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Thread: Why Houston is more prone to flooding than ever

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    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Why Houston is more prone to flooding than ever

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graph...=.edd365dafd66

    it seems the fourth largest city in the US has no zoning laws. Large areas that used to serve as drainage areas are now buildings.
    lack of regulation has certainly not helped this situation.

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graph...=.edd365dafd66

    it seems the fourth largest city in the US has no zoning laws. Large areas that used to serve as drainage areas are now buildings.
    lack of regulation has certainly not helped this situation.
    That is an honest assessment of the situation. I am concerned about my son restoring his home at a significant 5 digit cost only to have it destroyed by another event. How do you tell someone that they should be looking for new jobs in a different city because their home puts them at financial risk of ruin and worse than that takes resources away from their family members who need to support them in the recovery stage? I have resigned myself to the fact that I have in essence insured my kids by backing them with finances I have put away as a nest egg buffer for the later stages of my life. This is not investments that were easy to come by. It represents much hard work. But I will part with it gladly if only to make a temporary difference in their lives.

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    I was glad to move out of coastal south Florida years ago. We used to have a forum member who moved from New Orleans to Austin permanently after Katrina. Is she still here?

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    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    That is an honest assessment of the situation. I am concerned about my son restoring his home at a significant 5 digit cost only to have it destroyed by another event. How do you tell someone that they should be looking for new jobs in a different city because their home puts them at financial risk of ruin and worse than that takes resources away from their family members who need to support them in the recovery stage? I have resigned myself to the fact that I have in essence insured my kids by backing them with finances I have put away as a nest egg buffer for the later stages of my life. This is not investments that were easy to come by. It represents much hard work. But I will part with it gladly if only to make a temporary difference in their lives.
    you had posted about your son previously and it seems like he is sensible. Giving your retirement savings would be a risky thing to do. I certainly would have calm conversations with him before I gave up my savings. Helping someone dig out of a temporary mess, for instance helping with some months rent and basic transportation is a good thing. Giving up your own future is much more dicey. Perhaps helping with limits. I have little trust that our governmental powers are going to 100% follow through with the promises of social security and Medicare that have been made so we all need to protect ourselves. Is his job even going to be there? That is one of the things I was wondering about. How many companies will just give up and leave.

    We give cash in the grandkids 529's every Christmas and birthday but have told the parents that if at any time it becomes financially not feasible for us it will stop. They also put money in and several other family members have taken after our example. I think we are doing the right thing but it is with limits.

    Right now I am sure you as well also your son are very emotional. To come close to death, losing everything you worked so hard for and having so much uncertainty must be incredibly difficult. I wish you all the best of luck.

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    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    I was glad to move out of coastal south Florida years ago. We used to have a forum member who moved from New Orleans to Austin permanently after Katrina. Is she still here?
    yet people are still building on the coast. The cost of flood insurance is very high there. As I said we are not in an official flood prone area, but looking at the flood maps there is an area about a mile from my house that is a designated flood zone so we have flood insurance.

    We live about as far as far from the coast as Houston is. We have already decided that if a cat 4 or 5 heads our way we will leave in the RV and head north early on. Because if you don't leave early you easily can add to the problem. We don't have jobs so it is easy for us.

    And by the way, make sure you have copies of all pertinent records somewhere. after Katrina many people who had to leave and their companies were closed could not get references for instance. Only having money in a local bank makes it difficult. Having some savings in one of the big banks gives you some history and access to cash. Starting over is very hard.

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    Senior Member dmc's Avatar
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    You can at least make sure he gets flood insurance. I live in coastal Florida so I have it. Unfortunately it limits out at $250,000, so it wouldn't even cover half the cost of rebuilding my home. So I would have to cover the rest or take the $250,000 and move.

    i would be carefull with funds if it would put your future at risk. I would help some, but would expect them to borrow some of the money themselves.

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    "home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in" - me with the Robert Frost again.

    my parents lived in my grandparent's attic for a while when I was little. Mom was pregnant, dad got fired, they had to sell the house. My grandfather eventually hired him. My oldest boomeranged for four months after college (she hated every minute), her sister-in-law lived with her for six months. My aunt and uncle raised their grandson for 5 months when that was a third of his life, so that his mom could get her head together. When my other uncle got out of the hospital, his middle brother parked him with mom and dad and went down to see about making his house habitable again. When Dd's basement flooded 11", we loaned her a big fan and bought her a saw.

    that's what we do in my family. We feed you, we shelter you, we help you get back up on your feet, and then we loan you our truck so you can go where you need to go.

    i have paid first and last month's rent in an emergency after hearing the reasonable plan for continued stability. And we have helped out with tuition. What I would not do, wether it cost $5 or $50,000, is help one of my kids get into a situation where I felt they were setting themselves up to fail. (Well, OK, I would still loan them the truck)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    That is an honest assessment of the situation. I am concerned about my son restoring his home at a significant 5 digit cost only to have it destroyed by another event. How do you tell someone that they should be looking for new jobs in a different city because their home puts them at financial risk of ruin and worse than that takes resources away from their family members who need to support them in the recovery stage? I have resigned myself to the fact that I have in essence insured my kids by backing them with finances I have put away as a nest egg buffer for the later stages of my life. This is not investments that were easy to come by. It represents much hard work. But I will part with it gladly if only to make a temporary difference in their lives.
    I would not insure my kids by backing them with finances I have put away as a nest egg buffer for the latter stages of my life. My kids are able bodied and young; I am not. I would be unable to earn that money back. or invest that money back.

    As to making a temporary difference in their lives, I have thought about this with respect to my kids. If my dil were to lose her incredible job, I think they would probably lose their house. I have already decided if they came to me for money to prevent that from happening, I don't think I can say yes to that. I can offer them a temporary place to live with us until they get back on their feet. But they are adults and are making choices about lifestyle and jobs and where to live--I can't fund those choices, because I don't have enough money to do that without taking away my ability to take care of myself. And I am a lot older and feebler than they are.

    They also have great examples in her parents--when they were young, they suffered a lot financially and lost their house due to medical bills (child born with life-threatening condition, and the medical bills ruined them, but temporarily.) They went on to recover very nicely by hard work and moving to a different part of the country. They have a very nice house now, raised three kids, put kids through college, and continued to pay massive medical bills for the youngest until he was 26.

    Their setback, while enormous--their son needed a heart transplant--brought them closer as a family and, made them grow spiritually and psychologically. They handled it.

    I think as parents we always have to be careful when offering help that we are not enabling a risky behavior.

    So the question is, how do we really help?

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    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    I think many of us, as Americans who have a pretty decent life, have a pretty hard time not getting what we want.......even if it's living where we want because of repeated flooding. Maybe if this kind of horrendous flooding keeps occurring, that will be the impetus to pick up stakes and move. I don't know. Man will always try to outwit nature........maybe have more pumps and more back-up pumps, and more back-up to the back-up pumps.......but I think the answer is leaving those areas alone that are natural drains and sponges. But man doesn't seem to have an interest in that.
    I don't know what the answer is. Too many people wanting too many things...........

    This planet was so perfectly balanced until.................

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I agree with many of your observations. Every situation has its own unique details. This one is still in its early stages and evolving. Are emotions a bad thing? Is the analytical approach the better one? Can we strike a balance?

    I am strongly bonded to my son and him to me. We have both ventured too close to death. I feel I have lived a truly wonderful life, far in excess of what I have deserved and I am always prepared to use my resources to enhance the possibilities for him. Even at the cost of shortening mine. That is not an unnatural existence. This is how humankind has advanced.

    He is an an incredibly hard working person, as is his wife. She actually went back to work yesterday. My son is going back today if he can find roads that are not flooded and a way to get there. They have not been back to their house yet. Can't get there. His doors are unlocked and he is worried about looting.

    FEMA issued him $500 for clothing. We are grateful. He is hearing from other neighbors that their flood insurance may not cover the damage because they are in the wrong category of flood plain. Something about the difference between 100 and 500 year flood plains. I'm not understanding that one.

    It doesn't matter for him but it is an issue going forward because he intends on getting it. I believe FEMA will offer a loan to get the necessary things done. Water abatement, demolition, restoration, appliance replacement, heating and air conditioning. I am going to chip in where he allows me. I will invest in him. He is more of the future than I am.

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