Has preparedness for heavy rain improved since Memorial Day 2015 flood?

- Nothing like approaching heavy weather to rekindle memories of the Memorial Day 2015 deluge that left the Meyerland district and other neighborhoods along Brays Bayou a sopping, multi-million dollar mess for months. Experts say the system moving into southeast Texas has the potential to drop as much precipitation.

"The biggest threat there is tornadoes and heavy winds as we start moving into tonight and early Wednesday morning, that's where we see very big potential for some flash flooding and some Bayou issues," said Francisco Sanchez of Houston TranStar.

The question remains if the Houston-area drainage system is better able handle an onslaught than it was nine months earlier. Yes, contends the Harris County Flood Control District's chief engineer Steve Fitzgerald, citing additional storage capacity for overflow rainwater.

"We have several capital improvement projects like on Brays Bayou," said Fitzgerald. "We continued to do construction and complete the retention basins that were in the watershed." But if heavy rainfall hits a particular area in heavy concentration over a short period of time, trouble will follow.

"If we get two or three or four inches in a thirty-minute period or an hour period, we will have extensive street flooding and possibly home flooding," said Fitzgerald. That's what happened in May 2015 for residents in Meyerland.

There is a potential blessing sitting in Houston's favor --  a dry spell preceding this event that has kept rain gauges at close to zero for more than two weeks.

"The ground is dry so we will absorb the first inch or inch and a half and that will be helpful, that will be very helpful," explained Fitzgerald.

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