The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

From the Beginning


My grandson was screaming 1•2•3 cannonball. His voice coming through my headphones rousted me from my bedroom. As I walked down the long hallway, he stood with his back to the mantle shouting as he ran and jumped into a mound of pillows and a fat fluffy bedspread in the middle of the living room. The television was playing Dino Dan. I sat down and he came at me. His arms held high in the air with his hands clawed like a big scary monster dinosaur. Roar he screamed at me.

Our voices were at odds trying to top each other. He screamed and talked louder. I spoke and waited to speak between screams. He often interrupts our conversations. Always his turn. This may be the only-child-syndrome or the center-of-attention-syndrome. Or maybe just normal pushing to be heard.

This time I’m relating The Tide Is High. The story made me mad. Texans flooded by the waters of Hurricane Harvey. Not simply  nature. Devastation created by man. So many wrongs traced to man’s inexplicable decisions. Homeowners who didn’t know or understand the import of living on reservoir land that would be opened to the waters of Hurricane Harvey. Homeowners without flood insurance because they didn’t live in a flood plain.

The story unravels to lies of omission and callous disregard and greed trickling to too much trust. Or was it just lack of foresight and oversight? Officials knew and developers knew the threat. Blame was even passed to homeowners who were reportedly warned and didn’t believe. But who could believe that the government would allow developers to build on a reservoir?

The United States government built these dams in the 1940’s but did not buy the entire parcel of land that might be inundated. Why not? No decision-maker alive to answer that. And when developers bought the rest of that reservoir land, why didn’t the government stop that sale? Why did developers ignore the warning on maps? Why didn’t realtors warn homeowners and renters to buy flood insurance? This will be a pass-the-buck fight for homeowners flooded by Hurricane Harvey.

A United States Army Corps of Engineers employee told a reporter before Hurricane Harvey that people complained about water on a soccer field on the privately owned reservoir land. He claims to have told the complainants they lived in a reservoir. They lived in the path of water. Some got the meaning. Some didn’t. But none were Chicken Little translating water on the soccer field as a sign of impending disaster. Then the sky fell.



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