Houston has endured two "once in 100 years flood" and one "once in 500 year flood" in two years. I'm not very clear on that math but the point is we have had some serious flooding. Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones, homes, cars and were otherwise affected.
What are we going to do about it? There are some who say, it's too complicated a problem, there is nothing we can do about it. When asked how do you deal with an overwhelming problem as large as global poverty, Mother Teresa said, I do what is in front of me. And as Texan, we won't sit idly and do nothing, that's not in our DNA. We can do what is in front of us. Galveston pumped sand and mud out of the gulf and bay to raise much of the island by 6 feet after the 1900 storm. Their actions in response to the storm were called "Galveston's finest hour". The Netherlands built dikes to hold back the ocean. I suggest we begin with some incremental steps - that collectively could have a big impact in addressing flooding. Over time we may find many other improvements to deal with the problem but here is one idea we can do today.
How many people have you spoken with since the flood who said their house did not flood, BUT just by inches and others who said we took on only a small amount of water. For these people, a tiny difference made all the difference. What if we focused on one incremental change which could make a huge difference to the thousands of people?
One such incremental improvement is to replace at least some parking lots with permeable paving. Rather than using concrete or asphalt which causes all the rain that falls there to run off to some other place and contribute to area flooding, one Houston company has developed a better idea. An effective and affordable alternative utilizing stabilized porous material, covered with either stone or grass, strong enough to support fully loaded 18 wheelers that allows water to be both absorbed into the ground and some be retained temporarily within the permeable paving itself and allowed to drain away at a slower pace, lessening flooding.
Interestingly, this solution has been developed by a Houston based company who is a leader in that field. They have partnered with us at PACE Houston to help educate the public and get more of this solution installed. If you want to know more we are available to discuss your specific application.
Contact Tim Crockett at 713-530-7922 or at firstname.lastname@example.org