Flood- physically a huge torrent of water. Although we normally think of huge catastrophic events (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc) as killing the most people- it’s the weather, both excessive rain & the absence of rain that are the largest source of natural disaster. Floods & droughts have the biggest economic & human life toll as they typically impact far more people.
I think most of Manhattan is officially done digging out from their flooding, but it will still be months more of clean-up in some of the other boroughs, Long Island, and New Jersey as they re-build after Hurricane Sandy.
From watching recent hurricanes & the news coverage, I’ve learned that they have a new scale that they can measure & predict the severity of a storm. Instead of just basing it off maximum wind speed, they are starting to take into consideration the tides at landfall & also how far the storm surge is expected to go inland & how low-lying the areas are along the coastline. Although Sandy was only a Category 1, t hey knew the flooding would be catastrophic, especially with the full moon & high tides coinciding with landfall.
Living in the Bayou City, flooding has historically been a problem in Houston. We had some crazy local flooding earlier this year- with full blown water boat rescues & other drama. Generally, the city has grown so fast & is so flat that there wasn’t really proper consideration given to flood prevention in the past. After Tropical Storm Allison flooded huge sections of the city & destroyed tens of thousands of homes, the city & county have made a bit push to add more retention & detention areas to mitigate flooding.
Even though Hurricane Ike did some damage at our house & we got tons of rain, there wasn’t much flooding out in our suburbs- even though the bayous of Houston were full & sometime overflowing. Localized flooding can still be a problem & certain streets in/out of our neighborhood can be flooded with just a few hours of heavy rain. The flooding is usually quick to recede once the rain stops falling, but its one of the many reasons I still like to drive an SUV that sits a little higher.
GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Had an amazing long weekend- doing good stuff, spending good time with friends & family.