• How Government Decisions Left Tennessee Exposed to Deadly Flooding

    From (David P.)@21:1/5 to All on Sun Aug 29 21:38:25 2021
    How Government Decisions Left Tennessee Exposed to Deadly Flooding
    By Chris Flavelle, 8/26/21, NY Times

    The floods that killed at least 20 people in Tennessee
    last weekend arrived with shocking speed and force —
    seemingly a case study of the difficulties of protecting
    people from explosive rainstorms as climate change gets worse.

    A closer look at what happened in the days, years & even
    decades before the storm reveals that a series of govt
    decisions — where & how to build, when to update flood maps,
    whether to join the federal flood insurance program & how
    to warn of dangerous floods — left residents more exposed
    to flooding than they had to be.

    Record rainfall, at times exceeding 3 in/hr, swelled rivers
    & creeks in Middle Tennessee on Saturday, destroying homes,
    cutting off power & cellphone service & washing away bridges.
    Among the dead are 7-month old twins, a 15-year-old girl &
    an Army vet who died after helping his wife & daughter escape.

    It’s impossible to say whether any single action could have
    prevented those deaths, especially given the ferocity of
    the flooding. But interviews with climate & disaster experts
    & a review of state & federal data show how govts have been
    slow to adapt to growing threats & failed to take steps that,
    together, could have lessened the damage.

    “These extreme weather events will become more intense &
    more frequent,” said Hiba Baroud, a professor of civil &
    environmental engineering at Vanderbilt U. in Nashville who
    specializes in resilience. “We need to be more proactive,
    & think about ways to prevent or at least mitigate the
    impact of these events.”
    [ . . . ] https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/26/climate/tennessee-flood-damage-impact.html

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