Flooding Around the World

A post by Anne Jefferson Got flood fatigue yet? Too bad, because the wet weather and the high water keeps coming. Here is a quick round up of the notable flood-related news of the week.

High water on the Mississippi River, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 21 April 2011

Front row seats for water levels above flood stage on the Mississippi River, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 21 April 2011

Mississippi River

Floodwall (with emergency height added) in Omaha, Nebraska during the record 1952 floods.

Floodwall (with emergency height added) in Omaha, Nebraska during the record 1952 floods. Will that record be broken this year? (Image from Nebraska DNR.)

Missouri River

Heavy snowpacks in the Missouri River watershed (an areally large, but volumetrically smaller contributor to the Mississippi) have led to near-record flooding that is on-going along its whole length from Montana to Missouri. It’s not getting as much media attention as the Mississippi River, but water levels may stay above flood stage for months. Right now there are heavy rains occurring in parts of the basin, with more rain in the forecast, which will only add to flood problems.

Like the Mississippi, the Missouri is heavily managed by the Corps of Engineers, which is taking some criticism for residents in affected cities. There have also been evacuations because of seepage under levees and concerns about the possibility of failure. Like all big river/developed world flood stories, this one is a complicated mix of huge volumes of water, complicated multi-purpose river management plans, and unwise historical floodplain development.

Flooding from heavy rain in Guizhou province, southwestern China on 6 June 2011 (photo: Xinhua)

Flooding from heavy rain in Guizhou province, southwestern China on 6 June 2011 (photo: Xinhua)

China

For months, China has been stricken by its most intense drought in 60 years, but right now it’s too much, not too little, water that is the problem. Flooding since the 1st of the month has affected East China’s Jiangxi Province and 12 provinces in central and southern China, and more rain is in the forecast for many areas. Intense rains over the last few days have caused the evacuation of more than 100,000 people and killed at least 54.

Elsewhere

The Flood Observatory is also reporting on-going flooding in Colombia, the Philippines, Algeria, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Canada, India, and Upstate New York/Vermont’s Lake Champlain area. In every one of these places, people are losing their homes and lives. While volcanoes and earthquakes shake things up spectacularly now and again, every single day, somewhere in the world, there’s a devastating flood going on.

Categories: by Anne, geohazards, hydrology
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Comments (3)

  1. Tracey S. says:

    We’re having major flood problems in northern Utah. UTAH, for pete’s sake! Between record rainfall and sudden snowmelt, it’s getting pretty bad in the lower lying areas. Five people have been drowned so far. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/51974472-78/utflood-utah-river-thursday.html.csp

    It’s not as spectacular as many of these larger floods, but it’s remarkable considering our normally arid climate.

  2. Mike b says:

    I’m in Minot, ND tonight where 11,000people are under a mandatory evacuation order. The Mouse river (sorry, some amusement at the name, though the consequences are not funny) is expected to crest about 7′ above the ’69 record flood.

    Woke this morning to a dike around my hotel, but it will still be evacuated tomorrow.

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