bayou, which runs parallel to I-10 right thru downtown Houston.
So just how much water is 67 billion gallons? Here are some statistics that put it into perspective. It's enough water to...
- Fill every square inch of land inside loop 610 to a depth of greater than three feet.
- Fill up the Astrodome over 210 times.
- Fill the land of downtown Houston to a depth of 214 feet, or roughly the height of a 21-story building.
With dry weather in the forecast the next few days, water is now being drained from these two reservoirs into Buffalo Bayou at a controlled rate to prevent bayou flooding downstream.
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers estimates the reservoirs have prevented over $4.6 billion in flood damages since they were built in the 1940s.