Sep 17 2012

A Few Good Reads (9/17/12): Cost of Floods has Doubled in 10 years, New York Lagging in Flood Protection, and Thailand Facing Floods Again

This week: The cost of floods doubling over the last 10 years, New York lagging behind in flood protection, Thailand facing a flooding threat once again, America’s forgotten ports, and checking your LiDAR data.

Cost of floods has more than doubled in the last 10 years and now rivals earthquake losses says new Swiss Re publication (PRNewswire)

No other natural catastrophe impacts as many people as flooding, with an estimated 500 million people affected every year. Insured flood losses are also increasing significantly; 1970’s annual claims were between USD 1–2 billion, whereas insured flood losses amounted to USD 15 billion in 2011. Recent flood events in Thailand, Australia and the Philippines have shown that floods are now rivalling earthquakes and hurricanes in terms of economic losses.

However, awareness of flood risks and their impact is still relatively low. Swiss Re’s publication Flood – an underestimated risk aims to close this knowledge gap.

New York Is Lagging as Seas and Risks Rise, Critics Warn (NY Times)

With higher seas, a common storm could prove as damaging as the rare big storm or hurricane is today, scientists say. Were sea levels to rise four feet by the 2080s, for example, 34 percent of the city’s streets could lie in the flood-risk zone, compared with just 11 percent now, a 2011 study commissioned by the state said.

Thailand’s flood defences under strain again (Reuters)

Scenes of residents wading through waist-high water and stacking large sandbags around shops and homes in Sukhothai, about 430 km (265 miles) north of the capital Bangkok, are a stark reminder of last year’s floods that killed more than 800 people.

America’s ailing ports invisible amid the country’s failing infrastructure (Washington Post)

The need for port investment is particularly acute on the East Coast. When a project to widen the Panama Canal is complete in 2015, new mega-ships full of Asian goods will pass through. Norfolk and Baltimore can accommodate the ships’ deep keels, but few other ports can. So, a rush is on to dig deeper channels and build port facilities that can handle the loads. New York has a unique issue: the Bayonne Bridge must be elevated to accommodate the ships that pass underneath.

Who is Checking Your LiDAR Data? (LiDAR News)

Throughout the years I have seen many projects advertised, awarded, executed and then delivered to the client.  The client receives the data, copies it locally and then final payment is made to the vendor and life goes on as usual.  Then, someone actually checks the data and notices that there are many discrepancies associated with the scope of work and what was actually delivered.  How does this happen and more importantly, how can it be avoided?

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