Imelda Already earning Comparison to Harvey

September 19, 2019

More evidence we are in the age of climate impacts.

Tropical Depression Imelda is pounding part of Texas with rainfall measured in feet, not inches, reminding some of the record-smashing rain from Hurricane Harvey two years ago.

Vidor, Texas, Police Chief Rod Carroll told The Weather Channel Thursday morning that flooding in the town was “worse during this storm than it was during Hurricane Harvey.”

“We have many areas that are underwater that were not previously underwater,” Carroll said, referring to Harvey’s flooding in Vidor, about 85 miles east-northeast of downtown Houston.

That’s a jarring statement.

While Imelda’s flooding impacts may be worse than Harvey in some parts of Texas, Harvey was a $125-billion disaster, the nation’s second-costliest tropical cyclone behind only Katrina, because of its massive flooding rainfall, storm surge and wind damage from its Category 4landfall.

As early Thursday afternoon, an area from Montgomery County, north of downtown Houston, into Liberty, Chambers, Jefferson, Orange, southern Jasper and southern Newton counties was estimated to have picked up 20 inches or more from Imelda. Parts of Matagorda and southern Galveston counties also picked up over 20 inches of rain.

We estimate the area covered by at least 20 inches of rain from Imelda to be about 2,200 square miles.
According to an analysis by Shane Hubbard from the University of Wisconsin, Harvey’s 20-inch-plus rainfall footprint was about 13 times larger than Imelda, a whopping 28,949 square miles. That’s an area slightly smaller than the entire state of South Carolina.

One Response to “Imelda Already earning Comparison to Harvey”

  1. Earl Mardle Says:

    Aaaaand cue deniers claiming that “storms are getting smaller”, nothing to see here.

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