SPOKANE, Wash --- After seeing the flooding caused by Harvey, KREM wondered about possible flooding in our area.
The record for rainfall in one month in Spokane is less than 6.5 inches, so we would not need to worry about the extent of the flooding that Houston is experiencing. The Harvey rainfall was almost ten times as much as our wettest month.
When we do have problems, it is usually because the ground is already saturated with water and more water cannot soak in.
“That’s why we dealt with lots of field flooding, roads getting washed out, people’s basements flooding, millions of dollars of damage to different roadways,” said National Weather Service employee, Bryce Williams.
Open land can naturally absorb large amounts of water. Dense urban areas like Houston have a lot of concrete, which cannot absorb water the same way.
Think about it from a smaller perspective, it can still have an impact here. Rain water still needs to go somewhere, so if you live in an area with too much concrete you could be at risk for flooding if we see another record amount of rain.
If you are in an area with less concrete development, you should see less flooding.
“It kind of acts like a sponge so where we have underdeveloped, no concrete, areas that can absorb water. Those are gonna tend to be able to hold more rainfall without causing problems,” said Williams.
It all comes down to the rainfall, an whether it is falling in areas with more urban development.