OSU researcher helps plan for disasters like Harvey

Rescue boats fill a flooded street at flood victims are evacuated as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Imagine getting a year’s worth of rain in just a few days.  An Ohio State University researcher said that’s how much Harvey has dumped on Houston so far. He said more than nine trillion gallons has fallen in Texas since the storm started.

Ohio State Department of Geography Professor Steven Quiring is the guy the government relies on to know where the power will go out and for how long during monster storms. He helped Texas and federal officials prepare for the devastating storm. In 12 years, he said he’s never seen one like this.

“The amount of water is stunning,” said Quiring.

He said estimates are that Harvey will dump up to 21 trillion gallons of rain before it’s over.

“Hurricane Harvey has not behaved like a normal or traditional hurricane.” He said the problem is the water has nowhere to go and won’t stop.  And, that’s what’s keeping more than a million in the dark.

“At present, a lot of roads in Houston are flooded, a lot of roads are closed. Roads have been washed out and so they can’t even get out to the trouble spots to make repairs. So, we’re talking about not just days but potentially weeks until all of the damage is cleaned up.”

Otterbein University graduate Jordan Strouse now lives in Houston.

“For us, it’s been heavy rains nonstop for five days,” he said.

He said he’s one of the lucky ones.

 “I can walk a block southwest of me and there’s two or three feet of standing water. I know at least 10 people personally that have lost their homes,” said Strouse.

Quiring said to visualize the amount of rain that will fall, imagine the 270 loop. By the end of the storm, it’s predicted enough rain will fall to fill the 270 loop to a depth of 516 feet.  Quiring said no city could withstand this much water in this amount of time.

 Quiring is busy predicting power outages for yet another storm brewing right now. He said tropical storm 10 will likely impact the Carolinas in the coming week.

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