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Old 04-28-2013, 08:24 PM
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Fording the river in Houston

When we traded in the Civic for the Jeep, it was because Houston roads are horribly paved and will wear out a compact quickly--to heck with gas mileage, I was looking at suspension mileage. I also jokingly told my wife that when it floods in Houston, at least we'll be better prepared. Well at least I thought it was a joke.

So my wife and I were preoccupied running errands yesterday, and we didn't pay attention to the weather. When we came out of the store, it was raining pretty hard, and the water level was starting to rise in the parking lot. By the time we got in the Jeep, it had started to hail. We made what seemed like the logical decision to park in a nearby parking garage and wait the hail out.

By the time the hail stopped, there was 10 inches of standing water outside the garage, with more rain coming. We decided to chance it and head home using backroads (freeway was at a standstill). The closer we got the home, the higher the water got, until we were pushing through 20-24 inches. We saw FJs, F-250s, and lifted Tacomas stopped on the side of the road, as well as a few sedans and Cube-shaped vehicles flooded out and abandoned. One poor couple in the Element in front of us stopped, waved us around, and gave the most pitiful look of jealousy mixed with despair.

We did see about a dozen Jeeps playing around, got a few waves and thumbs ups. It was a bit of a nerve-racking experience, because we haven't taken the big guy off road yet, much less tried fording the river. I figure it's easier with spotters on well known trails, but on roads, with stalled cars and hidden curbs, it becomes pretty hectic fast. We made it home safely, but now my wife has approved a lift and bigger tires, just in case this happens again. So it was worth it.

Was anybody else out in that mess?

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Old 04-28-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
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Be very careful with stream/river crossings in Texas after a rain event. The arroyos can turn into killers in a hurry.

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Old 04-28-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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You must be in the downtown/near town area, eh?
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:25 PM
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You must be in the downtown/near town area, eh?
Yup:-)
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:26 AM   #5
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I drove to work in a heavy rain on the east side at about 0345. I work close to the San Jacinto Battleground and I saw nothing like you described, but I heard it hailed pretty good as that front rolled through. The key to driving through water is to go slow. Slow, not fast. On my TJ, occasionally I would get an alarm on my oxygen sensor after fording 3+ feet of water. Speaking of stream/river crossings in Texas , we have no arroyos in East Texas. It is more piney woods on this side of the State. Flash floods are not a problem here like they are in the Hill country and West Texas. We do have gullys and bayous and in Houston water can accumulate very fast under over-passes in some places.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:30 AM   #6
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We did see about a dozen Jeeps playing around, got a few waves and thumbs ups. It was a bit of a nerve-racking experience, because we haven't taken the big guy off road yet, much less tried fording the river. I figure it's easier with spotters on well known trails, but on roads, with stalled cars and hidden curbs, it becomes pretty hectic fast. We made it home safely, but now my wife has approved a lift and bigger tires, just in case this happens again. So it was worth it.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:12 AM   #7
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Yes! What a crazy storm! Was out at a crawfish boil when it hit, since the weathermen seemed to completely miss their predictions. Ended up huddled under a roof overhang when the rain started. When the hail started coming in sideways we decided we'd be better off in the Jeep.

The drive home took over an hour instead of the usual 20 minutes, as AgBullet says, dodging stalled cars and all that. Had my wife and 3mo. old son with me (who slept through the whole thing), and I can say at that moment I couldn't imagine being in any other vehicle. So I'd say that trip right there is worth all the bad gas mileage in the world.

And of course later that night I took the TJ out and had a little more fun.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:15 AM   #8
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I bought a 10th Anniversary Rubicon on Saturday from a dealer in Katy while all that mess was going on
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:32 AM   #9
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I bought a 10th Anniversary Rubicon on Saturday from a dealer in Katy while all that mess was going on

That's awesome!
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:19 AM   #10
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Man, I remember that I-10 close to tollroad underpass always turned into a submarine park. Did they fix that part of the underpass ? Haven't been that part for over a year.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:26 AM   #11
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Just hope the Addicks never breaks loose. I lived there during Allison. I remember water in the flood plain on the west side, North of I-10 was up to the bottom of the 1960 bridge. It was like water world. I was back down there a few years ago and that I-10 project blew my mind. I used to sit on I-10 West for HOURS.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:39 AM   #12
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I10 West at the Beltway is fixed, my commute - used to be deadly. I think they pump it out now - new holding reservoir right next door. I10 looks like an airport runway now.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:07 PM
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My only regret is not taking a video of it. I could have brought it out the next time one of our friends asks why we need a Jeep in the city.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:52 PM   #14
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Driving in Houston is kin to urban warfare. Sometimes you have to make your own exit ramp on freeways.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:31 PM   #15
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I was out in it, without a worry at all! I live downtown, got on 59 headed south for Sugar Land, and saw the northbound lanes backed up for miles. I never did see what the issue was, but I was pretty sure some cars had stalled coming into downtown and again right there under 610 (or possibly a wreck). I'm with you on the MPG vs Suspension deal though. That is exactly what sold me on my 2013. Roads downtown suck, and couple that with how quickly it floods in and around downtown, I'm much happier now in the Jeep! What part of town are you in?
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:47 PM   #16
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I don't believe any of this without pictures!
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:59 PM   #17
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I didn't take any pictures either but here are some from the local newspaper: Heavy rain, wind lash Houston | Newswatch | a Chron.com blog
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:01 PM   #18
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Ditto for me.... All my friends in EaDo were like come pick me up or bring me some beer. LUV my Urban Assault Vehicle!
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:27 PM
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I was out in it, without a worry at all! I live downtown, got on 59 headed south for Sugar Land, and saw the northbound lanes backed up for miles. I never did see what the issue was, but I was pretty sure some cars had stalled coming into downtown and again right there under 610 (or possibly a wreck). I'm with you on the MPG vs Suspension deal though. That is exactly what sold me on my 2013. Roads downtown suck, and couple that with how quickly it floods in and around downtown, I'm much happier now in the Jeep! What part of town are you in?
Near reliant stadium. Been here 3 years and that's the worst I've ever seen it.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:29 PM   #20
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I bought a 10th Anniversary Rubicon on Saturday from a dealer in Katy while all that mess was going on
Pics or it didn't happen
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:41 PM   #21
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Pics or it didn't happen
Here you go! Checked Jeeps inventory website, was at the dealer 45 minutes later, drove home in it a couple hours later. Came in at the dealer Friday and I snagged it before it ever made the front lot. Odometer had 10 miles on it. Been an Audi guy for the last 14 years and traded in a 2010 S4 that I loved dearly. Just fell in love with the Wrangler a few years back when I was in a press fleet Rubicon doing a comparo with a Raptor.

These were on Sunday. What a difference 24 hours made.





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Old 04-30-2013, 05:26 AM   #22
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Interesting.. a 10A sold on the lot without a preorder? The guys over on the 10A thread might be stomping mad over waiting. I guess someone either canceled the order or the dealers can finally get some.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:33 AM   #23
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Well, it's sunny right now! You'd never know it had rained.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:47 AM   #24
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It did feel good driving through water
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:58 PM   #25
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I was on loop 610 by Reliant, so many stranded cars everywhere... The exit ramps into kirby, buffalo spdwy and Stella link were backed up with stalled cars and traffic. I was glad I took the jeep that afternoon!

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