500 Year Flood

Texas being Texas,
it's either feast or famine.
Long periods of drought,
followed by mucho mammon.

Nature built the bayou,
to make use of weather's behest.
Hold water for the drought,
absorb most, and release the rest.

Flooding was a natural way,
to replenish worn-out soil.
Stayed that way for millennia,
until Texas discovered oil.

The desire to be near water,
and the money to buy and build.
Swampy land became valuable,
the bayous ditched and filled.

But when it rains it pours,
the natural tropical way.
Streets quickly fill with water,
then, just as quickly, drain away.

Those caught in that temporary situation,
wondering whether to go or stay.
Often make a foolish choice,
flood their cars and pay.

Others, still more unfortunate,
driving into water steep.
Knowing not the waters' depth,
forfeit their lives for time to keep.

And those that build near the waters' flow,
often fear the floods that come and go.
Watching the waters rise with trepidation,
knowing that prayers will not stay the flow.

People often have to be rescued,
when the waters come creeping in.
The flood spares no one, large or small,
not the saintly nor those in sin.

Destroying belongings and life treasures,
a muddy mess by all measures.
Filled with stink and rot and goo,
that no one would wish for... would you?

But still they rebuild with insurance or not,
claim that the place is their birthright.
Flood protection and FEMA they've got.
But with the day, always comes the night.

Memories are short when they rebuild,
thinking that they've got 50 years or more,
before the flood comes again to their door,
only to find who's keeping score.

Little do they know of nature's ways or whim.
The best laid plans can either sink or swim.
It's still unwise to build on a 500 year floodplain.
It will be just your luck to get biblical rain.

Flooding where it shouldn't be

Image Courtesy AP

Recently a very large area northwest of Houston
received an average 15 inch rainfall in a matter
of a few hours--a 500 year event. In addition to
immediate street flooding, creeks in these watersheds
that have been made into concrete ditches and reservoirs
built to protect the ditches from overflowing have all
overflowed causing flooding, "Where we've never had it before."

However, some areas have been repeatedly flooded and
those residents should be bought out by FEMA and the
land there returned to its original bayou state. Improving
the overall environment for everyone in Houston, a city
sorely in need of more parks and natural wetlands and woodlands.

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