Friday, September 28, 2007

Flood Defenses After the Fact

Here are three examples of "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, ummm.....oh yeah. Shame on ME." (Not that Nature feels any shame about it.)

What to do AFTER the flooding has caught you unprepared.

In Wales, if you can't beat Nature, join it. From the BBC Web site:

Flood damage in Wales costs an average of £70m a year and spending on defences has doubled in the last eight years.

But now the Welsh Assembly Government is working on a new strategy which involves working with nature rather than against it.

This may involve some areas being flooded in order to protect other communities.

Environment Minister Jane Davidson has ordered a fresh look at policy in the wake of flooding this summer.

She has ordered a three-year programme to refresh flooding policy, with the aim of developing a new strategy which involves "working with nature, rather than against it".

"The trigger for it was having the latest evidence which suggests that within the next 100 years sea levels will rise by 1 metre and there will be a 20% increase in flooding risk," she tells BBC Wales' Eye on Wales programme.

She said that one solution would be to look to countries like Malaysia as an example and use playing fields as storage ponds in the event of flooding.

"When we see over the last few years that we're already seeing small increases in flooding risk - every single one of those is a devastation for the community and individual involved," she added.

But she warned: "If we're going to have the kind of sea-level rise that is predicted, we will not be able to build walls high enough to tackle those issues effectively.

"So what we have to do is use the land to our advantage. And it might mean sometimes that we have to allow some areas to flood in order to ensure that bigger communities further down a river don't flood."
While in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, there are questions and a "Well, duh!":
The Brownsville Municipal Authority is trying to figure out why there is flooding in an area that's never had flooding before during heavy rain.

Engineer Bill Johnson said it hasn't happened during every storm, but on several occasions since the new sewer lines were installed, there has been flooding on Water Street between 12th and 16th streets. Johnson said the problem started about a month ago, so it is being caused by something that has occurred since the installation, not because of the installation.

"The flooding is weather-related. We need to find where it's coming from," Johnson said.
Can't stop the weather, so they better look elsewhere for the answers.

And in the Big Apple, the M.T.A. is pulling out all stops to prevent future subway flooding from extreme rain storms.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled plans yesterday for significant and costly changes to subway stations to prevent the shutdown of service that followed last month’s intense flooding.

The proposals include new ways to keep water out of the stations, like raising ventilation grates off the ground and building steps at subway entrances that would require passengers to walk up before descending into stations but would prevent rain from flowing downward.


The authority’s executive director, Elliot G. Sander, said short-term improvements, like raising the grates or installing valves, would cost $30 million. But more extensive projects under consideration, such as increasing sewer or pumping capacity, could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take at least several years. There was no immediate indication of how the authority, which is facing a financial crisis, would find the money for the projects.

No comments: