How much rain has fallen in the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Harvey? Enough to fill the Lake of the Ozarks — twice.
That’s according to an info graphic prepared by Dan Hawblitzel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Mo.
The graphic compares the greater Houston area to the Lake of the Ozarks watershed. The two are roughly the same size.
The Lake of the Ozarks was chosen because of its proximity to Kansas City.
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“We wanted to pick a reference point that the general population of Kansas City is familiar with,” said Jonathan Welsh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It’s a location a lot of people have been to or at least are aware of its size.”
As of Tuesday morning, 30 to 35 inches of rain from Harvey has fallen across the Houston area, Welsh said. And the rain hasn’t stopped. An additional 10 to 12 inches of precipitation is expected to fall in the next few days.
Rescuers in Houston answered hundreds of desperate calls for help on Sunday as floodwaters from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey climbed high enough to fill the second floors of homes and stranded families were urged to seek refuge on their roofto
If 32 inches of rain had fallen over the Lake of the Ozarks watershed — the area in which any rain that falls eventually flows into the lake — the volume of water would be enough to fill the Lake of the Ozarks twice.
That comparison speaks to the magnitude of the rainfall totals, said Welsh, who lived in Houston for a while.
“Houston is pretty spread out, so to have this much of an impact over that big of a city is very telling how much water is involved,” Welsh said.
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Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas late Friday night, bringing record rainfall and "catastrophic flooding."
The National Weather Service in Houston tweeted out rainfall totals from across southeast Texas that showed as much as 43 inches of rain has fallen since midnight Friday.
The National Weather Service in Kansas City responded by saying via Twitter that the maximum four-day rainfall total for Kansas City International Airport was 9.48 inches, which occurred in September 1977.
Harvey “was not a common event by any means,” he said. “Hopefully we will not see the likes of this again.”