Flooding Due to Severe Storms hits the Nashville

A Storm 5 Alert has gone out for the greater Nashville area as a result of the severe storms and the consequent flooding this weekend. Between Friday and Saturday evening there were three rounds of storms which resulted in a Flash Flood Watch to be set until 4 a.m. on Sunday. Saturday the main threat was flooding from the storms, with many roads being closed as a result of creeks and rivers cresting. Multiple reports have been made not only about closed roads but also about creeks with rushing currents that are impassable. Officials have released a list of roads that have been barricaded but have also included a list of areas that they are monitoring. The forecast on Sunday includes showers, which might result in flash floods. These flash floods are highly likely due to the amount of saturation in the soil, which means it probably can not hold anymore.

The rain on Friday came with strong winds that added a tornado warning into the mix for parts of several counties. The winds caused fairly severe damage in the path of the storm in Shelbyville, the National Weather Service reported in that these were more specifically straight-line winds. Peak winds in the area at the time of Friday’s storm reported in with speeds between 65 and 70 miles per hour. The damage stretched about 50 yards. These winds caused the collapse of a motel roof. The second round of storms hit between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Saturday with strong winds and rain passing through the middle of the state. The third and final round of storms hit between 1 p.m and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The main concerns with these storms included flooding and downed trees. These were a main concern because of the saturated soil that resulted from the storm, as saturated soil not only allows for faster flooding but can also cause trees to uproot faster as they have nothing to cling to. There have also been warnings issued for tornadoes, and strong winds were a secondary concern after flooding. I bet that the roads which closed were either located at the bottom of a hill and were very flat, or near a stream or river. I would also like to include in this post the reminder that the Nashville PD put out, “turn around, don’t drown” because while it sounds funny it is actually really good advice considering that some of the streams were reported as having impassable rushing currents.


Aftereffects of Cyclone Debbie

Cyclone Debbie hit Queensland on 28 April, but the aftermath of the storm is being evaluated as worse than the storm itself.  The Guardian has compiled images of the flooding and its effects, specifically in Rockhampton:


BBC News has additionally begun to talk about the reasoning behind the ‘delayed’ damage of the storm, as well as speaking to previous disasters with similar effects:



Hundred of Meltwater Streams Found Flowing Across Antarctica

On April 19th it was reported that large parts of Antarctica are getting washed away due to meltwater that is a result of the hot summer months. Scientist did not think that huge parts of Antarctica would begin to melt away but it seems that they may have stood corrected. They also confirmed that this melting has been concurring for years now. Due to this increase in meltwater, scientists expect that over time the entire continent could suffer from a rise in temperatures, that could be more foreseeable in the future.


Quebec Flood Watch After Heavy Rainfall

Pincourt firefighters use sandbags as a precautionary measure, to shore-up land from the rising waters of the Ottawa river around homes located on Chemin Duhamel in Pincourt on Monday April 17, 2017.

According to a news article posted on April 17th, 2017, heavy rainfall has Quebec on watch after heavy rainfalls. Rainfall from Sunday has caused large bodies of water to rise and also flooding to spread. It was reported that streams and rivers in the area have reached their water capacities. Over the next few days it is expected that these water levels will continue to rise or they could potentially do the opposite and proceed to slow down. Because of the steady rain it has caused many routes to close due to the excessive amounts of rainfall and flooding.


How can Peru prepare to withstand more devastating floods and landslides?

The flood that hit Peru is one of the most damaging that has ever occurred. Ten times the normal amount of rainfall has hit the coast and has caused many landslides that have ruined numerous homes. More than 100 people have died, nearly 158,000 are homeless and 210,000 homes are damaged, according to the nation’s emergency center. The country’s infrastructure also suffered great losses as a result. 260 bridges collapsed and nearly 3,000km of roads are unusable, cutting off hundreds of villages and towns. Peru’s rainy season falls broadly in the first few months of every year. As Peru’s weather service , rain occurs in March and dry rivers often flood as a result. Peru is not well prepared for floods, and its weak building construction does not help matters.

Nieto who is the defense minister of the country has been leading recovery efforts and deploying armed forces across the country, says that cities and towns lacked basic flood defenses, and that the 30-odd rivers which flow from the Andes to the Pacific would need to channeled, especially in urban areas. Nieto also states that,rainwater can be stored in the water-stressed country. “That way we would guarantee our water supply so that the rains become a blessing, rather than a problem.” “Coastal El Niño,” as Peru has named the disaster has caused millions of dollars in damage. The first stage would pay for the “immediate reconstruction” of cities and towns. Infrastructure reconstruction will also be worked with to make Peru a more “modern and organized” country. It is important to note that Peru is a country that will be prone to more disasters in the future. The floods also temporarily threatened the water supply in Peru’s capital. More than 25 landslides, carrying tree trunks, dead livestock and rubble from destroyed homes clogged water treatment plants on the Rimac river, which effected the countries water supply for about five days.

The United Nations has also warned that Peru must invest in multi-hazard warning systems and ensure its citizens better understand the risks of such disasters. “This is a large-scale singular event which needs to be viewed in the context of a warming planet, where episodes of extreme weather variability are becoming more evident,” says Robert Glasser, the UN special representative of the secretary-general for disaster risk reduction.“If we are to succeed in preventing disasters like this, and to reduce disaster losses, then we need to ensure there is a much broader understanding of the nature of disaster risk in society. This includes better understanding of the impacts of climate change and how it alters local weather patterns.”

A local wades through muddy waters that have flooded the streets in La Union, northern Peru. Photograph: Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images


Flood Troubles in Ferry County

Last Thursday, there was some extreme overnight flooding that absolutely wrecked U.S. Highway 395, in Ferry County, Washington. A mix of wet weather and high waters have created many road closures on numerous roads in northeast Washington.

The recent flooding has brought some worries of a possible landslide in surrounding areas. Due to these fears, many other roads and trails have been closed while taking precautions. It is reported that many areas of hillside seem to be unstable, with crooked trees and bulging pavement.

One major road, Flowery Trail Road had to be closed due to the aforementioned landslide fears. This road connects Pend Oreille and Stevens counties, which are major counties in Washington. Thankfully, there are detours available so residents can access these areas.

This week, the Washington state Department of Transportation will build a temporary bridge on state Route 21, where the road has completely been washed out. The bridge will be one lane wide and signage will be posted to let residents know when to safely cross without encountering oncoming traffic.




Refugees Impacted by Flooding in Iraq

In Iraq, around the area of West Mosul, refugees have been suffering the impacts of a flooded river. The permanent bridges in the area had been destroyed by fighting in the area, and the makeshift pontoon bridges that replaced them were not able to withstand the flooding. All traffic across these rivers has been halted, and refugees have been forced to walk across lines of boats to cross the river and continue their journey. However, this means that they are dangerously under supplied as the supply trucks cannot cross the rivers; supplies can only be taken across in small increments by boat. One displaced citizen stated that either the bridges must be re-constructed or larger boats must be brought in.

This article raises interesting points about how people interact with disasters. This disaster was made much worse by the fighting in the area; permanent bridges may have been able to withstand this level of flooding, but the temporary bridges were obviously not. However, the solutions that the refugees have come up with to mitigate some of the side effects of this flood have been incredible, such as the idea to use the boats themselves as a bridge for people to walk on. It seems from this article that the individual people in the area are doing their best to mitigate and work around the side effects of the disaster, but the government has either been unable or unwilling to assist in mitigation before and after this event.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-mosul-river-idUSKBN17I0GC

Cyclone Cook clean up

Before Cyclone Cook made landfall in New Zealand at the Bay of Plenty on Thursday it was predicted to be the worst cyclone to hit New Zealand since 1968. Prior to the Cyclones landfall on the Northern Island, New Zealand authorities declared a state of emergency and people fled their homes. The expected path of the cyclone was forecasted to pass right over the islands. The actual track of Cyclone Cook turned away from New Zealand. Since the cyclone was moving so fast the rain did not last long. Instead New Zealand dodged the bullet and the worst of the storm passed by out at sea.

When Cyclone Cook made land fall at 6:30 PM New Zealand time it caused power outages, extensive flooding, landslides, uprooted trees and caused road closures. Horizon Energy says that its customers should expect to remain without power for 3 days. Luckily there was only one casualty  and two people were sent to the hospital. On the South Island in Canterbury Christchurch sustained some of the most extensive flooding due to the Heathcote River overflowing its banks. Christchurch is the area that I am doing my case study for which is why this caught my attention.

Nasa satellite photo of Cyclone Cook approaching New Zealand, 12 April 2017 (issued 13 April 2017).

Tourists head towards Whitianga on State Highway 25, passing a slip.



Will Peru be able to Withstand the Floods to Come?

Peru has been flooded several times this year and the results are devastating. Ten times the amount of rain, than what they are used to, has caused flooding and landslides. “More than 100 people have died, nearly 158,000 are displaced and 210,000 homes are damaged, according to Peru’s emergency operations centre. The country’s infrastructure took a big hit: 260 bridges collapsed and nearly 3,000km of roads are unusable, cutting off hundreds of villages and towns.” Peru is working on recovery since they have never experienced the rains at this scale. Not only is the infrastructure faulty but also most people are living on floodplains which puts them even more in danger. Nieto, who is leading the recovery effort, says that there are not any flood defenses and that the rivers need to be channeled. Nieto also advised that reservoirs need to be put in the mountains to store the rainwater. The reconstruction from the devastation of the floods will be enforced in 2 stages: the first stage will be paying for the immediate reconstruction of cities and towns and the second stage will be building infrastructure that is more modern to be able to deal with the floods in the future. However this phase will be longer than the first. Not only is Peru working on safety but also the United Nations is concerned for them. They highly suggested that they should adopt multi hazard warning systems and let the people know how much risk is involved with these disasters.


Severe Flooding in Ferry County, Washington

Upended roads slid a home into a riverbank and created additional mudslides as what is described as the “worst flooding in decades” hit Ferry County in North East Washington.  According to local emergency responders, one man was able to maneuver his vehicle around one of the upended roads and crashed into the yard of nearby home.  Severe injuries seem minimal and no deaths have been reported.  Damage to county infrastructure, especially roadways, is still being assessed.

Highway 395 in Ferry County, Washington. This is one of many roads to wash out as a heavy flooding season begins.