"The Bayou City"
28 Mar 2009
"When the Allen brothers founded Houston in 1836, they established the town at the confluence of Buffalo and White Oak Bayous. Shortly thereafter, every structure in the new settlement flooded".
These waterways perform an important role in flooding control. With natural streams and man-made systems, Harris County now has about 2,500 miles of channels, significantly higher than the 800 miles of natural channels that originally existed in the county, but that's not enough; the amount of rainfall than affects the area is more than the channel systems can handle. Harris County suffered through 16 major floods from 1836 to 1936, some of which crested at more than 40 feet, turning downtown Houston streets into raging rivers. However, after the 1940's, the Harris County area did not suffer what would be considered a widespread, regional flood, that is, until June 2001. Tropical Storm Allison suddenly formed 80 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas, on Tuesday, June 5, 2001, no one expected that, five days later, it would go on record as one of the most devastating rain events in the history of the United States. When the rains finally eased, Allison had left Harris County, Texas, with 22 fatalities, 95,000 damaged automobiles and trucks, 73,000 damaged residences, 30,000 stranded residents in shelters, and over $5 billion in property damage in its wake. Allison was the costliest tropical storm in the history of the United States. My cousin lost his house, his family was "rescued" on a boat.
Bayous, creeks and channels are part of Houston's local landscape. We are surrounded by them. We are a part of them. They are home to a vast amount of animal and plant life. Children play around them and fathers teach their sons to fish. I've caught several snakes and I've seen beautiful birds.
Pictured here is a branch of the White Oak Bayou, one of Houston's main bayous. When I took this shot there was some kind of crane a few steps away from me.
You can also see a kid fishing on the left, under the bridge.
I pass by this spot every day and always wanted to stop the car and take a few shots.
Today I finally did that.