Houston failed to learn a key lesson from Katrina about the need to prepare for catastrophic flooding.
The torrential rain in Houston would have caused bad flooding no matter what. There’s no question about that. But it’s also true that Houston’s flood control efforts have been badly managed. Houston failed to learn a key lesson from Katrina: the most important disaster response is done years in advance through risk mitigation. Not only …CONTINUE READING
Louisiana’s preparedness for a 1000-year flood, and implications of the slow media response for slow-onset climate impacts
The devastating floods in southern Louisiana a week ago left at least 13 people dead, tens of thousands in need of rescue, and 60,000 homes damaged. In one parish, nearly ninety percent of homes flooded. Cellular network failures, road closures, power outages, and sewage-contaminated floodwaters continue to threaten relief efforts. The American Red Cross is …CONTINUE READING
Millions of people are in the path of rising seas. The time for action is now.
The NY Times has run a series of articles in the past few days dealing with disaster issues. Taken together, they highlight the urgency of government action to protect populations in harm’s way. One article dealt generally with the threat posed by sea level rise. Miami is something of a poster-child for these problems, given its …CONTINUE READING
Time magazine reports: First came the Mississippi. Then the Missouri. Now the nation’s West waits as the mountain snowpack perches at 300% more than average and flood watches blanket the region. With minor flooding already hampering life in Montana, Wyoming and Utah, a sudden spike of warm temperature will send even more melting snow rushing …CONTINUE READING
The IPCC considers it likely that climate change will increase hurricane intensity, and New York may be particularly vulnerable to flooding from hurricanes and other storms, as Climate Progress reports: Sea level may rise faster near New York than at most other densely populated ports due to local effects of gravity, water density and ocean …CONTINUE READING
The White House is considering a new executive order to limit floodplain development. The proposal covers roughly the same federal licensing, project, and funding decisions as NEPA. The heart of the proposal is section 4, which unlike NEPA imposes a substantive requirement (preventing or mitigating floodplain development.) The proposed language is after the jump. This …CONTINUE READING
A new report by the National Research Council gives “thumbs down” to the Army Corps’ plans for preventing another Katrina disaster. This is the kind of planning that we simply have to learn to do right– not just for the sake of those immediately at risk, but because rising sea level and more extreme weather …CONTINUE READING