Harvey: 99.998% Chance It Wont Happen Again

At least not in our lifetime. That's what the math says if it verifies that Harvey's rainfall totals were a once in a 50,000 year event. Fresh numbers coming in from the National Weather Service suggest it was. Rain totals of 56" in Friendswood would be a new U.S. storm total record, beating out the old 52" record from Hawaii. But then there is Beaumont, where rain data appears to conclude that 65" fell near Beaumont from Harvey. Storm totals from 2001's tropical storm Allison peaked at 35"... an 'off the charts' number, until Harvey came to town.


Now, about that 'once in 50,000 year' event. That does not mean that a flood like Harvey will only happen once in 50,000 years. The math tells us what it really means..

1/50,000 = 0.00002 x 100 = 0.002

Translation: Each and every year there is a chance, a 0.002 chance, that we will see another flood like Harvey. Or to put it another way, each year for the next 50,000 there is a 99.998% chance that we will NOT see a flood like Harvey. So, yes, I'm sayin' there's a chance.


© 2017 KHOU-TV


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