For weeks now news reports have been showing the Mississippi flooded, dams intentionally breached by the USACE, and farms and towns completely flooded out. OK, so it rained. A lot. But do our news networks not understand that that it is our failed infrastructure that cannot convey and manage the cresting water levels? Why are our civil engineers and other industry colleagues not screaming about this at the top of their lungs? I don't get it. Yes I understand that the rain was an act of God, so they say, but that is why we have dikes, levees, dams, spillways and such all monitored by the USACE. Holland has kept the entire Atlantic Ocean at bay for hundreds of years and we can't manage a river.
Every part of America's infrastructure is failing, and the ASCE is nowhere to be found in the news reports. Neither are the civil engineering firm owners, who one would think would have a high level of credibility in news reports and stand to benefit from action. They should be interviewed for the facts and alternatives! Yes, I know we study 100 year flood plains; I have performed many. However, the standing joke in hydrology is that a 100-year flood comes every 10 years.
Instead, we have talking head reporters standing in boots and waders in the middle of the toxic waters to prove that indeed a flood is occurring. Ridiculous!
I submit that this is all part of our failing infrastructure and that information needs to be disseminated to the American public to raise awareness. If not, we will continue to just pay off the affected people in these disasters, which no doubt is cheaper than actually fixing the problems. We paid off the families of the I-35 bridge collapse; we will no doubt pay off those affected by the breeching of the Morganza floodway. This has become the American business model for maintaining our infrastructure: Don't actually fix it, just pay off the small percentage of people who actually are killed or have their livelihoods eviscerated.
Here is an interesting article by meteorologist Jeff Masters: "America's Achilles Heel: The Mississippi River's Old River Control Structure."
Photo: Flooding From Mississippi River Levee Breach. Source: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team