Seems like time to remember that this kind of thing doesn't only happen in Houston, and Houston isn't the only place where out-of-control land use makes a bad situation into a disaster.

Good story about the problem. Money quote: "Storms are natural events, but floods are usually man-made disasters."

Older story here

I visited the floodway last year, and it was easy to feel sympathy for the people who live nearby. It's not fair, they said. Every other town has a levee. Why should we have a gap?

The original answer, of course, was that the river in flood needs outlets for its excess water. That some areas need to be sacrificed so that more populated areas can be protected. That a levee would destroy even more wetlands along the river while encouraging even more development in a flood plain that wasn't supposed to be developed in the first place.

But it is developed. Almost the entire basin is developed.

Now what are we going to do about it?