Wednesday, August 17, 2016

La. Flooding — Bad Luck or a Wake-Up Call?

A boat motors among flooded homes in Hammond, La., after heavy rains inundated the region around Baton Rouge on Saturday. (Photo Credit: AP Images) Click to Enlarge.
As of yesterday, the statewide death toll had reached 11, rescue operations were underway and about 40,000 homes had been affected in some way, NBC News reported.

"The water rose so quickly that people had virtually no warning at all," Louisiana Rep. John Fleming said. Fleming, a Republican who is running to replace Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), said the family of one of his campaign staffers had their home devastated and both cars flooded.  "They had not an inkling that this was happening," he said.

The disaster has raised broad questions about whether the destruction could have been mitigated, whether infrastructure can be improved in the wake of the flooding, and the role climate change played in the unprecedented event.
Rob Moore, a senior policy analyst in the water program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the recent flooding should be a "real wake-up call for Louisiana and the rest of the nation."

And while this "really is one of those kind of events outside the ordinary experience," Moore said, "this is the latest in a series of unprecedented storms that have now set new precedents."

The disaster highlights the need for communities to start thinking about how climate change is "increasing our vulnerability to natural disasters" and to take "much more serious steps to safeguard against events that we may once have thought of as unlikely, if not impossible."

Moore said, "We can't rely on past experience."

Read more at La. Flooding — Bad Luck or a Wake-Up Call?

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