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Floods


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  1. Disaster Preparation
News
  1. -06-20-08 Midwest Floods Create Economic Catastrophe (MSNBC News)
      "Long after the waters subside, the floods that submerged the Midwest this month could turn out to be the region’s biggest economic disaster in decades, with ramifications that will be felt by consumers across the country."

      "With levees still under pressure and more flooding expected, no one is ready to put an estimate on the final damage, but it will likely swamp the $21 billion in losses tallied by the Great Flood of 1993." 06-08

  2. -06-26-08 Army Corps of Engineers Causing Floods? (Time.com)
      "On March 4, three Midwestern University professors wrote to warn the Army Corps of Engineers that its concrete navigation structures in the Mississippi River were intensifying floods, and that its plans to build more wingdikes and weirs would 'exacerbate a severe and growing problem.' They called some of the structures — designed to scour out the river's bottom so that barges could pass — 'loaded cannons pointing at St. Louis and East St. Louis, waiting to go off in the next flood.' Citing 'clear and unequivocal data' from a dozen peer-reviewed articles, they declared that 'the time to ask these questions is now, and not in the aftermath of the next great flood.' "

      "The Army Corps, the troubled, gung-ho public works agency that bears much of the blame for leaving New Orleans underwater, blew off the academics' concerns."

      "The Army Corps is always completely confident, even when it's completely wrong. Its levees protecting St. Louis and East St. Louis survived this year's great flood, thanks in part to dozens of levee breaks upstream that reduced the pressure downstream, but there is powerful evidence that the Corps' mania for concrete significantly magnified the flood's power. Army Corps structures aren't the only reason 500-year floods seem to be hitting the Mississippi every 15 years, but a National Science Foundation-funded database of 8 million hydrologic measurements suggests they are the most important reason." 06-08

Papers
  1. Flood Stories (TalkOrigins.org)
      Provides over 100 stories of great floods from cultures around the world. 06-06

  2. Why More Men Die in Floods (Time.com)
      "A study of U.S. thunderstorm-related deaths from 1994 to 2000 found that men were more than twice as likely to die than women. Of the 1,442 fatalities, 70% were men, according to research by Thomas Songer at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health. Most of the deaths happened outside the home during flash floods or lightning strikes. That is partly because men are more likely to be outside for their jobs. But men are also more likely to take risks of all kinds — which can be a fatally bad idea in ugly weather."

      "Most storm deaths happen the same way: people drown when they try to drive or walk through floodwater. The brain is not very good at assessing the depth and strength of water on a road. Water can hide dips and valleys, making the path look smooth and shallow when it is not. And the brain is even worse at assessing the risk of anything that appears to be familiar or within control — like driving a car in the rain. To add to the general cognitive confusion, flash floods can happen quickly, without any warning at all."

      'So what can men (and women) do to override their brain's blind spots? The simplest solution is to stay inside." The article then provides some survival strategies." 06-08

   
   


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