Friday, July 4, 2008

More on the Corps and Mississippi River floods.

I've just become aware of an excellent series on the Corps of Engineers and flooding recently published in the online magazine Grist. Here is the intro, with links to the other parts. The series includes an interesting interactive map showing major ongoing or proposed big river projects.

Yesterday Salon.com published a nice summary of management of the Mississippi River by the Corps of Engineers and the current controversy over the effects of navigation structures and levees. Some pithy quotes, including more from our local hero Nicholas Pinter. And this one:

"The Army Corps of Engineers certifies its own projects. It's kind of like children giving themselves their own grades," says Robert Criss, professor of geology at Washington University in St. Louis.

And here's a little USA Today article on the physics and dangers of moving floodwater. Our own Jesse, a volunteer firefighter, pulled someone out of a local creek who thought his big new Ford truck could defy these laws. I was surprised to learn that floods, especially flash floods, kill more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes, wind storms or lightning. Here are some statistics on that.

Photo from the US Army Corps of Engineers archives.

No comments: