Slow-Motion Flooding in Midwest

From the NYTimes: The Great Flood of 2019: A Complete Picture of a Slow-Motion Disaster.

Public interest in natural disasters tends to focus on big, discrete weather events like hurricanes. But flooding that unfolds over months across a broad area has a harder time breaking through. It is only when seen as a single, connected event that the stunning scale of the 2019 flood season becomes clear

To measure the scope of the spring floods, The New York Times analyzed satellite data from the Joint Polar Satellite System using software, developed by government and academic researchers for flood detection, that is frequently used in disaster response.

Flood Recovery at Univ. of Iowa

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.”

Breaking the Cycle of Flooding

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.