By Laura Geggel
Houston has turned into a giant bathtub after being inundated with relentless rains from Tropical Storm Harvey, which made landfall in Texas as a hurricane but has since been downgraded to a tropical depression.
But while most bathtubs drain quickly (as long as they aren’t clogged), it could take days, if not weeks, for the water in Houston to subside, experts told Live Science.
Just like a bathtub, the city is largely covered with impermeable surfaces, such as asphalt and buildings. This means that most of the water can’t seep through the ground, but rather has to travel through the area’s system of canals and slow-moving bayous, which can become clogged with debris, said Richard Luthy, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University.
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