At the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, where the population has increased five-fold in the past year, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is treating growing numbers of patients and preparing for the additional hardships that will come with the approaching rainy season.
Posts tagged Flooding.
Communities Work to Hold Back Storm-Swollen Waterways
A tiny, flood-prone community breathed easier after shoring up a makeshift levee holding back the rain-swollen Mississippi River. Other Midwest communities scrambled to fend off waterways that threatened to overflow as more storms marched through the region.
Volunteers hustled earlier this week to shore up weak spots in a levee hastily built last week to stop the Mississippi from overrunning the flood-weary hamlet of Clarksville. At times toiling in heavy rain, crews built a second wall of dirt and sandbags behind the original barrier and now calm has been restored. The Mississippi appeared to be receding, ever so slowly, from the community 70 miles north of St. Louis.
Annual spring floods. Short term approaches.
Two members of the Natural Resources Defense Council explain how the taxpayers, coastal homeowners and climate change are all connected.
Winter weather - http://bo.st/ZvwUqA
“The Generator Is the Machine of the Moment”
In the days that followed Hurricane Sandy, the developer of the luxury condominium 150 Charles Street hunkered down with his team of architects and engineers to rethink the building’s design.
Just steps from the Hudson River, the construction site was partially flooded. “Their mandate was to figure out how the building would have stayed open in a storm like this,” said Steven Witkoff, the developer. “They came back with a list of five things, and we implemented every single one.”
The efforts delayed the project by some six weeks and added as much as $3 million to its cost.
It was one of a number of projects that convened their engineers and construction teams to reconsider their plans after the rising waters rushed over the city’s embankments and into the basements of countless residential buildings across Lower Manhattan.
Now, more than two months after the storm caused millions of dollars in damage, novel and costly waterproofing techniques are being employed, including the addition of backup generators and floodgates, and the relocation of mechanical equipment. The owners of buildings that predate the flooding are also looking at these measures, although retroactive installation is so complex and costly that some may decide not to do anything.
“If you are in the flood zone and you are marketing a new high-end property, it will need to stand up to the test of another superstorm,” said Stephen G. Kliegerman, the executive director of development marketing for Halstead Property. “I think buyers would happily pay to be relatively reassured they wouldn’t be terribly inconvenienced in case of a natural disaster.” [Photo: Evan Sung for The New York Times]
This is a great read for adaptation and infrastructure folks. Purchases of large-scale pumps, generators, and other flood proofing measures are on the rise, especially in storm prone and coastal cities. I was walking along 5th Avenue recently and saw a motley work crew pumping the flooded basement of a uber fancy high-rise apartment building. “Why are you taking pictures of hoses?” my friend asked me. “Invest now,” I told her, “pumps are the future.”
People struggle through floodwaters in Jakarta’s central business district on January 17, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Thousands of Indonesians were displaced and the capital was covered in many key areas in over a meter of water after days of heavy rain.
[Credit : Ed Wray/Getty Images]
Brazil Flooding Leaves
- Scores dead
- Dozens missing
- 10,000 people homeless
- Landslides burying roads and highways, making emergency response difficult
- Months of rains caused the Amazon River to flood villages and towns
- Flood waters headed to Peru, where massive evacuations are in the works
One way to adapt subways to flooding: balloons.
“The goal is to provide flooding protection for transportation tunnels,” said John Fortune, who is managing the project for the federal Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate.
The idea is a simple one: rather than retrofitting tunnels with metal floodgates or other expensive structures, the project aims to use a relatively cheap inflatable plug to hold back floodwaters.
In theory, it would be like blowing up a balloon inside a tube. But in practice, developing a plug that is strong, durable, quick to install and foolproof to deploy is a difficult engineering task, one made even more challenging because of the pliable, relatively lightweight materials required. Via
I gave a lecture to undergrads the other day at Westfield State University. I was terrified. Most of my talks are to professionals and lawyers. But undergrads? Yikes! I was afraid they’d eat me alive!
It went surprisingly well. The students were energetic and pumped to talk about cities, climate change, and infrastructure. The professor, a good friend, was miffed that the students asked me more questions than her on a daily basis. “There’s a trick,” I revealed to her. “Wait 7 seconds after you ask, “Any questions?”. This will give the audience time to reflect and form a question.” I digress.
We discussed damage from Hurricane Sandy. And we chatted about how to adapt New York City’s infrastructure to these bigger storms that we’re seeing. Two very smart students asked about why subway tunnels flood so easily. From my repertoire of engineering solutions (and admittedly slow recall), I described two ways cities are updating their tubes.
The first is to reinforce the subway’s walls and install better pumps. Most walls were built from stone and mortar, then covered with tiles in the 1950s or earlier. So, now, they’re leaky and crumbling. The other way is to raise the entrances to the tunnels. That way, the flood water would not be able to flow down the escalators. Obviously neither are very cheap, but these solutions are not a deal breaker either.
Since Hurricane Sandy, The NYTimes has been running a series of adaptation-related articles. Several articles asked tough questions like, why are we insist on living in risky areas? And why does the federal government incentivize cities to rebuild in those dangerous areas? I’ll post some links soon.
Meanwhile, check out this fancy design idea to plug tunnels in the event of a flood.Alarge balloon is installed into the side of a wall. When there is a threat, the train stops service, the balloon plops down on the track, and then proceeds to inflate.
There are dozens of problems with this system. “Who pays?” and how to test it immediately come to mind. Will fares go up to pay for these balloons? What happens if one fails and there are workers in the tunnel?
What do you think? Will these thingamabobs work?
Again. Venice is flooded again. The flooding happens so often that it’s pretty much business as usual:
Except that this is a pretty serious long-term issue for Venice. The flooding is called acqua alta and according to a city guide, the current mark of 149 cm means that almost 70% of the city is flooded. And six of the top fifteen high water marks were recorded within the past 10 years.
But a project is underway to ease the flooding: a series of gates intended to protect the city called the MOSE Project.
“Brisbane Airport and more than 4000 homes on the Gold Coast are at risk of being damaged or destroyed by climate change, according to a new report from the Climate Commission.
The Critical Decade: Queensland Climate Impacts and Opportunities was released yesterday by the commission which is headed up by former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery.
It found 4000 homes in the Gold Coast were at risk, more than any other region, with about 2000 homes at risk in the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay.
The Brisbane Airport was one of the commercial and industrial buildings at risk of being flooded or damaged by rising sea levels caused by climate change.
The report said experts agree the global sea level is likely to rise 50 to 100 centimetres by 2100 compared to 2010.
“Even at the lower end, a 50 centimetre increase in sea level would contribute to a significant increase in the frequency of coastal flooding,” the report said.
The report said at the high end of the climate change projections 35,900 to 56,900 existing residential buildings in Queensland were at risk.
The agricultural and tourism industries could also suffer from rising sea level, warmer temperatures and rising acidity in the ocean.”