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FT Big Read

Aceh ten years after the Indian Ocean tsunami

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Aceh ten years after the Indian Ocean tsunami

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Transportation Nation

From The Archives: Big Storms, Climate Change Imperil Transit

Friday, October 26, 2012

As Hurricane Sandy approaches, we thought of this, our story from a year ago,  in which we reported that if the storm surge had been just a foot higher during Hurricane Irene, New York's east river subway tunnels would have been flooded.   An alarming prospect, but one the federal government warns could be increasingly common -- and costly.

Here's the story:

On the Sunday after Tropical Storm Irene blasted through the five boroughs of New York City, the city exhaled. Huge swaths of Manhattan hadn’t flooded, high winds hadn’t caused widespread damage. Perhaps no one was as relieved as then-MTA CEO Jay Walder, who had just taken the unprecedented step of shutting down the entire transit system.

“The worst fear that we had, which was that the under-river tunnels on the East River would flood with salt water, were not realized. We certainly dodged something there,” Walder said at a post-Irene briefing with city officials.

What the city dodged was the ghost of climate change future — higher sea levels, intense storms, and elevated amounts of precipitation, all of which could combine to cause widespread flooding of the subway system.

Here's the full story:

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Transportation Nation

Severe Weather Events Continue to Cost US: Big $$ to Alabama, Vermont, NY, NJ

Monday, January 09, 2012

Upstate New York roads, as viewed by helicopter (photo by Karen DeWitt/NYS Public Radio/WXXI)

Severe weather events in 2011 -- the worst in history according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- continue to cost the U.S. big bucks.

Tranportation Nation has reported on the costs of climate change, now the U.S. DOT is announcing it's releasing some $1.6 billion  to 30 states.  Vermont, devastated by Hurricane Irene will get $125.6 million, North Dakota $89.1 million for severe flooding, and both New York and New Jersey are getting close to $90  million each.

Full release and list of grantees follow:

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Close to $1.6 Billion in Funding for Repairs to Damaged Roads and Bridges Supplemental Funding from Congress Makes Reimbursement Possible

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced nearly $1.6 billion to states and territories across the nation to help cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by a variety of natural disasters.

“Communities from coast to coast are still recovering from disasters that have affected the roads they use, their homes and businesses,” said Secretary LaHood. “The Obama Administration stands ready to provide emergency relief and reimburse these communities for the work that has been done to restore their critical transportation needs.”

Funding from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Emergency Relief Program was provided by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012.  FHWA will provide a total of $1.58 billion to 30 states, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and federal land management agencies to reimburse them for repairs to roads and bridges caused by storms, flooding, hurricanes and other natural and catastrophic disasters.

“States and communities can rely on the federal government during these critical times,” said FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez.  “When disaster strikes, the Department will do all it can to provide help to the affected areas.”

Vermont, hard hit by Hurricane Irene, will receive $125.6 million; North Dakota will receive $89.1 million for the Devils Lake Basin for damage caused by Spring 2011 runoff; and Iowa will receive $37.5 million to repair damage caused by the May 2011 Missouri River flooding.  A complete list of states and funding amounts is listed below.

This money will reimburse states for fixing or replacing highways, bridges and other roadway structures. Costs associated with detours, debris removal and other immediate measures necessary to restore traffic flow in impacted areas are also eligible for reimbursement.

For a state-by-state breakdown click here (http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2012/fhwa0212.html).

 

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The Takeaway

Bangkok Braces for Dangerous Floods

Friday, October 14, 2011

In Thailand, flooding has plagued large areas of the country since July, and now it appears to be headed for the city of Bangkok. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has issued an evacuation warning for suburbs of the area, which caused many citizens there to panic. Flood waters are flowing south toward Bangkok, and have already affected northern parts of the city.

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The Takeaway

Floods Devastate Pennsylvania and Maryland

Friday, September 09, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee continues to cause devastation in the eastern United States. Driving rain has pelted parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland, flooding homes and businesses there. At least three people have died as a result, and 130,000 people have had to leave their homes and flee to safety.

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WNYC News

Heavy Rains Put Some Soaked NY, NJ Suburbs Under Flood Watch

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Heavy rain is expected throughout much of the region into Thursday, meaning there's a chance residents could be dealing with flash foods.

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The Takeaway

Vermont Struggles With Recovery After Irene

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Upstate New York and parts of Vermont were struck by rapid flooding brought on by Tropical Storm Irene over the weekend. Due to wind damage and fallen trees, downed power lines remain a problem, as do hundreds of flooded roads. In Vermont, there have already been three confirmed fatalities due to the storm — two were swept into rushing waters and drowned. Fifty-thousand homes and businesses remain without power in what officials are calling Vermont's worst natural disaster since flooding in 1927. A majority of homeowners in Vermont who were affected by the storm lack insurance that covers flood damage.

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The Takeaway

How 'Great Flood' of 1927 Helped Prepare for Floods of Today

Thursday, May 19, 2011

By all accounts, the Mississippi flood waters threatening communities across the South are reminiscent of the “Great Flood” of 1927. That historic event forever changed how the country’s levees, spillways and flood control systems are built and operate. It allowed for federal and state governments to create a flood preparedness system to make sure we never see a disaster like 1927 again. But despite the best efforts by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard and emergency responders, thousands of people have already lost their homes to the rising flood waters. 

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The Takeaway

Closing the Mississippi River: Safe but Costly

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers continue working around the clock to prevent massive flooding to major cities in the South. But even as they open floodgates and break through levees, the Mississippi River continues to rise. If it rises above 18.5 feet — two feet higher than it was on Saturday — access to parts of the river could be limited or temporarily shut down.

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The Takeaway

Ghost of Katrina Haunts Mississippi Delta

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Mississippi flooding heading south into the Delta, the 200 mile stretch of land between Memphis, Tennessee, and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Along the way, river residents are watching the waters and the levees carefully, scared that they won't hold. In Vicksburg, the flood is supposed to crest just under the historic record high — and the Army Corps of Engineers says it is monitoring the situation. But even further south, in New Orleans, it is not just the vision of the Mississippi — but the memory of Hurricane Katrina that haunts residents.

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The Takeaway

Looking Back: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

Monday, May 09, 2011

We’re seeing the worst flooding along the Mississippi river in many decades. Eight states have evacuated residents, levees have been blown up or breached and the water is still coming. Many are saying that by the time the flooding reaches the southern Mississippi Delta, we’ll be looking at the worst flooding on this river since the great flood of 1927.

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WNYC News

New Jersey Begins to Assess Flood Damage

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Office of Emergency Management in New Jersey is beginning to coordinate a damage assessment following last weekend's floods.

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WNYC News

Gov. Christie Declares State of Emergency in New Jersey

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Gov. Chris Christie has declared a State of Emergency for New Jersey, with the forecast calling for heavy rain — and the threat of floods — over the next few days.

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WQXR News

Cyclone Yasi Hits Australia

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Cyclone Yasi roared its way across the coast of Queensland, Australia, Wednesday night, bringing strong winds and rain to an area still recovering from weeks of rain and flooding.

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The Takeaway

Thousands of Australians Evacuated During Worst Floods in Decades

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Australian state of Queensland — a state with the area the size of France and Germany combined — has been hit by flooding, inundating 20 towns and affecting more than 200,000 people. It’s one of the area’s worst natural disasters, and Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard has boosted emergency support, increasing rescue crew numbers and providing hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency grants to residents.

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WQXR News

Californians Begin Clean Up After Massive Rains

Friday, December 24, 2010

WNYC

Californians are beginning to clean up after floods, mudslides and evacuations during a weeklong onslaught of rain.

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The Takeaway

Ramadan Relief Efforts for Pakistan Flood Victims

Monday, August 23, 2010

Devastating flooding in Pakistan continued over the weekend as the Indus River surged south and authorities raised the spectre of easily communicable waterborne diseases passing among the millions of people displaced from their homes.

The flooding is taking place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It's a time when, along with prayer and fasting, Muslims donate to various charities. We're taking a look at how Ramadan is being observed in Pakistan and here at home where Muslim communities are rallying to raise donations.  

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The Takeaway

US Increases Humanitarian Military Presence in Pakistan

Friday, August 20, 2010

To support relief efforts in Pakistan, the United States currently has 18 military and civilian aircraft in the country and three based in Afghanistan. American helicopters have evacuated nearly 6,000 people and delivered more than 717,000 pounds of relief supplies. And Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has just announced the U.S. will increase aid to Pakistan to $150 million.

But the context for the American military presence in Pakistan is more complicated than simply delivering humanitarian aid. Pakistan is home to militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, whose offshoot organizations have already become a visible force during this crisis. The Pakistani Taliban is already believed to be behind two attacks against security forces in Peshawar since the start of the flooding.

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The Takeaway

Aid Workers Face Challenges in Responding to Pakistan Floods

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The U.N. estimates that as many as 20 million people have been affected by the massive flooding in Pakistan. People have lost their homes and their land, and there'a a high risk of water-born illnessess. Children are especially affected by illnesses like eye infections, scabies and diarrhea. Aid workers are faced with a huge job as they try to help the victims.

Lucia Ennis regional director for Asia at the aid organization Concern Worldwide describes the challenges of getting food and supplies to 250,000 victims of the floods in Pakistan, as waters spread to the south. She says the most important thing is to get clean water and food to the victims.

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The Takeaway

In Flooded Pakistan, BBC Radio Offers 'Lifeline'

Monday, August 16, 2010

One fifth of Pakistan is underwater, and many of the country's residents — reportedly as many as 400,000 — continue to be threatened by the worst flooding in nearly a century. Some of the hardest hit are those in the country's more remote regions, where aid and even information is difficult to deliver. Our partner the BBC has offered a radio service called "Lifeline" that is trying to help reach Pakistanis, offering a call-in for people who need important aid information, and also giving them a forum for telling their own story during the disaster.

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