Harvey Flooding Was So Bad Houston Sank by 2cm

But it should spring back once the waters dissipate
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2017 4:18 PM CDT
Harvey Flooding Was So Bad Houston Sunk by 2cm
Gaston Kirby, left, is helped by friend Juan Minutella after gathering the last of his belongings from his flooded home in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, near the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs, in Houston.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

How serious was the flooding in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey? A geophysicist from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the entire metro area is now 2 centimeters lower due to the weight of the water. The Houston Chronicle reports Chris Milliner used data from the Nevada Geodetic Laboratory and the University of Nevada-Reno statistics department to reach that conclusion. "GPS data show that (the flood) was so large it flexed Earth's crust, pushing Houston down," Milliner says. It makes sense when you realize water weighs a ton or so per cubic meter. But Houston should eventually spring back once the flooding dissipates. "Similar to if you were to jump on and off your mattress," Milliner says. (More Hurricane Harvey stories.)

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