California, Missouri at Risk for New Orleans-Style Flooding

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ghostrider, Feb 19, 2006.


  1. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    California, Missouri at Risk for New Orleans-Style Flooding
    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    ST. LOUIS — Intensified development in flood-prone parts of Missouri and California significantly raises the risk of New Orleans-style flooding in urban areas on the Mississippi and Sacramento rivers, researchers said Saturday.

    Around St. Louis, where the Mississippi River lapped at the steps of the Gateway Arch during the 1993 flood, more than 14,000 acres of flood plain have been developed since 1993. That has reduced the region's ability to store water during future floods, said Adolphus Busch IV, a scion of the Anheuser-Busch brewing family and chairman of the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance.

    Efforts to protect St. Louis from floods may have increased the risk, said Nicholas Pinter, a professor at Southern Illinois University. Pinter said as much as 85 percent of the Mississippi in St. Louis is confined behind levees, which have raised flood levels up to 12 feet higher than they were just a century ago.

    That parallels the situation in New Orleans, which suffered catastrophic flooding when levees failed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina last summer.

    Details about the research were being presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


    In California, development in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, where flood control efforts have continued since the mid-1800s, also represents a significant risk, said Jeffrey Mount of the University of California, Davis.

    Mount estimates a two-in-three probability over the next 50 years of a catastrophic levee failure in the massive delta region east of San Francisco.

    Even a moderate flood could breech the delta's levee system, and a larger breech, perhaps following an earthquake, would inundate the whole region, Mount said.

    The Sacramento-San Joaquin delta receives runoff from more than 40 percent of California. The delta covers 738,000 acres, crisscrossed with hundreds of miles of waterways. Much of the land is below sea level and relies on more than 1,000 miles of levees for protection against flooding, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
     
  2. meyah

    meyah Monkey+++

    was it rivers in NO, or the OCEAN?

    As far as I'm concerned, it's good riddance to stupid people. There's lots of other places to live, so why settle for such stupid risks?
     
  3. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    So, where do you live Meyah, if you don't mind my asking?
     
  4. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Re: was it rivers in NO, or the OCEAN?

    I can't think of many places here in the United States, that isn't subjected to some sort of natural or un-natural catastophe. We are all taking stupid risks, no matter where we live.
     
  5. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Re: was it rivers in NO, or the OCEAN?

    In your title, you ask whether it was the river or the ocean. Neither, it was the lake. It also wasn't just the dikes breaking either, the counter-clockwise motion of the hurricane pushed the water out of ponchatrain over the levy in certain areas. Yes, three dikes did break, but most of the deaths occured in the lower income areas where they were storm surged before they knew it.
    As for stupid people, sometimes, the only piece of land that is left available that they can afford is in a flood plain. Their fault, yes and no. You can't judge people because they don't have the resources you and I may have. I live in an area where I am stupid because I live in tornado alley. Every place on this continent has it's weather phenomena that others may find stupid. Noreasters, blizzards, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, you name it, everyone has some delima, can't judge people solely by where they choose to live.
     
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Ok....I really hate to admit it but actualy have to agree with the [newb] on this one. :shock: Yeah every place has its weather things and so on and so would not say it pertains to just liveing on the coast where huricanes may hit but liveing where hurricanes hit AND below the natural level of water is just begging to have the kinds of problems seen. As to being to poor, if they wanted to even on welfare they could save up for a bus ticket then move their welfare check and gooberment provided housing to another city thats not built on the bottom of the ocean/gulf and only kept dry by pumps and dikes. [gone]
     
  7. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    But you are only considering those on the government dole. What about those poor people that live along rivers because they refuse to suck off the government teat and the only land that is the only land they can put a trailer on?
     
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Old, mean, and nasty Administrator Founding Member

    Those folks I can muster sympathy and money to help. But I'll be damned 20 times over if I will contribute to the general fund knowing full well it will be wasted on sucm and graft. I alone WILL pick where my contributions go.
     
  9. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I can understand what your saying but if they were able to buy it the could likely find a scrap of land on the high bank of the river at least or if not perhapse in another area. Im not refering so much to a natural flood plane or anything as the areas that are in the bowl of NO that by nature are supposed to be under the Gulf of Mexico all the time. Just seems a bit to plain to me that in comparison to the forces of nature mans efforts are insignificant and would not want to put myself in a situation of haveing to rely on pumps and a berm of dirt to make something totaly unsafe become somehow safe. I VERY well understand the constraints of poverty without being on the gov teet and how much it limits ones options but also know if a person chooses to they can get over, around and through those obstacles to a very great point. I mean hell, there have only been a couple of years I have ever had to pay income tax, not from hideing income or anything else but because the levels of income I have had you get it all back (its around that time of year, take a glance at the tax chart and will give you an idea how much that is lol), and the most I have ever collected from big bro was unemployment for a couple of months. So, like I say I know all about those constraints but also know that you can make that level of money most anyplace if you are not pickey about the kind of work you will take and you tend to not have a whole lot you couldnt pack in a couple of suitcases or replace by checking the curbs in a new town if you chose to get a ticket out of town. I basicly just mentioned those on the dole since they are generaly thought of as the ones with the fewest options and since the majority of them are folks unwilling to do for themselves then thats true and to point out that even they could relocate if they made it a priority, maybe not to a much better neighborhood as far as crime rates and such but at least to other geographic areas. [beer]
     
  10. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    [ditto]
     
  11. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    Schwarzenegger Declares Emergency Over Levee System

    Schwarzenegger Declares Emergency Over Levee System
    Friday, February 24, 2006

    SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Friday for California's levee system, a step administration officials said would help speed up repairs to 24 flood-prone sites.

    "In order to protect ourselves we need to move quickly and address all of these sites and repair them before the next flood season," said Lester Snow, director of the Department of Water Resources.

    Officials said the declaration would allow the state to waive environmental and contracting laws in making the repairs and open up emergency funding as part of an attempt to complete repairs before the next flood season.

    "If we did this through normal funding and normal procedures it probably would take us three to four years," Snow said.

    Most of the sites are along the Sacramento River system, and a few are in the northern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Snow added.

    The declaration also allows the state to make repairs to other sections of levee found to be in severe need of maintenance in addition to the 24 mentioned by Snow.

    Cost of the work is estimated to be between $75 million and $100 million.

    State officials said they also needed a federal declaration suspending federal environmental laws to quickly do the repair work.

    "If for some reason the feds are slow to act, this state declaration will still allow us to move more expeditiously in terms of contracting and making money available more quickly," Snow said in a conference call with reporters.

    But he added, "The feds have an obligation and we expect them to follow suit."

    Announcement of the declaration comes as the governor is asking the Legislature to approve $68 billion in bond measures to help pay for a variety of public works projects, including flood control improvements.

    Snow said the administration didn't want to wait for lawmakers and voters to rule on the governor's proposals.

    Snow also said the announcement wasn't an attempt to put political pressure on lawmakers to adopt Schwarzenegger's proposals instead of alternatives they favor.

    "Sit down with me and look at photos of these erosion sites and look at the homes behind these erosion sites," he said. "It's really dramatic how we have underinvested" in levee maintenance.
     
  12. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    Big Arnold read this the other day after I posted it, and decided he needed to do something.
     
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