It’s hard to believe that one year ago, Houston faced the devastating power of Hurricane Harvey. Many people are still dealing with the aftermath.

I heard a talk from Jeff Linder from the Harris County Flood District, who has spoken through the years about the flooding issues Houston has had. He provided some incredible insight and statistics, and today I wanted to pass those on to you.

Jeff spoke about how Houston has had four “great” rainfalls in the last 38 years:

  • Tropical Storm Claudette, July 1979: 43.0 inches in 24 hours
  • Tropical Storm Allison, June 2001: 28.5 inches in 12 hours
  • Tax Day 2016: 23.5 inches in 12 hours
  • Hurricane Harvey 2017: 47.4 inches in four days (25.6 inches in 24 hours)

Hurricane Harvey is now known as the biggest flood in American history. The storm dumped enough water to be able to supply the entire U.S. for 26 days; mind you, that was just over a 2,000-mile area. If we expand that to 10,000 miles, the numbers get unbelievable.

“Just because you didn’t flood during Harvey, it doesn’t mean that you don’t face the risk of flooding in the future.”

Looking at the statistics, we found that 154,170 homes were flooded during the hurricane. That’s about 11% of the total structures in the area. What’s more is that over 105 of those homes were outside of the 100-year floodplain—an area in which flooding is supposedly a minimal risk.

During his talk, Jeff emphasized that Houston’s drain system can really only take about one or two inches of water per hour; the system can’t handle much more than that. The remaining water has to be flooded or channeled out.

He also wanted to make this abundantly clear: Just because you didn’t flood during Harvey, it doesn’t mean that you don’t face the risk of flooding in the future. As we approach another hurricane season, please keep in mind that if you don’t have flood insurance, you may want to reconsider and purchase a policy. We certainly hope that we won’t see another storm like Harvey, but it should be expected, based on Houston’s history, that we will see some flooding at some point in the future.