Too close for comfort

Southeast Texas received nearly nine days of heavy rain from Hurricane Harvey. All anyone could do was watch the water rise. And it did- for days.


Matt Keeling

The Rabbs Bayou in the Crossing, a subdivision of Greatwood, nearly rose out of its banks into houses.

By Clayton Keeling, Copy Editor

An annual amount of rain fell over the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey in a fiftieth of the normal time. Houston normally gets around fifty inches of rain in a year, but instead it received the same amount within days. Though filled with bayous and freeways made to hold water in times of flooding, nothing could hold back such an immense amount of water.

After days of dense rainfall, waters were already rising in the bayous within Greatwood, a Sugar Land neighborhood. Greatwood had escaped flooding the previous year with its well constructed levee that wrapped around the the entire neighborhood. The Brazos River, which runs southeast of Houston, rose to 55 feet during flooding last spring, dangerously close to flowing over the levee. It held strong though, and the waters never reached the top.

And again during Hurricane Harvey, the Brazos was the serious concern. Only a hundred meters away from homes in some places, if it crested over the levee the damage inflicted would be incredible, and rescues may have become necessary.

During the initial rough bands of rain that rotated over Houston, it looked like Greatwood might be in the clear. But the following days of unrelenting rain brought the river to a record high 56 ft. Just across the street, neighbors watched as the water began to creep out of the banks of the bayou and lap at the levee.

Thankfully it stalled, and the water receded from the bayous quickly, leaving the Brazos to slowly slink back to its banks. Greatwood homes may not have been flooded, but many places did not escape the Brazos’ waters, and still remain in standing water.