Monster storm tests New Orleans

Authorities in Louisiana are still assessing the damage from Hurricane Ida, but two things are already clear: While there was widespread...

Authorities in Louisiana are still assessing the damage from Hurricane Ida, but two things are already clear: While there was widespread flooding in the state, the systems built to defend New Orleans for the most part have resisted. And the power grid did not.

The $ 14.5 billion flood protection system around the city has nearly 200 miles of barriers, and nowhere did the floodwaters flow. None of these obstacles suffered structural failure either.

The eight transmission lines that bring electricity to New Orleans, however, failed within hours of Ida’s strike. And like my colleague Ivan Penn pointed out, a natural gas plant intended to supply the city in an emergency did not come to the rescue. Some Louisianans could be without power for weeks.

Daniel Kaniewski, who was in charge of resilience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency until last year, said the stark contrast demonstrates a central challenge of climate change adaptation: covering all threats.

After the catastrophic flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, planners focused primarily on water hazards and less on other types of infrastructure, such as the power grid.

Quote: “If we only prepare for the last disaster, we will never be ready for the next one,” Kaniewski said.

As the United States ends its long war in Afghanistan this week, it’s worth remembering that the combination of conflict and global warming exacerbates insecurity for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Parts of Afghanistan have warmed twice as much as the world average, and analysts say the country has come to epitomize a new type of international crisis, where the vagaries of war collide with the vagaries of climate change, creating an agonizing feedback loop that punishes some of the world’s most vulnerable people and destroys their countries’ ability to cope.

Quote: “The war has exacerbated the impacts of climate change. For 10 years, over 50% of the national budget goes to war, ”said Noor Ahmad Akhundzadah, professor at Kabul University. “Now there is no government and the future is not clear. Our current situation today is completely hopeless.

Despite the efforts of thousands of firefighters with 25 helicopters and hundreds of fire trucks, the Caldor’s fire is moving fast to South Lake Tahoe, California.

To explore maps of forest fires, air quality and smoke forecasts in California, Oregon, Washington and surrounding states.

A study in California found that almost 4 percent of preterm births were associated with exposure to smoke from forest fires.

A federal judge this week overturned a Trump-era environmental rule that significantly limited federal restrictions on pollution in millions of waterways, wetlands and marshes across the country.

The Biden administration had already begun the long process of repealing and replacing the policy, which President Donald J. Trump established in 2020 after farmers, real estate developers and fossil fuel producers complained that the Obama-era water rules had placed heavy regulatory burdens on them.

Trump’s policies have allowed pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, and industrial chemicals to be released into smaller waterways and wetlands.

But on Monday, Judge Rosemary Marquez of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona found “fundamental and substantial flaws” in Trump’s water rule. You can read the full article here.

And after: The ruling, which agriculture and construction groups should appeal, does not automatically restore Obama-era water protections. Rather, it means the federal government will temporarily fall back on a 1986 regulation. The Biden administration is expected to implement a new set of tougher water pollution rules by next year.

The deadly floods in Tennessee last month came with shocking speed and force – apparently a case study of the difficulties in protecting people from explosive torrential downpours like climate change becomes worse.

A closer look at what happened in the days, years and even decades before the storm, however, reveals that a series of government decisions left residents more exposed to flooding than they needed to be.

Some counties, for example, had refused to participate in the federal flood insurance program or had no residential building codes. And, in many parts of the state, flood maps produced by the federal government to inform decisions about where and how to build were long out of date.

It is impossible to say if a single change could have saved lives, especially given the ferocity of the floods. But interviews with climate and disaster experts and a review of state and federal data show how governments at all levels have been slow to adapt to growing threats and failed to take action that together would could reduce the damage. You can read the full article here.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Monster storm tests New Orleans
Monster storm tests New Orleans
Newsrust - US Top News
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