Flooding + Iowa + Potential Cause

Iowa Flooding Could Be An Act of Man, Experts Say

Kamyar Enshayan, director of an environmental center at the University of Northern Iowa, suspects that this natural disaster wasn’t really all that natural. He points out that the heavy rains fell on a landscape radically reengineered by humans. Plowed fields have replaced tallgrass prairies. Fields have been meticulously drained with underground pipes. Streams and creeks have been straightened. Most of the wetlands are gone. Flood plains have been filled and developed.

“We’ve done numerous things to the landscape that took away these water-absorbing functions,” he said. “Agriculture must respect the limits of nature.”

[S]ome Iowans who study the environment suspect that changes in the land, both recently and over the past century or so, have made Iowa’s terrain not only highly profitable but also highly vulnerable to flooding.

via the Washington Post

One thought on “Flooding + Iowa + Potential Cause”

  1. After spending the last 36 months or so researching flood events around the US, here’s what I’ve learned: 1] The number of reported flood events has increased by a factor of 12 since 1950; 2] The increase in flood events is nearly the same in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia; 3] The cost of flood damage, in the US, averages around $30 billion annually and insurance covers only about 20% of the cost; 4] 75% of flood damage comes from water that is less than 3′ deep; 5] 60% of all damage from severe weather comes from flooding.

    If you live where it has flooded before it will flood again. Flood control projects by organizations like the USACE take a decade and more to complete. Therefore, every flood threatened community must have an emergency flood protection system available and sandbags are not the answer.

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