We live on Texas’ longest river, the Brazos, in a century-old house in Richmond. We’ve fished, kayaked, boated and even jet-skied this river, and spent lazy evenings just sipping wine and watching it flow gently past.
But the Brazos has another side. In May of 2015, its waters rose from 14 to 50 feet. In June the next year, the river rose to 54.8 feet – breaching neighbors’ properties and filling the street with water. Then, in August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped 25 to 40 inches of rain across the region and our entire neighborhood was evacuated. The Brazos rose to 55.2 feet, coming within inches of our house. We were lucky; many of our neighbors lost everything.
These last floods were variously reported as 100, 200 or 500-year events, and yet they occurred over the past three years. Either that means residents of the Brazos can enjoy a few hundred years of uninterrupted dry peace, or something like climate change is knocking at the door.