What Would a Major Flood Look Like At Your House?

 Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston on August 27, 2017, to aid residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Texas Army National Guard photo)

Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston on August 27, 2017, to aid residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Texas Army National Guard photo)

As the devastation Hurricane Harvey wrought two weeks ago becomes devastatingly clearer and flood waters slowly recede, many have asked: What would a similar flood look like in my neighborhood?  

And could something like this happen in Dallas?

Earlier this week, the Dallas Morning News gave part of the answer — possibly.

“The only thing standing between downtown Dallas and 40 feet of standing water — a disaster of Houston-like proportions — is a pair of 90-year-old earthen levees,” Michael Granbury wrote.

But that’s only one of the issues. The lack of grasslands and prairie to absorb excess water could exacerbate a flood in Dallas. In short, concrete doesn’t absorb water.

Dallas is positioned differently than Houston, however, with six reservoirs and two major floodway systems, as well as many detention ponds that can store more floodwater.

Experts say that could probably stave off the massive, widespread flooding Houston saw, but if several days of massive rainfall occurred, Mother Nature would have the final say.

What would a major flood look like in your neighborhood? The Washington Post created a tool last week that can mimic what 51.88 inches of water (the most amount of water the Houston area got) would look like anywhere in the U.S.  

“We’ve created a tool that imagines a 51.88-inch deluge drenching a number of points in a circle around where you live (or anywhere else) and visualizing what the effect would be: where in that circle the water would pool and how deep it would get. (For our purposes, we’re imagining each point to receive 51.88 inches over a square yard of surface.),” the paper explained.

We looked at a few neighborhoods (screen captures below) in Dallas. By simply putting in your home address or zip code, you can see what it would look like in your neighborhood.