Sep 12 2011

A Few Good Reads (9/12/11)

This week: the impact of Hurricane Irene, the testing of the new flood defenses in New Orleans, run-down dams in China, the trees on levees debate continues, and the never-ending GIS vs CAD struggle.

Vermont Flood Hi-Res Galley – August 2011 (Lars Grange & Mansfield Heliflight): Unbelievable ground and aerial pictures of the flooding and aftermath in Vermont.

Storm’s Push North Leaves Punishing Inland Floods (by Abby Goodnough & Danny Hakim, NY Times)

“This is a really tough battle for us,” Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont said after surveying the damage across the state in a helicopter. “What you see is farms destroyed, crops destroyed, businesses underwater, houses eroded or swept away and widespread devastation.”

New Orleans’ post-Katrina flood defenses pass big test (by Kathy Finn, Reuters)

The downpours of Saturday morning combined with the tidal surge pushed the structure to its full capacity, moving 5,200 cubic feet of water per second.

"It was the first time we had a chance to do that. This tropical storm tested our pumping ability at London more than any of the previous hurricanes" since Katrina, Accardo said.

Millions in China at risk from run-down dams (AFP)

More than 40,000 reservoirs around the country have been in use longer than their design life and are poorly maintained due to a lack of funds over the past few decades, the state-run Global Times reported

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers keeps levee-tree policy despite report, hints at flexibility (by Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee)

The Corps formally released the new study Thursday. From extensive field research in Sacramento and other sites across the nation, it concludes that trees at the base of levees can improve levee safety by binding the soil together with their roots; and it found that tree roots pose little risk of creating a path for seepage that could undermine levees.

But the study also found that trees on top of levees may pose risks, and that unanswered questions remain, such as whether exposed roots aggravate erosion.

GIS – CAD: One System or Multi-Systems? (Vector One)

If there is a sea-change to come it will, I hope, be that the debates between GIS or CAD are put aside and smaller collaborative groups from both areas are invited to project spaces to solve real world problems.

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