Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Monday, I read about the severe weather that covered the Houston area, leaving four dead and many streets flooded. It reminded me that the more things change, the more they seem the same.

Houston is known as "The Bayou City", in part because of it's network of bayous that help protect one of America's largest cities from flooding when not only tropical systems, but the almost constant afternoon thunderstorms dump inches of rainfall on the area. It didn't help a great deal yesterday; many of them were nearly full from previous wet weather and because nearly ten inches of rain fell in some areas Monday.

Just over three decades ago, I lived on the outskirts of Houston in the suburban city of Pasadena. With over 100,000 people, it is best known for country singer Mickey Gilley's "world's largest honky tonk" featured in the film Urban Cowboy, and for San Jacinto Junior College's national championship basketball teams during the 1980s.

Pasadena was not known for it's great street drainage. Often, with only a normal afternoon thunderstorm, some streets would become streams quickly, with water coming up to a vehicle's rims. As the entire area experienced growth during the oil boom years of the 1970s and early 80s, attention was focused on building infastructure in the new developments to the detriment of the older sections of the cities. They've been paying for it ever since.

I hope my old friends from those days at Pasadena High School are well.


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