From the NYTimes, this article about recovery: How the University of Iowa Recovered From the ‘Unfathomable’ Flood That Ruined It. Two excerpts:
Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get the federal portion of rebuilding costs was “a challenge,” recalled Sally Mason, the president of the university during the flood and its aftermath. The complications included navigating arcane federal rules and dealing with a changing cast of officials. That the process ended up a success story is a testament to the university’s persistence, patience and the deployment of the university’s resources to address the problems.
Of all the lessons from 2008, perhaps the most important is that “mother nature’s changing on us,” *** and although the campus is better protected than ever before, “you can never feel quite comfortable about something you don’t control,” ***.As Mr. Guckert put it, “We haven’t seen our worst flood yet.”
From the Atlantic magazine: Midwestern Flooding Isn’t a Natural Disaster. “Floods and hurricanes happen. The hazard itself is not the disaster—it’s our habits, our building codes.”
New, free ebook from the NAS: Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States. You can download the summary or the whole book ( 90 pp) from this website.
From Scientific American, this article based on the new book: When Storms Hit Cities, Poor Areas Suffer Most. Low-income neighborhoods see more damage and have less political clout to advocate for fixes
Not Trusting FEMA’s Flood Maps, More Hurricane-Hit Cities Set Their Own Rules. A growing number of cities are looking beyond the usual 100-year floodplain and requiring more homes to be built higher for their own protection.
Breaking the Cycle of “Flood-Rebuild-Repeat”: New White Paper from the Sabin Center and the Natural Resources Defense Council
Since September 2017, Congress has kept the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) afloat with a series of short-term extensions, repeatedly punting on a valuable opportunity to issue a long-term reauthorization and reform the program to better protect communities from the increased risks of flooding spurred by climate change. But the federal government is not the only entity poised to take action. A new white paper from the Sabin Center and the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Breaking the Cycle of “Flood-Rebuild-Repeat”: Local and State Options to Improve Substantial Damage and Improvement Standards in the National Flood Insurance Program,” proposes legal and policy reforms that states and localities can implement to make their communities more resilient and to update the NFIP for the realities of climate change.
Thanks to Chris Jones for the citation.
After two devastating floods in recent years, this historic city is conflicted over how to mitigate against future floods. See: In Ellicott City, painful debate on preventing deadly floods in historic district.
FEMA has radically underestimated how vulnerable Americans are to flooding
Research claims that official estimates lowballed the risk by, uh, about a factor of three.