Your Local Yokels are staring in disbelief at our televisions again this morning, for what seems like infinite mornings at this point. Every once in awhile some dolt’s irresponsible shrieking about “Rain Tax” worms it’s way into our consciousness and turns into a rage supernova. Just as it did a moment ago, when CNN showed an arial view from the 1950’s of the Addicks Reservoir west of Houston. This is a picture of the dry reservoir that normally serves as a park, with vast farmland property to the northwest of that. Then they showed a photo of today, where hundereds of thousands of closely packed homes and the network of roads and driveways and patios create an impermeable surface nightmare that overwhelms the flood control system. This is clearly a catastrophe of historic proportions, but the situation is not helped by the lack of policy and regulation, and conditions that coddle developers over residents. Things that Houston and Texas both are famous for. This is what happens when you have irresponsible, unchecked development and ignorance of the mitigating solutions. For now, the solution is to produce controlled flooding of properties downstream (including the downtown area) in the hopes that the levees there and at a second reservoir under similar strain do not catastrophically fail all at once, and create a much more destructive and dangerous condition.
This situation is not nearly over. In our region we typically deal with inconvenient storms that you can plow and shovel and move and sometimes relocate and dump and melt. Here we see a virtually flat city inundated, and people have been lost to both rising and rushing waters that are far more difficult to control. Due to our landscape, flood waters can also come at us rushing downhill. The fact that anyone around here ever behaved as though this is a strain on developers ignores the strain on life and property for potential victims. Let this be an ongoing lesson to those who may want to turn on the television and reexamine their priorities. The average annual rainfall in most of Maryland is only a few inches different from the norm for the Texas Gulf Coast.
In the meantime, do what you can to help Texas and now Louisiana, as Harvey continues to hammer them.
At the County Council meeting of April 21st Councilman Delauter once again demonstrated his talent for grandstanding with no discernible purpose. Last night his indignation was directed towards BT-15-171.
Kirby’s disdain for the so-called “Rain Tax” is well-known. When Bud Otis dared to take discussion of the Stormwater Management Fee off an earlier agenda, Kirby called him a tyrant and threatened him with a no-confidence vote. (I am sure Bud was shaking in his boots.)
So one can only imagine that every time Kirby sees the word “Stormwater” some Pavlovian process must be taking place deep within that grey matter called his brain. Instead of finding out any details of what this program would accomplish or even recognize the fact that ZERO county dollars would be used for this program he asks:
“Are we going to mow people’s yards now?
I had to play the video back a couple of times to make sure I heard correctly. Mow people’s yards?! Of course not! Even the landscaping allotted in the bill is for conservation landscaping. Conservation landscaping has nothing to do with lawn mowing . It has to do with creating an environment that benefits the waterways and wildlife of a particular area. I was able to find out exactly what it was in less than 2 seconds.
Perhaps Kirby isn’t as good at the internet as I am.
Kirby continues to hammer away at our poor county employee Steve on the science and data and blah blah blah. But to him none of the science is true anyway so there!
But seriously, since when has our esteemed Council Man (and #1 Allen West fan) cared about scientific facts? He obviously does not believe that humans pollute the waterways. Or that the Earth is getting warmer, or that evolution exists or that gravity is a thing …
So why question a simple budget transfer that uses grant money expressly given for the purpose of improving the watershed of the Potomac? To show all of us that science is wrong and he’s right!