RAINFALL & FLOODS

RAINFALL & FLOODS

Downpours and more intense hurricanes, exacerbated by climate change, are contributing factors to a growing number of communities finding themselves underwater. Floods are the most common (and among the most deadly) natural disasters in the United States.

2019 saw much of the country experience record-breaking rain with five Midwestern states recording the wettest year in 125 years according  to NOAA. Flooding affected nearly 14 million people across the Midwest and Southwest, Houston was swamped by the second 500-year flood in two years, dumping over 40 inches of rain within 72 hours, and DC flash floods saw a month’s rain in only one hour

Farmers and agriculture workers are hit particularly hard as crops have been destroyed, fields washed away, and spring planting disrupted for many farmers. Insufficient flood protection has left infrastructure destroyed with one farmer commenting, “I drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was…gone.” By Spring 2019, 25 states were at serious risk for flooding.  

CREDIT: NOAA

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

National Temperature and Precipitation Maps

11/20/20
National temperature and precipitation maps

Science Empowering Communities In The Face Of Flooding

10/06/20
Surging Waters: Science Empowering Communities in the Face of Flooding is a report produced by AGU, a global not-for-profit scientific society dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity.

Storm Surge Inundation Map

06/12/20
This story map illustrates historical hurricane tracks, strike frequency, and potential areas of coastal flooding and inundation from storms by combining the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC’s) hurricane strike dataset.

What is Digital Coast?

06/11/20
This NOAA-sponsored website is focused on helping communities address coastal issues and has become one of the most-used resources in the coastal management community. The dynamic Digital Coast Partnership, whose members represent the website’s primary…

Association of State Floodplain Managers

06/10/20
The mission of ASFPM is to promote education, policies and activities that mitigate current and future losses, costs and human suffering caused by flooding, and to protect the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains -…

The Great Flood of 2019: A Complete Picture of a Slow-Motion Disaster

02/05/20
This year’s flooding across the Midwest and the South affected nearly 14 million people, yet the full scale of the slowly unfolding disaster has been difficult to fathom. To visualize just how extensive it was,…

Going under: Long wait times for post-flood buyouts leave homeowners underwater

11/18/19
By the end of this century, as many as 13 million people in the United States will see their homes affected by sea level rise. Millions more who live, work, or travel through coastal or…

Understanding FEMA Flood Maps and Limitations

03/21/19
Flooding in the United States (U.S.) has cost over $1 trillion in inflation adjusted dollars since 1980 and represents more than 63% of the cost associated with all billion dollar or more natural disasters.1 It…

Flood Resilience Portal

09/16/19
The Flood Resilience Portals are online spaces for sharing practical knowledge (including ‘solutions’) about why and how to build community flood resilience. They bring together all of the knowledge generated and exchanged through the Zurich…

Floods information and resources

09/11/19
Floods, big or small, can have devastating effects on your home and your family. You can take steps to reduce the harm caused by flooding. Learn how to prepare for a flood, stay safe during…

MORE NEWS

In Flood-Hit Midwest, Mayors See Climate Change as a Subject Best Avoided

By Mitch Smith and John Schwartz  Photo by Daniel Acker for The New York Times   05/15/19  
The Mississippi River, which gushed into downtown Davenport at record levels two weeks ago, has finally retreated toward its banks. Left behind: A truck-size hole in the temporary flood barrier, dead fish on mud-caked Pershing…

Sodden Midwest farmers can blame warm Pacific for juicing storms

By Brian K Sullivan  Photo: Daniel Acker   04/24/19  
American farmers raising their fists to the sky this year may be better off directing their ire toward the ocean. Abnormally warm water in the eastern Pacific, along with a weak El Nino along the…

Vice News on Midwest Flood / Infrastructure Impacts

04/20/19  
Along the Midwest’s big rivers, hundreds of miles of levees protect people and property. But when water surged into the Missouri River last month, the levees crumbled — exposing an ageing, insufficient flood protection system.…

25 States Are at Risk of Serious Flooding This Spring, U.S. Forecast Says

By John Schwartz and Nadja Popovich  Photo: Tim Gruber for The New York Times   03/21/19  
Vast areas of the United States are at risk of flooding this spring, even as Nebraska and other Midwestern states are already reeling from record-breaking late-winter floods, federal scientists said on Thursday.

2018 saw record-breaking rain in several PA cities

By Travis Kellar   01/02/19  
Some cities saw record-breaking rainfall for the year....

2017’s Extreme Heat, Flooding Carried Clear Fingerprints of Climate Change

By John H. Cushman Jr.  Photo by Scott Olson   12/10/18  
Some weather extremes are now 2-3 times more likely because of global warming, research shows. Several 2017 events would have been virtually impossible without it...

Amphibious Architecture

By Emily Anthes   10/01/18  
Last June, not long after a catastrophic thunderstorm swept through southern Ontario, bringing a month’s worth of rain in just a few hours, a group of 75 architects, engineers, and policymakers from 16 countries gathered in…

Norfolk, Virginia: An Immediate Threat

06/03/18  
Sea levels are rising everywhere, but the Navy town of Norfolk, Virginia has it worse. The land is sinking as much as an inch-and-a-half per decade. Scientists also believe that a slowing Gulf Stream is…

Building a better algorithm to predict flood risk in the age of climate change

09/30/19  
Flood iQ covers the East coast and the Gulf coast, and visualizes your risk of sea level rise flooding today and up to 15 years in the future. It is a web based application created…

For the Midwest, Epic Flooding Is the Face of Climate Change

By Megan Molteni  Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images   05/24/19  
Fierce storms lashed across the central US this week, unleashing hundreds of powerful tornadoes that carved a path of destruction through parts of Missouri and Oklahoma Wednesday night, and left at least three dead. While…

Broken flood insurance should help people move, not rebuild

By Rob Moore and Joel Scata, Opinion Contributors   10/10/17  
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, have exposed a major shortcoming of the National Flood Insurance Program: federal flood insurance is ill-prepared to handle the major flood events that are becoming all-too frequent.