06-19-08, 10:58 PM #1
Some see human link in severity of U.S. floods
CHICAGO, June 19 (Reuters) - Natural disasters like floods are normally blamed on nature, but some experts believe humans are at least partly responsible for this month's massive flooding in Iowa and elsewhere in the U.S. farm belt.
Human re-engineering of landscapes came into question as rivers overran their banks and more than 20 levees along the Mississippi River failed, inundating thousands of acres of prime farmland and displacing nearly 40,000 people.
Iowa's natural grassy wetlands have been replaced by highly efficient industrial agriculture, a machine that churns out more corn and soybeans than any other U.S. state. However this change has also compromised the ecosystem's ability to absorb large volumes of rain.
Several areas of the state have received more that three times normal rainfall since the beginning of the month.
Also see 1927 Flood...it is coming back....
06-19-08, 11:39 PM #2
06-20-08, 06:08 AM #3
If they would have deepend the river by dredging it over time this carastrophy wouldn't have happened. By taking out the deposits of silt that build up over time on the rivers bed and putting it up as a levee along the rivers edge they can stop flooding most of the time. However it seems that no one really wants to do this for reasons I'm not sure about as yet, I just wonder why not?
06-20-08, 07:18 AM #4
I have a hard time feeling bad for people who build in a flood plain. Especially after the last huge floods in the early 90's. They got relief money and rebuilt in the exact same place for crying out loud!
I mean, how bad would you feel for the people in New Orleans if another big hurricane hit and the exact same thing happened as it did with Katrina?
06-20-08, 07:40 AM #5
It seems that people want to keep having the same problems over and over yet the government doesn't prevent them from doing that. The government could have a restricrted area so many miles away from a flood area but alas the government doesn't make that law...WHY NOT? If the people themselves stay in a flood prone area then they should be responsible for their own stupidity and not make everyone else pay for their mistakes. This is the THIRD time in 20 years that floods have happened along this river and no one wants to move away. I'd say let them make it on their own if they are that damn stupid.
06-20-08, 09:27 AM #6
06-20-08, 05:23 PM #7
hey cosmic, you know some of the blame lies with the free market not just with the goverment.
For instance how many of you would by a house that there is apsultly no way to insure?
I certianly wouldnt. So why are the insurance companies still covering these risky houses?
06-20-08, 05:46 PM #8
- It is very expensive: Tens of millions of dollars per mile.
- It isn't permanent. Those tens of millions of dollars per mile will have to be spent again and again.
- It is very bad for the environment. Dredging flushes lots of nasty chemicals trapped in the sediment.
- It is very bad for wildlife. Conservation, hunting, and fishing groups routinely band together to oppose dredging plans.
- It just pushes the problem downstream. The meanders, side channels, and floodplains in a natural river act as big huge buffer that can withstand an abnormally large rainfall. The river might flood a little bit, but the problem is localized. A dredged river pushes that same rainfall downstream, and does so very, very quickly. While the work of the Army Corp of Engineers since the 1930s may have reduced the number of floods, it has drastically increased the severity of floods.
06-20-08, 06:00 PM #9
06-20-08, 06:52 PM #10
The U.S Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) plans to spend $200 million to deepen the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in order to accommodate larger ships, despite federal budgetary constraints, Endangered Species Act listings of Columbia Basin salmon, and a recent designation of the Portland Harbor as a Superfund site. The Corps plans to deepen a channel extending from the Pacific Ocean to Portland, Oregon - a distance of more than 100 miles.
06-20-08, 06:58 PM #11
too bad there is no map of the current Mississippi flood, so that it can be compared with the one in 1927.
06-20-08, 07:43 PM #12
06-20-08, 08:36 PM #13
I'm thinking most of those people had insurance. If they didn't, its their own fault.
06-21-08, 07:30 PM #14
Originally Posted by orleander
You just have to have the government rate the flood likelihood as less than so much.
Which the government did, for those Iowa houses, safe behind their "500 year flood" levees.
Iowa has ditched and drained most of the wetlands that would otherwise soak up such rainfall and release it slowly. Other places have done that as well (Illinois, Missouri, etc) and it's a common enabling factor of catastrophic floods.
The people flooded are not the same as the ones benefited by the ditching and draining.
06-21-08, 09:39 PM #15
06-21-08, 09:45 PM #16
06-21-08, 09:52 PM #17
The Iowa plains made Billions of dollars in agriculture. If part of the money would have gone to controlling, channeling, managing water resources, over the last70 years, we would not have been in this mess. And this could happen in the next two months as well as next year or year after.
There is no guarantee that mother nature would maintain her cool in a 100 year span whether flood, earthquake, tornado, draught etc. Humans do have some technology to even out those peaks and valleys to the extent it minimizes misery. Imagine how many people die every year from floods in Bangladesh....
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