By Trey Rusk
I live on the upper Texas Gulf Coast. We just went through Tropical Storm Imelda. The City of Houston flooded, along with everything East of Houston to Lake Charles, Louisiana. I-10 and 90 are closed for 50 miles and in my opinion this wasn't caused by a Tropical Storm.
Most people have no idea that Galveston County is the deadliest County in the entire U.S. This mainly has to do with hurricanes and the deadliest hurricane was the 1900 Storm. Galveston County has also endured horrible explosions and now mass murders. People live here because the work is here. Galveston County and Houston have never really suffered greatly from a depression or recession like the rest of the country.
I grew up with hurricanes. The earliest hurricane I can remember was Carla in 1961. It packed 175 mph winds. We left the area and returned to devastation. Our home survived but many others didn't. One of the differences between now and then was that a hurricane that hit 20, 30 or 40 years ago would plow through the area in a 24 hour period and it was over.
Something different is happening. Most of the Hurricanes used to come from the warm waters off the coast of Africa. Now, the Gulf of Mexico waters are hotter and are spawning Hurricanes much closer to the Coast. Bacterial infections such as flesh eating diseases are becoming common to people who swim or fish in the warm waters. Droughts and deluges have become a way of life.
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit us with unprecedented rainfall. 52' in 24 hours. 80% of my town flooded. I'm talking about water in homes. I know a combination of things have caused this. Heat, Monsoons, Development and Climate Change. Yes. I said it. It's here and I have witnessed it first hand.
My wife and I flew to Houston Hobby Airport from Denver two days ago and were met with a 30 mph cross wind upon landing. The rain was already pounding the area. This rain was already flooding the feeders and even though it was called a Tropical Storm by Meteorologists, I say it was a Monsoon.
This past August and early September have been the hottest I can remember. Two years ago I added a large patio to my home. I can't enjoy it during the Summer because of the heat. The real reason that I know that the climate/heat has changed is because my dogs have let me know. They love to play in the yard but their yard time has diminished due to the heat.
Our storms have changed from Hurricanes to heated water vaper Monsoons. Don't believe me? Go back to 1979 Tropical Depression that hit the upper Gulf Coast and dumped 24' rain near Alvin, Texas. That was the first one. Now Google search past storms that hit the upper Texas Coast since then. Track the major rain events.
Look at the small amount of time we have to evacuate because of the new Monsoons that form just off shore in the Gulf of Mexico.
One last thing. An Ike Dyke can't stop inland flooding.
That's the way I see it.