May, 2015 has been a very wet month for Texas. The rain has been a welcome sight in a state that until recently was suffering a severe drought. But it’s been a mixed blessing. The floods over Memorial Day weekend claimed over a dozen lives and destroyed countless homes and businesses.
Texas desperately needed rain. So how did it go so wrong?
There’s the scientific explanation: the ground was already saturated from the past month’s worth of rain, and the high volume of rain over the weekend couldn’t soak in, so it ran off. But there’s a social component to this issue too. Over the many years of drought, Texans have become complacent and willing to build in flood plains, since it rains so rarely. This has put many people in danger of losing their businesses, homes, or even lives when the “big one” does come.
For a state that was mired in severe drought only a year ago, it poured. The city of Austin has seen five to six inches of rain since Friday, and areas to the southwest, like the city of Blanco, have seen as many as 10 inches since Friday.
In fact, this month has been the third-wettest for the Austin metro area since record keeping began in 1891, and the wettest since 1921.
Houston also saw intense rainfall, with 11 inches falling overnight in some areas on Monday. This month is the eighth-wettest May since 1930, according to weather records from Houston Hobby Airport.
Part of being prepared is knowing what natural disasters are likely in your area, and choosing to avoid the most risky areas if you can.
Do you know if your home is in a flood plain?
How have you prepared in case your area is flooded?
Let us know in the comments.