Thinking of Houston

Many years ago, my sister moved to the Houston area from the East Valley. There are two kinds of people here in the Valley – those who always have lived here and plan to continue doing so and those who grew up here and can’t wait to go anywhere else. She was in the latter category.

Lest I bury the lead, she is fortunate – she and her family live in Spring and her neighborhood remains relatively dry. Not that they can go much of anywhere, given they can’t get near a freeway because of the flood waters. But still.

Every storm that’s every hit the area over the years has caused my mother severe worry because Houston has a tendency to flood. The city also tends to have what I call biblical weather. If it’s not humid as hell, it’s raining. If it’s not raining and flooding, there are ice storms. And if the sun’s shining, there still are mosquitoes the size of house cats flying around. There always seems to be a red radar blob in the Gulf southeast of the city.

Hurricane Harvey, of course, is entirely different. Maybe if it were your typical gulf hurricane and had slammed into the coast before making its way north and east it would have been different. Instead, this bastard of a storm decided to stall out with eye sitting over open water. The only thing that seemed able to stop the rain is if the Gulf ran out of water to dump on land. After 49-odd inches of rain, you’d think we were there.

This morning comes the news of a levee breach, bringing echoes of Katrina. At a news conference, an official mentioned an “uncontrolled release” of water, which is a really fancy way of saying the water’s overflowing the dam. It’s going to be weeks, months and years before the city gets back to anything resembling normalcy. Of course, during that time, there will be more storms and ice and flooding and cat-sized mosquitoes. And not too long in the future, everyone around the country will forget about the water and go back to their lives much as we did after Andrew, Katrina, Sandy, Ike and countless other storms.

So maybe, while we’re all thinking of it, get to the Red Cross (save the political discussion – it’s operating almost three-dozen shelters in the area) or another worthy charity and make a donation. Because soon we’ll be back to waiting for the 100-degree temps to break locally and not thinking so much about water that won’t go away.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at