AuthorTopic: Official Noah's Ark Thread  (Read 4299 times)

Offline RE

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Official Noah's Ark Thread
« on: December 26, 2015, 02:49:20 PM »
There is another one of these somewhere, when I find it I'll merge the threads.

Meanwhile, kickoff here with more UK Flooding.  A 200 year old pub was washed away!  ACCCKKKK!

RE

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/weather/12068981/UK-weather-severe-flood-warnings-as-rivers-burst-banks-live.html

UK floods: Army deployed as rivers burst banks and more than 300 flood alerts issued

Two rivers burst their banks, flooding towns in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, as the Army is deployed on the streets of Cumbria - follow the latest updates


 • More than 300 alerts in place, with 20 of them severe
• Two red alerts issued in Lancashire
• Rivers burst banks in West Yokshire and Lancashire
• Onlookers warned to stay away from floodwaters
• 200-year-old pub collapses as River Irwell floods
• Cumbria's wettest December on record
• Gallery: Boxing Day floods, in pictures

'It's coming down, coming up and coming in - it's at least five feet deep'

Patrick Sawer Parts of Britain suffered further flood misery as at least two rivers burst their banks, writes Patrick Sawer, and the Army was deployed on to the submerged streets of Cumbria to help with relief operations.

More than 360 flood alerts were in place across England, Wales and Scotland, including 20 at the most severe level, meaning there was a danger to life.

The warnings came after forecasters said up to 4.7in (120mm) of rain could fall in some areas that were already saturated by wave after wave of heavy winter squalls.

The Met Office also issued two red alerts for rain in the Lancashire area, plus for Yorkshire and the Humber.

It is the first time two of these “danger to life” warnings – which advise people to “take action”, expect disruption to travel and to be prepared to evacuate their homes – have been issued in the same day. Eleven flood warnings were issued in Scotland, covering the Borders and Tayside areas.

A Downing Street spokesman said David Cameron would visit flood affected areas tomorrow.

The Prime Minister, whom officials said did not want to get in the way of rescue officials today, also announced that he would chair a meeting of the Cobra committee.

Amongst the worst hit by the latest deluge was the village of Walsden, in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire.

King Street, its main road, was submerged and some residents were evacuated from homes by rescuers using boats as water levels continued to rise.

Kellie Hughes, a hairdresser who lives in the street, said the situation was “a million times worse” than a fortnight ago, when the same road was flooded.

“It’s just horrific, really bad,” she said. “I’ve got the sandbags down here and [am] just doing the best I possibly can. There are no more sandbags anywhere. People are panicking. That’s my business and my home, it’s a double whammy.”

Abbi Blackburn described how she was stranded in her home in Walsden as 5ft of water poured into the cellar.

“It’s getting quite bad and it’s still walloping down with rain,” she said yesterday. “We didn’t have any sandbags. It started at about 6am.

“We’ve lost two freezers, my washer and dryer. It’s at least 5ft deep down there. The Environment Agency rang up and said something about evacuation but we’re not leaving, we’re staying put.

“It’s coming down, coming up and coming in. The road is totally submerged, it’s been like that for hours.”

The nearby market town of Todmorden was also hit, with the floods continuing to rise as the rain kept falling.

• That concludes our live blog coverage for today. Do return tomorrow for the latest updates.

20:25
David Cameron to convene Cobra call and visit flooded areas on Monday

David Cameron will visit flood affected areas on Monday, said a Number 10 spokesman.

In a Tweet, Mr Cameron wrote: "My thoughts are with people whose homes have been flooded. I'll chair a COBRA call tomorrow to ensure everything is being done to help."

The Number 10 spokesman added that Mr Cameron would not visit today (SUN) to avoid getting in the way of the emergency services.

19:45
Latest images of the devastation

An elderly resident is rescued from her flooded home in LittleboroughAn elderly resident is rescued from her flooded home in Littleborough  Photo: Demotix

Severe flooding affected homes and businesses in Mytholmroyd West Yorkshire on Boxing Day as the River Calder burst its banks after a night of heavy rain.Severe flooding affected homes and businesses in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, on Boxing Day as the River Calder burst its banks after a night of heavy rain.  Photo: Demotix

The level of Hebden Beck has risen almost as high as St George's St bridge in the centre of Hebden BridgeThe level of Hebden Beck has risen almost as high as St George's St bridge in the centre of Hebden Bridge  Photo: Graham Hardy / Alamy Live News

There is widespread flooding in LittleboroughThere is widespread flooding in Littleborough  Photo: WENN

A Coastguard helicopter carries out a rescue operation as floodwaters rise after rivers burst their banks on December 26, 2015 in Mytholmroyd, England.A Coastguard helicopter carries out a rescue operation as floodwaters rise after rivers burst their banks in Mytholmroyd  Photo: Getty

The River Calder bursts its banks on Boxing Day causing severe flooding in areas of West Yorkshire.The River Calder bursts its banks in Brighouse on Boxing Day causing severe flooding in areas of West Yorkshire.  Photo: Rex

19:20
Radcliffe hit by gas explosion amid flood chaos

There was a gas explosion at around 4.30pm in Radcliffe in Greater Manchester, which has been hit by major flooding.

Saeed Atcha, a radio presenter, said: "All of a sudden we heard a bang, we looked over to where the sound came from and couldn't see anything. Then a second later there was another explosion and then a big orange beam lit up the sky, like a flash.

"It was very, very scary. Everyone was looking around in a state of shock.

"A police officer shouted 'Get back into your house, there has been a gas explosion'.

"Two or three minutes later the police officer jumped into his and drove away. After he gave the warning he evacuated himself."

Mr Atcha said he understood the explosion was caused by the flooding. It occurred right next to the River Irwell, which has burst its banks.

He added: "It is going to be a very dark and miserable evening. It seems like the area is on lock-down."

Greater Manchester Police said the explosion could have been caused by the flooding. It was caused by a ruptured gas main burning off and has now been dealt with, the spokesman added.

Meanwhile in Leeds, a severe flood warning has been put in place for the city centre, with the River Aire expected to reach a record peak later on.

18:15
Floods minister calls deluge 'unprecedented'

Floods Minister Rory Stewart said that rainfall levels in the flood-hit areas were unprecedented.

"We're looking potentially again today at maybe a month's rainfall coming in a day. That's falling on ground that's very saturated. As the rain falls, the rivers respond very quickly," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

"Certainly what we've seen is rainfall levels that nobody's ever seen before

"If somebody had said two years ago when we were designing these flood defences that we could get 13 inches of rain in a day, the answer from the engineers would have been 'Why are you making that kind of prediction? We have never seen this before.'

"I think this is why people are right to start focusing on uncertainty and why people obviously are very interested in the question of climate change."

18:05
Drivers abandoning cars as floods intensify

Travel woes on Boxing Day have been compounded by flooding as roads struggle to cope with the deluge of rain.

North Wales has been worst hit, with drivers being forced to abandon their waterlogged cars in some areas.

Would-be festive travellers near flood-affected areas have been warned by police not to travel unless absolutely necessary on a day when many train services are not in operation.

With the ground already saturated, heavy rain over the past 24 hours has caused rivers to rise rapidly and the waterlogged A55 north Wales expressway is closed in both directions between junctions 11 and 15.

The B5109 Llanfaes Beaumaris is also closed, as is the A5/A470 junction at Waterloo Bridge.

There is also heavy flooding on the A487 Bangor and the road is closed from Vaynol roundabout up to the St David's retail park.

The Highways Agency also reports congestion A663 southbound between the A669 and the junction with the M60 in Lancashire.

17:20
Tea-time flood update: 20 flood alerts warning of danger to life issued as flood sirens sound across Lancashire and Cumbria

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes and thousands are without power after widespread flooding in the North West, with more rain forecast.

Lancashire and Yorkshire have been hit by downpours, with people in a number of towns and villages forced to leave their homes after being stranded by rising waters.

As of 4.20pm on Saturday the Environment Agency (EA) had issued 20 severe flood warnings - which signal "danger to life", while there were 225 flood warnings, meaning that immediate action is required.

The Met Office also issued two of its most serious red weather warnings - danger to life - for the area.

Residents in Whalley and Ribchester in Lancashire were forced to abandon their homes when flood waters poured through the streets after torrential downpours.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service warned people to stay away from affected areas and told motorists not to drive unless they have to.

Flood sirens sounded at Walsden, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, Yorkshire, as the water breached defences.

About 10,000 homes in Rochdale and Lancashire lost their electricity supply after a main substation was damaged.

16:40
Flood siren sounds in Appleby as deluge spreads

16:15
Lancashire police deluged by flood calls as Environment Agency warn of grim night ahead

Police in Lancashire have said that they have responded to 180 flood related calls throughout the day.

The force added that many other flood-related calls were logged despite officers not attending.

Meanwhile the Environment Agency reiterated warnings not to walk through flood water.

16:08
Flood siren sounded in Mytholmroyd and residents evacuated

Residents have been evacuated as a West Yorkshire town was cut off by several feet of flood water.

Flood sirens alerted the town of Mytholmroyd, in Calderdale, to the rising waters at about 7am on Boxing Day.

The River Calder bursts its bank's in the Calder Valley town of MytholmroydThe River Calder bursts its banks in the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd  Photo: Getty

The centre of the town was completely under water, with residents worried levels would rise further as the rain continued to fall.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said a man had to be rescued after he tried to drive a Land Rover into the water.

He said: "He turned left after coming over the bridge and we just watched horrified as his car was dragged back towards us."

15:53

The Environment Agency's Toby Willison has shared these charts, showing water levels at Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire and Ribchester. Both places have seen a severe spike in water levels, with Ribchester at 5.71 metres.

15:28
Pictures show scale of devastation

Residents battle against floodwater as the River Calder bursts its bank's in the Calder Valley town of MytholmroydResidents battle against floodwater as the River Calder bursts its bank's in the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd  Photo: Getty

A caravan park inundated by flood water after the River Nidd burst its banks in Knaresborough, North YorkshireA caravan park inundated by flood water after the River Nidd burst its banks in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire  Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA

A woman is helped out of a house in Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, West YorkshireA woman is helped out of a house in Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, West Yorkshire  Photo: Peter Byrne/PA

The River Calder bursts its bank's in the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd The River Calder bursts its bank's in the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd   Photo: Getty

A woman carries a birdcage as she wades through floodwater after the River Calder burst its bank's in the Calder Valley town of MytholmroydA woman carries a birdcage as she wades through floodwater after the River Calder burst its bank's in the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd  Photo: Getty
15:27
Cumbria's wettest December on record

The Met Office confirmed on Christmas Eve that this will be the the wettest December on record for Cumbria since records began in 1910.

Since 1 December many areas in Cumbria have experienced more than two and a half times their expected monthly rainfall.

Flooded streets in York

Waves lash the Cumbrian coastline

15:20
Environment Agency issues 366 flood warnings

The Environment Agency has issued 20 severe flood warnings, meaning there is a danger to life, 217 flood warnings, meaning immediate action required, and 129 flood alerts.

A Christmas tree joins water-damaged possessions gathered from a flooded house in Carlisle

People clear their houses of water damaged property, including a Christmas tree, as the clean-up begins on Warwick Road after the floods in Carlisle.People clear their houses of water damaged property, including a Christmas tree, as the clean-up begins on Warwick Road after the floods in Carlisle.  Photo: Ben Birchall/PA

14:48
Dramatic footage from West Yorkshire and Rochdale

Some incredible videos from Twitter users show just how strong the flood waters are in some parts. Here we have Elland Canal and flooded streets in Haworth, West Yorkshire, and Watergrove Reservoir in Rochdale:

14:10
Liz Truss: My "thoughts and sympathy" are with flood victims

Cobra held another emergency meeting this morning in response to heavy rainfall overnight and to prepare for the downpours today.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, who chaired the meeting, said: "Our priority throughout this period continues to be protecting lives, protecting homes and protecting businesses.

"I would like to again to pay tribute to the tireless work of front line staff over the last month and the Christmas period, and the extraordinary resilience of the people affected, which I have seen first hand.

"My thoughts and sympathy continue to be with people flooded out of their homes this Christmas and I can assure them we are doing everything we can to help communities recover from these storms."

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster's Regiment setting up flood defences at Appleby on Christmas morning

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster's Regiment setting up flood defences at Appleby on Christmas morning

13:45
Floodwaters pour through streets in Ribchester

13:30
200-year-old pub collapses as River Irwell floods

A 200-year-old former pub has been destroyed by flooding at Summerseat, Great Manchester.

Part of the ancient building, which sits on a bridge over the River Irwell, was swept away in the raging waters.

Resident Andrew Watson told ITV News: "The 200-year-old former mill and ex pub the Waterside has collapsed into the River Irwell at Summerseat near Bury, the road is now blocked and some of the building is blocking the River Irwell."

A video shows water gushing under the bridge that supports the collapsed building.

13:25
Stop going to look at floods - you are making it worse, council warns

Lancashire City Council have told nosy-parkers to stay away from the floods. People going over to have a look is making it even worse, they say.

13:20
Whalley and Ribchester residents abandon homes

Residents in Whalley and Ribchester in Lancashire were forced to abandon their homes when flood waters poured through the streets after torrential downpours.

Todmorden in West Yorkshire has also been hit and the waters are continuing to rise as the rain keeps falling.

Lee Fraser, who lives on Halifax Road, said the road between the town and the neighbouring village of Hebden is submerged.

"It's getting worse and worse, it's been raining really heavily since last night," he added.

"The siren went off at about 7am this morning and 10 minutes later everything started flooding.

"A lot of people are moving their stuff upstairs in their houses and the police came and closed the roads.

"It's absolutely tipping it down, so it's only going to get worse by the look of it."

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service warned people to stay away from the Whalley and Ribchester areas and told motorists not to drive unless they have to.

13:15
Number of severe flood warnings doubles in an hour

The number of severe flood warnings has doubled in the last hour as hundreds of residents were evacuated from their homes.

There are currently more than 335 alerts in place across England, Wales and Scotland, including 15 at the most severe level.

Lancashire and Yorkshire have been hit by downpours, with people in a number of towns and villages forced to leave their homes after being stranded by rising waters.

The Met Office issued two of its most serious red weather warnings - danger to life - for the area.
12:46
Video: Fast-flowing River Wharfe

The fast-flowing River Wharfe on the eastern outskirts of Ilkley in West Yorkshire, which has effectively been 'cut off' because of flooding

11:00
Severe warnings issued, as rivers burst banks

Severe flood warnings were in place on Boxing Day, with at least two rivers bursting their banks and flooding nearby villages, as the Army were deployed on the streets of Cumbria to help with flood relief operations.

Fifteen severe flood warnings - meaning that there is a danger to life - have been issued for the North East and North West by the Environment Agency (EA) as forecasters said up to 4.7ins (120mm) of rain could fall in some areas already saturated by wave after wave of winter squalls. The Met Office has also issued two red alerts for rain, which is deemed to be potentially deadly, in the Lancashire area and Yorkshire and the Humber.

It is the first time ever two of these 'danger to life' warnings - which advise people to 'take action', expect disruption to travel and be prepared to evacuate their homes - have been issued in the same day

Eleven flood warnings have been issued in Scotland covering the Borders and Tayside areas.

The River Calder burst its banks on Saturday morning, flooding significant stretches of the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd, in West Yokshire, including a Sainsbury's Local. The waters reached halfway up bus shelters and close to the bottom of first floor windows and dozens of residents have been evacuated from their homes.

The River Ribble also burst its banks, flooding part of the Lancashire village of Ribchester. Both villages had been issued with severe flood warnings.

The River Calder bursts its bank's in the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd. Photo: GettyThe River Calder bursts its bank's in the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd. Photo: Getty  Photo: Getty

The average rainfall for the whole of December in the North West is 5.7ins (145mm) – meaning close to a month's rain could lash the region in hours.

Rory Stewart, the flood minister, suggested climate change might explain the current high levels of rain, which he described as unprecedented.

Mr Stewart, whose constituency of Penrith and The Border, lies in the flood zone, said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We're looking potentially again today at maybe a month's rainfall coming in a day. That's falling on ground that's very saturated. As the rain falls, the rivers respond very quickly. Certainly what we've seen is rainfall levels that nobody's ever seen before.

Mytholmroyd, in West Yokshire. Photo: GettyMytholmroyd, in West Yokshire. Photo: Getty  Photo: Getty

"If somebody had said two years ago when we were designing these flood defences that we could get 13 inches of rain in a day, the answer from the engineers would have been 'Why are you making that kind of prediction? We have never seen this before.' I think this is why people are right to start focusing on uncertainty and why people obviously are very interested in the question of climate change."

A red weather warning, the most serious alert, for heavy rain and flooding in Lancashire was issued by the Met Office on Saturday morning.

Mytholmroyd, in West Yokshire. Photo: GettyMytholmroyd, in West Yokshire. Photo: Getty  Photo: Getty

People are being advised to move valuables and take advice from emergency services about evacuation.

Around 115 flood alerts and 100 warnings were also issued by the EA, mainly for the North West, North East and Wales.

A company from the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, helped committees across the North West build miles of temporary flood defences.

The EA said 85 per cent of the country's temporary flood barriers had been sent to Cumbria, where rainfall has smashed records, and the Lakeland region braced itself again ahead of the deluge.

Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said the latest weather is "unusual" when the mild conditions enjoyed during December are taken into account.

"And as you can see from the rainfall figures from this weekend alone it's very similar to what we'd expect across the whole month, so it is unusual to see such a prolonged unsettled spell," he said.

Soldiers set up the defences in Appleby (2LANCS/MoD Crown Copyright/PA)Soldiers set up the defences in Appleby (2LANCS/MoD Crown Copyright/PA)

The Government's emergency Cobra committee met on Christmas Day.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "Even at Christmas our Armed Forces are keeping us safe. Once again they are responding to the Cumbrian floods with a commitment that can only be applauded."

More than 700 Environment Agency (EA) staff are on stand-by to bolster flood defences as more sandbags and water pumps are rushed to Cumbria. Staff were setting up demountable flood barriers in Warwick Bridge, Braithwaite and Appleby with the assistance of the Army and teams were also dispatched across Lakeland to Workington, Glenridding, Kendal, Carlisle and Keswick.

Major Nick Higgins of the 2nd Battalion told Sky News: "The people of Appleby and the surrounding area we have been operating in have been massively affected by these storms and it's important that we are here to help them."

The deployment meant the soldiers were away from their families at Christmas, for the first time for many of the younger battalion members, but it was "a working day" with tasks to complete.

"Today is business as usual," he added.

Flood defence gates have been closed in Carlisle, Keswick and Cockermouth and the EA has transported over two kilometres of temporary flood barriers and more than 20 extra pumps to the north of England.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster's Regiment setting up flood defences at Appleby on Christmas morning

Teams of workers from the agency have also been out checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in watercourses and monitoring water levels.

The Met Office has issued an amber alert for the county, highlighting the increased likelihood of "medium impacts" from the rain, meaning some flooding of homes, businesses and transport links is possible.

The latest deluge will come as towns and villages across the county are still clearing up the aftermath of Storm Desmond earlier this month, which left hundreds of homes and businesses under water.

Around 40 roads and bridges remain damaged and closed, along with hundreds of homes left uninhabitable.

Cluanie Inn in Inverness, Scotland, was where the most rain fell overnight, with 0.78ins (19.8mm) recorded between 5pm and 5am, a Met Office spokesman said.

Elsewhere, the EA said that for the next three days along the River Severn in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire, and the River Ouse in York, there is a possibility of sections of roads being flooded, travel disruption and delays due to temporary flood defences being deployed.

High tides are also expected, bringing with them the potential for large waves and spray along parts of the south and west coast of England.

Waves lash the Cumbrian coastline (Gary McKeating/REX/Shutterstock)Waves lash the Cumbrian coastline (Gary McKeating/REX/Shutterstock)

Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said that after the latest run of bad weather the agency will talk to the communities affected to look at how they can be better protected in the future.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also tweeted his thanks to firefighters, soldiers and EA staff, who said were "saving lives & homes".

More information and help is available at http://www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding or follow @EnvAgency and @floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates.

Traffic and travel information is available at http://www.cumbria.police.uk/traffic-link-map and a helpline has been opened on 0345 988 1188.

Flooded streets in York (PA)Flooded streets in York (PA)

10:00
Army is deployed to flood risk areas

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A Rolls Royce Goes for a Swim
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2015, 03:42:18 PM »
I wonder if this guy has flood insurance?  :icon_mrgreen:

I'm putting together slide shows for weather disasaters.  :icon_sunny:

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https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nebraska-governor-flooding-floods-midwestern-united-states-most-widespread-destruction/

Nebraska governor calls flooding "most widespread destruction we've ever seen in our state's history"

By Brian Pascus

March 20, 2019 / 12:34 PM / CBS News


Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says farmers are bearing the brunt of "the most widespread destruction we have ever seen in our state's history." Ricketts spoke to CBSN on Wednesday about the dire set of circumstances Nebraska faces after the unprecedented flooding disaster.

Rickets declared a state of emergency as more rain is expected to soak the already flooded region. States of emergency have also been declared in Iowa, Wisconsin and South Dakota. Record-setting flooding hit the Midwest due to a confluence of conditions that include the recent bomb cyclone storm, as well as frozen ground melting in the spring, warming weather patters and heavy rain. The bomb cyclone pummeled the region with low pressure, heavy rains and blizzard-like conditions before melting off and spawning floods that have forced more than 4,400 people to evacuate their homes.

"Obviously we've got a lot of recovery left ahead of us," Ricketts told CBSN. "It's going to be a long road for us to rebuild our infrastructure and get people back in their homes."

The floods have been nothing short of catastrophic: At least three people have died, and estimated farm loses could top $1 billion. Parts of 15 states are under flood watches and warnings. Ricketts said14 state bridges were damaged and 200 miles of highways can't be used until roads are repaired.

"We're still very focused on keeping people safe right now and as late as yesterday we were still conducting rescues of people," he added.
Flooded areas are seen in Bellevue
Flooded areas are seen in Bellevue, Nebraska, U.S., March 19, 2019.  BELLEVUE (NEBRASKA) POLICE DEPARTMENT/via REUTERS

No group of Nebraskans have been hit harder by the floods than the state's farmers, who form the backbone of the region's agricultural economy.

"In our initial assessment, we've got $400 million in livestock loses and $440 million in grain losses," Ricketts said. "We're encouraging our farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office, Farm Service Agency, to notify them that they've got these loses and to keep track of this, so they can take advantage of things like the livestock indemnity program." He said there's also a conservation program for farmers whose land needs to be rehabilitated.

Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Omaha, Nebraska on Tuesday to survey the damage and offer support to the region. Ricketts said the state's coordination with the federal government has been "fantastic" thus far, stating that he's spoken to regional EPA administrator Paul Taylor, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Cho, and officials at FEMA, who helped the state get its disaster declaration prepared. He said Nebraska has filed paperwork for federal disaster relief funds.

Ricketts also praised the American Red Cross, which has worked to provide shelter and meals for state residents. "The Red Cross has been great," the governor said. "They've been the ones setting up most of the shelters we have across our state and serving thousands of meals to take care of folks."  Ricketts estimated Nebraska has 475 people in shelters.

When asked for a timeline for full recovery once the waters recede, Ricketts said it will be "a months-long process" and referenced a 2011 flood, where it took 108 days for the waters in one region of Nebraska to recede before farmers could access their water treatment plant.

"We know this will be a long recovery," Ricketts said. "We will work as quickly as possible to get people back in their homes to provide that relief. But when it comes to the major projects like our public infrastructure, roads, bridges, we're going to need the public's patience because it is going to take a while to get all of this recovered." 

First published on March 20, 2019 / 12:34 PM
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🌊 Midwest floods: Ruptured levees could cost billions to repair
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2019, 12:38:17 AM »
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/flooding-in-the-midwest-ruptured-levees-along-missouri-river-could-cost-billions-to-repair/

Watch CBSN Live
Midwest floods: Ruptured levees could cost billions to repair

By Ed Leefeldt

March 22, 2019 / 12:24 PM / MoneyWatch

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/G8F_3ZHHrWM" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/G8F_3ZHHrWM</a>

    Almost half of the country lives near a levee, and 12 have already failed during spring flooding
    Critics blame Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA for broken levees flooding the Midwest
    The levees "were set up to fail," says flood insurance expert

The small town of Hamburg, Iowa was submerged this week when its levee – the earthen barrier protecting it from the raging Missouri River – broke, forcing its 1,100 residents to flee their homes. But luck was on their side: No one died. And now this same raging river is rushing toward Kansas City, Missouri.

The Army Corps of Engineers warned during a Thursday briefing there could be other flooding as snow begins to melt along the upper regions of the Midwest. The states most likely to be affected: Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.

"The runoff will be more than expected," John Remus, chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division confirmed during the briefing. Twelve levees have already been breached, others have been "overtopped." And still others are in danger. "The public needs to remain vigilant."

"The whole thing is trashed," said Pat Sheldon, who is president of a regional "levee district" that extends from Iowa to the Missouri border. He predicted that doing a "total rebuild" of his levee system alone could cost "several billion dollars."

There are nearly 100,000 miles of levees across the country, protecting almost 150 million people, and when they fail, it can be disastrous.

Others who've witnessed the misfortune of a levee rupturing weren't so lucky. The biggest tragedy occurred in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when a dike that was supposed to protect the city gave way and 1,300 people died. And a recent Christmas flood in 2015 set records for water height all along the Mississippi.

These disasters haven't gone unnoticed. In 2016, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Congressional watchdog, scolded the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for making "little progress" in ensuring the safety of the nation's levees. The Corps of Engineers, which inspects just a small portion of these earth and gravel barriers, said at least five percent were at very high risk of flooding.

The Corps of Engineers controls just 15 percent of the nation's levees, while the rest are under state, local and tribal jurisdiction. But mistakes have been made regarding the levees the Corps of Engineers controls. When Hamburg built up its levee, Army officials ordered it be lowered. The flood water easily overwhelmed the lowered barrier wiping out the town. In New Orleans, the Corps of Engineers helped create a shipping channel dubbed "Mr. Go," but it ended up funneling Katrina's flood water into the city.

And it's unlikely anything will change when the current flooding ends. "Extreme weather events linked to climate change are causing flooding that strains aging infrastructures and produces even more damage," says Executive Director Amy Bach of United Policyholders, a consumer insurance advocacy group. "Repairs don't garner attention because they aren't showy. There's no ribbon cutting."

"You can't continue to maintain these levees on a shoestring," says John Dickson, a flood expert with Aon, an international insurance brokerage and consulting firm. "They were set up to fail."
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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/31/us/midwest-floods-levees.html


A levee breached by the Missouri River near Fortescue, Mo.

‘Breaches Everywhere’: Flooding Bursts Midwest Levees, and Tough Questions Follow

Hundreds of miles of levees in the Midwest have been overwhelmed by the floods, leaving “Swiss cheese” infrastructure and reigniting a flood control debate.

A levee breached by the Missouri River near Fortescue, Mo.CreditCredit

By Mitch Smith and John Schwartz

Photographs by Tim Gruber

    March 31, 2019

CORNING, Mo. — The widespread, severe flooding in the Midwest over the last month has exposed the vulnerabilities in a levee system that is now so full of holes that many here ruefully describe it as “Swiss cheese.”

With dozens of costly breaks across Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and nearby states, the surging waters have left large areas without even cursory flood protection.

“Breaches everywhere: multiple, multiple breaches,” said Tom Bullock, the top elected official in Holt County, Mo., where crews were rushing last week to patch a leaking levee that, if it failed completely, would flood the small town of Fortescue.

And with the fear of more floods in the coming years — and perhaps even the coming weeks — many people said living and farming near the water might not be viable much longer without major changes.

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“We can’t keep this up and make a living,” Michael Peters, who grows corn and soybeans on fertile bottomland in northwest Missouri, said last week after trying to find a path to his submerged farm in a motorboat.

On the river-specked Midwestern prairie, the thousands of miles of levees are an insurance policy against nature’s whims that, at their best, keep cropland and towns dry, floodwaters at bay and the agriculture-driven economy churning. But the levees are aging, subject to uneven regulation and, in many cases, never designed to withstand the river levels seen in the last decade.
A grain bin was damaged by flooding in Hamburg, Iowa.
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A grain bin was damaged by flooding in Hamburg, Iowa.
Roger Ideker at the road to his farm in Holt County, Mo. Mr. Ideker was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers that claimed the repeated floods amounted to a seizure of their property.

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Roger Ideker at the road to his farm in Holt County, Mo. Mr. Ideker was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers that claimed the repeated floods amounted to a seizure of their property.

The recent flooding — which has devastated farms, roads and Native American reservations — has pushed to the foreground a debate that has raged quietly for generations. It boils down to this: How should the rivers be controlled, who should make those decisions and how much protection should be given to those most vulnerable?

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Many of the levees, usually earthen and topped with grass, were built by farmers decades ago and are now managed by a patchwork of local government agencies known as levee districts that often do not coordinate or even follow the same rules. With increased flooding in the past few years, the levees are being tested more frequently than ever before, straining the finances and expertise of some of those districts.

The levee situation has become so grave that the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the country’s levee system a D grade in 2017, suggesting $80 billion in investment over 10 years.

“When the next one comes along bigger, they either fail or are overtopped again,” said Nicholas Pinter, an expert on rivers and flooding at the University of California, Davis.

According to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees infrastructure on the Missouri River and some of its tributaries, at least 62 levees had been breached or overtopped in the Midwest in March, and hundreds of miles of levees had sustained damage.

“When they run water over the top of them, there’s not anything you can do,” said Pat Sheldon, the president of a rural levee district in southwest Iowa that was still paying off repairs from the 2011 flood. This time, Mr. Sheldon said, the damage to the levees was much worse, perhaps in the hundreds of millions of dollars. “It’s terrible,” said Mr. Sheldon, whose farm was also cut off by the water.

In Missouri, Mr. Bullock pointed out a levee that last week had been split open and consumed by the river. A large log swirled in the water near where the earthen berm should have been. “I don’t know what we’re going to do this time,” he said.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which helps determine water levels by operating a series of dams on the Missouri River, tries to balance the needs of many who use the rivers it manages, including farmers, barge shippers, endangered animal species and people who use the water for recreation. Those interests are sometimes at odds, and have been the subject of decades of litigation. Corps officials say they are not allowed to change the congressionally authorized purposes of the reservoirs, though they had been most focused on limiting floods for the past year.

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“The Corps’s No. 1 priority in its operations is life safety,” said Maj. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, the Corps’s deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations, in a statement. “Our current focus is to protect life, mitigate risks to flooding events and repair damages due to the recent events in the basin.”

In places like Holt County, where the floods keep coming and the levees keep breaking, there is little patience for the Corps’s approach. Last year, landowners from four Midwestern states won a lawsuit against the agency that claimed the repeated floods amounted to a seizure of their property.
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A flooded ditch in Holt County, where officials were rushing this week to patch a levee.
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At least 62 levees had been breached or overtopped in the Midwest this month.

“We’re ground zero: We get the full shot,” said Roger Ideker, whose family owns farmland in Holt County along the banks of the Missouri River and was the lead plaintiff in that lawsuit.

This week, the closest Mr. Ideker could get to his land was a two-lane road a few miles away that was now functioning as a boat ramp. Buildings in the small town of Corning were visible half-submerged in the distance.

“Our levees are big and they’re good,” Mr. Ideker said, but they were no match for this new normal. “Every event seems like it’s higher. It’s higher water. You build the levee higher. And the next time you build it higher. You can’t keep up with it.”

The situation has been exacerbated by wetter rainstorms, which are expected to worsen over time and have been attributed to climate change.

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“There are layers that come together when big events like this happen — it’s never just one thing,” said Barbara Mayes Boustead, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service who contributed to a 2018 federal report on climate change.

Tom Waters, the chairman of the Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association, which advocates for landowners and others along the rivers, called for easing federal regulations and building bigger flood protection in rural areas.

“We’re seeing more water in the river, but we haven’t improved the infrastructure,” said Mr. Waters, who farms along the Missouri River east of Kansas City, Mo. “Basically, when it comes to levees and flood control protection, we’re still driving on gravel roads and we’re trying to handle interstate traffic.”

But building ever-higher levees is not a panacea: Keeping water out of one area only means it will go somewhere else.

In the early 20th century, the Army Corps of Engineers and towns along the Mississippi River followed a “levees only” policy that meant building higher and higher walls, leaving the river no way to release its power. That strategy failed spectacularly in the Great Flood of 1927, which inundated 27,000 square miles and displaced one million people. In the aftermath, officials built a more complex Mississippi River system that included a network of spillways and flood ways, as well as other tools, along with the levees.

In the areas hardest hit this past month, where levees are shredded and livelihoods shattered, many blame the Corps. In recent weeks, politicians from some of the flooded states have become vocal critics of the river management plan and called for the prioritization of flood control.

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, said in a statement that the Corps was “hamstrung” by “radical environmentalist lobbyists that are forcing the agency to prioritize wildlife over farmers.” Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, cited the town of Hamburg in his state, which staved off the river in 2011 by bolstering its levee but flooded this year after trying and failing to keep its increased protection.

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“The No. 1 priority of the Corps should be flood control — flood control, period,” Mr. Grassley said on the Senate floor.

The devastation to the levees has left much of the Midwest with nothing to hold back the waters from even a relatively minor flood, which forecasters have warned is possible in the weeks ahead.
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“If we have a wet spring,” Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri said in an interview, “this problem is going to get worse, and in that process we’re not going to have time probably to repair these levees.”

As water recedes, at least for the moment, and the conversation shifts to recovery, many in the river bottom said they planned to stay and rebuild, hopeful that policies might change. Others said these levee breaks were probably their last.

“It’s not that I don’t want to be here,” said Rhonda Hunziger, the mayor of Craig, Mo., population 230, where residents piled sandbags through the night in a spirited but futile attempt to save their town from the Missouri River after surrounding levees burst.

Depending on what the insurance company decided, Ms. Hunziger said this could be the flood that forced her to higher ground. “I have lived with floods my whole life,” she said while staring out at the brown-hued water covering her nearly empty town. “And I am about ready to get off the bottom.”

Mitch Smith reported from Corning, and John Schwartz from New York.

Mitch Smith covers the Midwest and the Great Plains. Since joining The Times in 2014, he has written extensively about urban violence, oil pipelines, state-level politics and the national debate over police tactics. He is based in Chicago.  @mitchksmith

John Schwartz is part of the climate team. Since joining The Times in 2000, he has covered science, law, technology, the space program and more, and has written for almost every section. @jswatz • Facebook
A version of this article appears in print on March 31, 2019, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Hard Choices in the Midwest As Levee After Levee Drowns. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper |
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Is this enough "Less Goobermint!" for the Libertarians and the Radical Right?  ???

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https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/10-failed-levees-midwest-flood-zone-were-not-inspected-federal-government#stream/0

10 Failed Levees In Midwest Flood Zone Were Not Inspected By Federal Government

 

 

10 Failed Levees In Midwest Flood Zone Were Not Inspected By Federal Government

Mar 25, 2019
Originally published on March 26, 2019 5:39 am

The 11 levees that failed last week during catastrophic flooding along the Missouri River were maintained by local associations or private owners, with just one inspected by the Army Corps of Engineers this year, KCUR and APM Reports has found.

As losses mount in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri, the flooding has refocused criticism on the Corps’ long-term management of the river. The Corps provides oversight for smaller levees, called "non-federal," run mostly by agricultural and other landowner groups.

Seven of the 11 levees were found to be “minimally acceptable” in the early 2010s and there are no records showing inspections for three others, according to an analysis of information from the National Levee Database, which is operated by the Corps and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The first levee breaches, which flooded the corner where Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas meet, were on March 15. The muddy Missouri River now covers the entire area, forcing towns to evacuate, closing Interstate 29 from Nebraska nearly to St. Joseph, Missouri, and shutting down spring planting for the area's farmers.

"I've never seen anything like it in my lifetime," said Richard Oswald, a farmer whose home where he was born in 1938 near Langdon, Missouri, is now under water.

Seen from above, church spires peak out from the water where small towns used to be. Center-pivot irrgiation systems, once towering 14 feet over farmland, look like still snakes in the water. Steel grain bins, full from last year's record harvest, slump over, yellow corn spilling into the water. 

Levee responsibility

The Corps does two types of inspections on federal and non-federal levees, according to its website. Routine inspections are “typically conducted each year” on levees under its safety program, the site says. Periodic inspections are done every five years, led by a professional engineer. There are three inspection ratings, the site says: acceptable, minimally acceptable and unacceptable.

The seven Corps' inspections of last week's breached or overtopped levees date back to 2010 and 2012, according to the National Levee Database. Two of the levees don’t fall under the Corps’ authority during disaster responses.

Much of the decision-making for the smaller levees is left up to the district directors.  But Bob Criss, an emeritus professor of hydrogeology at Washington University in St. Louis, blames the Corps for the flooding. The agency has reshaped a historically shallow, multi-channel, wide river into a slim channel that runs too high and floods too easily, “like a piece of spaghetti on a plate,” he said.

“It’s narrow and featureless,” Criss said. “That is not what Lewis and Clark saw.”

The Corps of Engineers didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Tom Waters, chair of the Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association, does not not believe the Corps was lax on inspections, noting that districts do their own inspections. He pointed instead to the "bomb cyclone" that hit the central U.S. mid-month.

“These levees are well-designed, they’re well-engineered and they perform as designed,” Waters said. “You can’t put a gallon of water in a quart jar.”

The system of district associations are organized much like a school district, Waters said, so people living in the district are taxed to pay for the building and upkeep on the levees.

Among the levees that failed last week was one built by the federal government — in 1953 in Doniphan County, Kansas. The others were built by the local districts or private landowners, he said.

If anything is to blame, Waters said, it’s the failure to improve the U.S. flood control infrastructure. When the levees fail, districts are required to repair to the pre-flood condition, some of which date back to the 1950s, he said.

“At the same time, we’re seeing higher river levels and more water coming faster, so higher volume and higher velocity in the river system, and we haven’t done anything with the flood control infrastructure to compensate for that,” Waters said.

A wide break in a levee on the Missouri and Nishnabotna rivers near Watson, Missouri, where residents were evacuated.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Criss, the professor at Washington University, said the flooding is a man-made problem and any suggestion that it’s due to climate change is wrong. While Criss believes that global warming may be part of the problem, the flooding was brought on by a river sculpted by the Corps, combined with the levee breaks, which create high velocity waters, he said.

Natural flooding is gentle, about a foot a day, he said, not torrents of water ripping up everything in sight.

“A levee break is catastrophic,” Criss said. “You smash the silos, you knock houses off their foundation. A levee break is like a dam break.”  

Among those criticizing the Corps for mismanaging the flooding systems is Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. In declaring a state of emergency Thursday, Parson said he’s concerned and wants to “have a good conversation” about the agency’s role.

“I think there’s a long history with the state not really being happy with the Corps of Engineers, how they conduct this thing, how they’re doing these levees, and how they’re actually using the waterways in our state,” Parson said.

Ground zero

A 2018 decision by a federal judge, in a case that began in Kansas City and ended up in Washington, D.C., found that the changes the Corps made in 2004 increased the likelihood of flooding and landowners should get $300 million for the “taking” of their land by flood. The suit was brought by 372 landowners in six states and was led by Dan Boulware, a St. Joseph, Missouri, attorney.

The area currently flooded is ground zero, Boulware said, because it’s the site of the worst flooding, in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2019. The court found that the Corps had changed its priority from protecting landowners against flooding and instead decided to construct more habitat for fish and wildlife.

“Flood control was a top priority for six decades,” Boulware said. “In 2004, they changed that and they changed that to benefit two birds and a fish.”

Boulware and Waters said the next step to help protect landowners along the river will take an act of Congress, who must take a fresh look at the Corps’ priorities.

“I feel Congress has a lot of the blame to shoulder,” Waters said.

Missouri and Kansas haven't yet added up losses. In Nebraska, the storm caused $1.3 billion in damages, and in Iowa, $1.6 billion.

Oswald, the Missouri farmer, said he doesn't expect that he'll be able to plant crops this year and he lost 20,000 bushels of corn stored from last year's harvest. He thought he lost his home during the 2011 flood, but he went back four months later after the waters receded. In 2011, Oswald said, they had enough warning to prepare to evacuate, but this time he just had a few days warning.

On the left is Richard Oswald's farm last week, on the right is what it was before the flood. Oswald says that the house he was born in, near Langdon, Missouri, is lost and he won't be able to farm this year.
Credit Courtesy Richard Oswald

"That's the only home I've ever known," Oswald said. "It's very hard to realize I, nor anyone, will ever live there again."

The 11 levees

Here are the levees that were breached or overtopped as of March 22, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This information was compiled from reports in the National Levee Database, which is maintained by the Corps and FEMA.

Union Township:  Two segments of this levee near Big Lake in Holt County, Missouri, were among the first to break down, on March 15. The area's mostly farmland, but has a daytime population of 153. It was locally constructed and maintained by the Union Township Levee District (Union Township segment) and Holt County Levee District No. 10 (Holt County No. 10 segment).

Although the levee database said that the “likelihood of a flood overtopping this levee in the next year has been estimated at 20 percent, or one chance in five,” a flood was inevitable.   

“This equals a 100 percent likelihood of water overtopping the levee over the life of a typical 30-year mortgage,” the report said. “The risk assessment identified some concerns including; pipe inspections and emergency preparedness.”

Holt 10: This levee in Holt County, Missouri, was breached on March 15. The two sections of roughly nine miles found in this levee district had very little information and no inspections on record. It’s maintained by Holt County Levee District No. 10.

Holt 15: This levee that doesn’t fall under the federal law that allows the U.S.  Corps of Engineers to use disaster response authority. It was breached on March 16.

Corning:  This levee doesn’t fall under the federal law that allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use disaster response authority. It was breached on March 16.

Holt 9: This levee system, which was breached on March 17, is 13.5 miles long and snakes through Holt County, Missouri, farmland. It’s operated and maintained by the Holt County Levee District.

Although this levee was breached during the record flooding of 1993, the last assessment, in 2016, found that the likelihood of a breach was estimated at 2 percent, or one chance in 50.

“The risk assessment identified some concerns with pipe inspections, sod cover, seepage, emergency preparedness, and the likelihood of the levee to breach when overtopped,” the report said.

Canon: This levee near Forest City in Holt County, Missouri, was breached on March 20. Built In 1950 and nearly two miles long, there is no record of an inspection or risk screening. It’s operated by the Canon Drainage District of Holt County.  

Grape Bollin Schwartz: This 4.7-mile levee of farmland in Atchison and Leavenworth counties in Kansas was breached on March 20. There is no record of an inspection and it’s operated by the Grape-Bollin-Schwartz Levee Association.

The risk assessment “identified some performance concerns with pipe inspections and emergency preparedness,” but rated it at a 5 percent, or one-in-20, chance of being overtopped. Extrapolated out, the report said, “equals a 76 percent likelihood of water overtopping the levee over the life of a typical 30-year mortgage.”

Bean Lake: This levee system, which runs seven miles in Platte County, Missouri, was breached on March 20, as well as during the flood of 1993. It’s operated by two agencies, the Platte City Drainage District (Platte County Section 2 segment) and the Bean Lake Levee Association (Bean Lake segment).  It was inspected in June 2012.

The Corps’ 2016 risk assessment said that the “likelihood of a flood overtopping this levee in the next year has been estimated at 2 percent, (one chance in 50).” Extrapolated out, that equaled a 45 percent “likelihood of water overtopping the levee over the life of a typical 30-year mortgage.”

“The risk assessment identified some performance concerns with seepage, sod cover, and emergency preparedness planning,” the report said.

Rushville Sugar Lake: This is a 10.2-mile levee running across Buchanan and Platte counties in Missouri and operated by the Rushville Sugar Lake Levee District. It was last inspected in June 2012.

The likelihood of a flood overtopping this levee was estimated at 5 percent, or a one-in-20 chance, the assessment said. That equaled a 79 percent “likelihood of water overtopping the levee over the life of a typical 30-year mortgage.”

“The risk assessment identified some concerns with slope stability, seepage, pipe inspections, and emergency preparedness,” the report said.

MRLS 500R: Doniphan County, Kansas, breached March 21.

The system covers 1,494 acres of Missouri River floodplain near White Cloud, Kansas, and is mostly farmland. It was built by Corp of Engineers in 1953 and handed over to the Iowa Point Drainage District No. 4. It was last inspected in March 2018, and a report says that the “likelihood of a flood overtopping this levee in the next year has been estimated at 0.5 percent, or one chance in 200.”

Henry Pohl: The only levee inspected this year, on Jan. 28, it runs nearly four miles in Atchison County, Kansas. It’s maintained by the Atchison County, Kansas, Conservation District. 

The risk assessment said that the “likelihood of a flood overtopping this levee in the next year has been estimated at 5 percent,” or a one-in-20 chance.  

“The risk assessment identified some concerns with pipe inspections, emergency preparedness, pressurized pipes running over the levee, and seepage,” the report said.

APM Reports Angela Caputo contributed to this report.

Peggy Lowe is an investigative reporter based at KCUR, which is part of an investigative reporting collaboration with APM Reports. She’s on Twitter @peggylowe.

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🌊 Impoverished Pine Ridge reservation braces for more flooding
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2019, 01:26:20 AM »
https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/impoverished-pine-ridge-reservation-braces-flooding-62281881

Impoverished Pine Ridge reservation braces for more flooding
Plains and Midwest states are bracing for another massive winter storm and the prospect of renewed flooding


(The Associated Press) In this undated March 2019 photo provided by Henry Red Cloud, shows flooding on Cloud's Lakota Solar Enterprises property on the Pine Ridge Reservation in southern South Dakota. Red Cloud estimates flood damage at $250,000. Plains and Midwest states are bracing for another massive winter storm Wednesday and Thursday and the prospect of renewed flooding when the snow melts. (Henry Red Cloud via AP)...
By BLAKE NICHOLSON Associated Press BISMARCK, N.D. — Apr 9, 2019 12:56 PM

The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, one of the poorest areas in the nation, is bracing for another major winter storm and the prospect of renewed flooding that is also forecast to hit a wide swath of the Plains and Midwest just a month after the last weather blast.

March's "bomb cyclone" — an unusual weather phenomenon in which air pressure drops rapidly and a storm strengthens explosively — dumped heavy snow on Pine Ridge that led to severe flooding . The high waters trapped hundreds of people in their homes, damaged or destroyed hundreds of miles of roads and dozens of buildings, disrupted water supplies to thousands and prompted the governor to send in the National Guard .
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The prairie reservation is roughly the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined and is home to nearly 20,000 people, many of whom live in deteriorating houses or cramped mobile homes. About half live in poverty, and the unemployment rate hovers around 75 percent. The tribe will be seeking help for flooding-related infrastructure repairs from the federal government as well as charities and nonprofits, but many private property owners are looking at the prospect of funding extensive repairs on their own.

"Damage is going to be in the hundreds of millions," tribal spokesman Chase Iron Eyes said. "Things are beginning to dry out, but now there's a huge blizzard predicted. On this reservation, it's kind of a constant crisis the way we live here, and these disasters just put us in a perilous position."

The storm moving east out of the northern Rockies Wednesday and Thursday could be similar to last month's . It will pack heavy snow and strong winds and produce life-threatening conditions in parts of the Plains and Upper Midwest, according to the National Weather Service. The heaviest-hit areas are expected to be from southeastern Wyoming through Nebraska and South Dakota into southern Minnesota. Snow is forecast to expand into parts of the Upper Great Lakes, with rain stretching from the central Plains east into the Middle Mississippi Valley and Western Ohio Valley.

The storm deemed "potentially historic" by the Weather Prediction Center brings the specter of renewed flooding to a part of the country where massive flooding over the past month has caused billions of dollars in damage .

Nebraska is not expecting a repeat of the catastrophic flooding it experienced last month because the ground is no longer frozen and ice has melted from the rivers, though there might be localized flooding across the state, according to weather service meteorologist Van DeWald in Omaha. The biggest threat will remain along the already swollen Missouri River, he said.

"It's really just going to exacerbate that flooding and prolong it," he said. "We're probably looking at that surge hitting those Missouri River areas in Nebraska and Iowa three to five days after the storm."

In northwest Missouri's Holt County, where the raging Missouri River ravaged roads and highways, Emergency Management Director Tom Bullock is urging residents to be prepared to get out if another surge of water arrives after this week's storm.

"We don't have any protection," he said. "Our levees are all broke."

The storm crept slowly across Idaho and Montana on Tuesday, dumping rain and snow and prompting blizzard warnings for Wednesday and Thursday in parts of Wyoming and Colorado.

The storm might not be as bad as last month's but "will be near record intensity for April for this area," Colorado State Climatologist Russ Schumacher said.

Pine Ridge could see up to 15 inches of snow and winds gusting in excess of 50 mph (80.46 kph). Tribal officials are examining weak spots in the response to the March storm, particularly medical evacuations. Last month, three people who suffered medical problems died before ambulances slowed by floodwaters could get to them..

Henry Red Cloud owns a solar energy business and green energy training center that was heavily damaged by floodwaters against which it was not insured.

"A lot of stuff is near and dear to me — you can't put a price tag on it," he said. "But looking around here, I'm going to say, probably a quarter million dollars (in damage). We're reaching out to any kind of support we can get."

In the meantime, Red Cloud is hoping the nearby White Clay Creek stays in its banks after this week's storm.

The new snowmelt will swell creeks and rivers in South Dakota, but likely not to the levels they rose last month due to the absence of a wet snowpack on the ground this time around, according to weather service hydrologist Mike Gillispie in Sioux Falls.

Rivers in Minnesota and neighboring Wisconsin also are expected to rise again after the storm, and "The National Guard stands ready," said Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.

The storm is not expected to add a lot of moisture to the Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, where major flooding is occurring, according to weather service meteorologist Greg Gust in Grand Forks. It's not causing big issues in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area, but overland flooding is a problem in many rural areas.

———

Associated Press writers Colleen Slevin in Denver, Jim Salter in St. Louis; Margery Beck in Omaha, Nebraska; Jeff Baenen in Minneapolis; and Steve Karnowski in St. Paul, Minnesota contributed to this story.
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