A Planner's Take on Houston Flooding

Earlier this week, the Houston area experienced another bout of extreme flooding from intense storms that brought a historic amount of rainfall. While the city and surrounding areas have been battling with additional rain, flooding aftermath, and now concerns for their "extremely high risk" dams, it's important to note that the Houston/Harris County area is not unfamiliar with this type of event.

Last year's rainstorms over Memorial Day weekend brought flooding. Earlier, the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in 2008 and Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 devastated the area. Allison remains the nation's "costliest tropical storm ever recorded," according to USA Today.

So why is Houston so prone to flooding?

Enter Samuel Brody.

Dr. Samuel J. Brody is a professor of marine sciences and urban planning at Texas A&M University and Director of its Institute for Sustainable Coastal Communities. He has been involved in recovery from Hurricane Ike in Galveston, in numerous studies related to flood risk, and is affiliated with the university’s Hazards Reduction and Recovery Center. He has worked with APA’s Hazards Planning Center as a symposium participant and case study author for the forthcoming PAS Report, Subdivision Design and Flood Hazard Areas.

In this April 19, 2016, interview with Marketplace, he discusses recent flooding in the Houston area.


About the Author

Michael Johnson is APA's Manager of Digital and Social Media.

April 22, 2016

By Michael Johnson