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Jan 16 2012

A Few Good Reads (1/16/12): Ongoing Recoveries

This week: The recovery in Vermont, rebuilding levees along the Mississippi and Missouri, and reflection on the flooding a year ago in Queensland, Australia.

After Irene: Vermont Thanks You from Christian Clark on Vimeo.

In Missouri, as Levee Is Rebuilt, Signs of Rebirth Begin to Sprout (NY Times)

Inundating the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway — a move that had been employed only once before, in 1937 — was an extraordinary measure in response to record flooding, and it was intended to save property and lives on a grand scale. By many accounts it succeeded. Yet even as signs of recovery mount, the controversy over blasting the levee is still felt keenly by many in the area.

Floodway map

MISSISSIPPI RIVER: Political reality swamps ecologists’ restoration dreams (E&E Publishing)

While the Army Corps’ analysis assigns a hefty cost to the buyouts, he said, it neglects to assign a dollar value to avoided flood costs and enhanced ecological values of a restored floodplain. For example, scientists say, the floodplain would soak up pollution and keep nutrients from washing to the Gulf of Mexico. Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus from Midwest farms fuel a summer Gulf “dead zone” — an area devoid of marine life because of such low levels of dissolved oxygen.

Toowoomba reflects on fatal floods anniversary (ABC Southern Queensland)

After months of record breaking rains around the state, the earth was sodden and when more than 150 millimetres of rain fell in a day-and-a-half in the Toowoomba region, it created a deadly inland tsunami that scarred the land for kilometres.

New Farm's Sydney Street CityCat terminal during the January 2011 floods

Queensland flood repairs to take years (news.com.au)

Work is only just starting on major upgrades to 20,000km of damaged roads, while several key recommendations from the flood inquiry are yet to be fully implemented.

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