Confluence

By ICLR | Riverine and urban flood-related news from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR)

City in a Swamp: Houston’s Flood Problems Are Only Getting Worse

<i>A version of this story was originally published in Scalawag Magazine.</i><p>In a corner office in City Hall last July, Stephen Costello ticked off …

Weather

River Floods Will Threaten Tens of Millions in Next 25 Years

Climate change will put tens of millions more people around the world at risk of exposure to flooding rivers over the next 25 years, an alarming new …

Climate Change

In New York, Drawing Flood Maps Is a ‘Game of Inches’

With its 520 miles of coastline and thousands of acres of waterfront development, New York has more residents living in high-risk flood zones than any other city in the country. Hurricane Sandy, the devastating October 2012 storm, did $19 billion in damage to the city, and the pace of development …

Hurricane Sandy

The coastal mortgage time bomb

2017 will be remembered as the year the water came.<p>Hurricane Harvey dropped as much as 60 inches of rain on parts of Houston, shattering American …

The 30 Million Americans Living in Floodplains Need Our Help

When people buy or rent their home, they’re unlikely to consider whether the property is in a 100-year or 500-year floodplain. They really should, …

New York City isn't ready for the catastrophic floods in its future

We're running out of time to figure this out.<p>New York City was not built to withstand an onslaught of floodwater.<p>Much of the city is protected only by sand dunes, vegetation, or low walls. New York’s flood zones are packed with more than 400,000 residents and $129 billion worth of real estate. The …

Reservoir management alters flood frequency at the regional scale

Flood frequency curve (FFC)—a mathematical expression of the probability distribution of floods—is an important tool for estimating flood risk, with …

The continental U.S. is experiencing more flooding, and earlier in the year

The frequency of flooding in the continental U.S. is increasing, and seasonality of floods is shifting, according to new research.<p>Flooding causes …

Climate Change

Scientists Link Hurricane Harvey’s Record Rainfall to Climate Change

NEW ORLEANS — Climate change made the torrential rains that flooded Houston after Hurricane Harvey last summer much worse, scientists reported Wednesday.<p>Two research groups found that the record rainfall as Harvey stalled over Texas in late August, which totaled more than 50 inches in some areas, …

Climate Change

Study shows high flood risk for 40 million Americans

<b>Scientists and engineers have teamed up across the Atlantic to "redraw" the flood map of the US.</b><p>Their work reveals 40 million Americans are at risk of having their homes flooded - more than three times as many people as federal flood maps show.<p>The UK-US team say they have filled in "vast amounts of …

How to Build a City That Doesn’t Flood? Turn it Into a Sponge

Urban floods make the news with alarming regularity. Just in the past few months, Hurricane Harvey submerged Houston, and the seasonal monsoon …

Cities

Builders Said Their Homes Were Out of a Flood Zone. Then Harvey Came.

THE WOODLANDS, Tex. — Leslie Martinez heard the floodwaters before she saw them. They rushed across the lawn, seeped around the doors and into the house. It was 2:15 a.m. on Aug. 28, three days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall. Her young daughter was asleep in her arms. Ms. Martinez’s first …

Floods are inevitable. Soaking taxpayers isn't.

There is a house in Spring, Texas, just outside of Houston, that has achieved a certain distinction for being flooded again and again. Over the years, reports The New York Times, it has been repaired no fewer than 19 times, costing the federal flood insurance program $912,732. Its actual value? …

UI professor develops a Siri for flood information

A UI professor works to create more accessible information about flood and rainfall levels to better prepare for natural disasters.<p><b>By Sarah</b> …

The Next Threat for Coastal Cities Is Flood Insurance Reform

On October 29, a historic storm laid waste to Central Maine with drenching sheets of rain and wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour. The next day, …

How Tulsa Became A Model For Preventing Floods

If Houston's record deluge during Hurricane Harvey highlighted the dangers of unchecked, sprawling development, then Tulsa — another conservative city built on oil — is a showcase for the opposite.<p>For decades it has planned carefully and imposed wide-ranging regulations that aim to prevent the kind …

Scientists Glimpse Houston's Flooded Future In Updated Rainfall Data

After Hurricane Harvey, some Texas residents, politicians and scientists are wondering whether the whole U.S. system for predicting floods is any good.<p>The storm's deluge flooded parts of southeast Texas that had rarely, or never, been underwater before. Some areas got more than 50 inches of rain in …

Time To Modernize Our National Flood Insurance Program

After an extremely destructive and challenging hurricane season, Americans who were affected are working to recover and rebuild. Assisting them now is critical, but this hurricane season has been a deadly reminder that we must do more to prepare for future flood disasters. We need a long-term …

Insurance

Global warming makes 'biblical' rain like that from Hurricane Harvey much more likely

Houston, you have a problem.<p>The odds of a storm dumping Harvey-like rain on Texas have gone up sixfold in the past 25 years, thanks to man-made climate change, a study said.<p>And looking ahead, the chances probably will triple that by 2100.<p>In the 1980s and 1990s, there was a 1% chance of a 20-inch …

Weather

Scientists In Houston Tell A Story Of Concrete, Rain And Destruction

Hurricane Harvey was the worst flood in Houston's history. Scientists and citizens are still piecing together why it was so bad, but it's becoming clear that a lot of the damage comes down to how people have built America's fourth-largest city.<p>You can see the problem from your car. Houston is a …

Hurricane Harvey

San Francisco Bolsters Flood Resilience in Face of Climate Change

(TNS) - With last week’s heat wave done and gone, replaced by cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast for later this week, the San Francisco …

Report: Rising sea levels could flood Seattle-area homes by end of century

<b>Update, Oct. 26: The original story, about Zillow’s analysis of local homes that could flood if sea levels rise at least six feet, said the study did</b> …

When the Waters Come, Will Our Cities Survive?: A Future Tense Event in New York

From Superstorm Sandy to the recent devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, natural disasters make it difficult to ignore the …

Climate Change

FEMA’s Outdated and Backward-Looking Flood Maps

The recent hurricanes, which inflicted severe damage from Puerto Rico to Texas’ Gulf Coast, have underscored the value of not only ensuring flood …

Tokyo Is Preparing for Floods ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen’

KASUKABE, Japan — The cavernous underground cisterns here north of Tokyo could hold the Statue of Liberty, a scale that underscores the site’s immense task: protecting the world’s most populous metropolis from flooding.<p>Linked by tunnels that divert water away from the region’s most vulnerable …

Japan

FEMA’s Faulty Flood Maps Put Homeowners at Risk

Outdated and Unreliable: FEMA’s Faulty Flood Maps Put Homeowners at Risk<p>By Michael KellerMichael Keller, Mira RojanasakulMira Rojanasakul, David …

Weather

Designing Resilient Cities That Don’t Flood

<b>Published on</b> September 27th, 2017 | <i>by Steve Hanley</i><p>0<p>Designing Resilient Cities That Don’t Flood<p>September 27th, 2017 by <b>Steve Hanley</b><p>A study released by …

Urban Design

Preservation of floodplains is flood protection

The silting of rivers and streams leads to problems for fish, mussels, and other aquatic organisms because their habitats disappear. However, not …

How Orbital Insight Measured Hurricane Harvey's Flooding Through The Clouds

A few weeks ago, Orbital Insight, one of the startups on the <i>Forbes</i> Next Billion Dollar Startups list, applied its know-how to determine how much flooding Houston endured during Hurricane Harvey.<p>The company, which was founded in 2013 by James Crawford, applies machine learning and artificial …

Tropical Storm Harvey