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Jul 22 2013

A Few Good Reads (7/22/13): More Summer Flooding in China, Removal of Veazie Dam Begins in Maine

This week: Over 300 people lost in floods this year in China, flash flooding in Arizona, the removal of Veazie Dam on the Penobscot River begins in Maine, more behind the massive flooding in Uttarakhand, India, and Alberta one month after the flood.

China floods claim 337 lives so far this year (AlJazeera)

Flooding in China this year has left at least 337 people dead and 213 missing, due mainly to unusually wet summer weather, the government said.

Floods this year have struck across 30 provinces and municipalities and affected more than 47 million people, according to the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Sunday.

Flash floods in Arizona prompt rescues of at least nine people (UPI)

The storm “didn’t create a lot of wind damage, but it created a lot of flooding damage and people being plucked from cars,” said meteorologist Mark O’Malley.

At least nine people had to be rescued in five municipalities, officials said.

In Apache Junction, Ariz., rescue crews utilized helicopters to save two people whose vehicles became submerged, Accuweather.com reported.

Removal of Veazie Dam on Maine's Penobscot River begins July 22, 2013. Photo courtesy Penobscot River Restoration Trust.

Removal of Veazie Dam Begins on Maine’s Penobscot River (National Geographic)

That dam removal, the demolition of Veazie Dam (20-feet high and 1,072-feet long), along with the installation of fish passage at other dams will open access to 1,000 miles of habitat for Atlantic salmon and other native sea-run fish.

No other dam removal project has opened access to that much habitat.

The project will also revive cultural traditions and boost recreation and economic opportunities. And, thanks to local investments in hydropower production, we will be able to maintain and possibly increase the amount of energy generated on the river. What’s more, the Penobscot restoration effort will create more than 180 jobs.

Deforestation in Uttarakhand

Why Uttarakhand? (FloodList)

Fundamentally, the cause was rain. Lots of rain. According to Wunderground, between 11th and 17th June, parts of Uttarakhand received more than 50cm of rain and rainfall was over 800% above the normal levels during those few days, although Wikipedia states that during that period, rainfall was 375 percent more than the benchmark rainfall during a normal monsoon.

bow volunteers

Alberta flood: One month later (Global News)

July 20 marks one month since the worst natural disaster in Calgary’s history—and it’s incredible how far the city has already come, as Calgarians band together to rebuild.

In the early hours of June 20, emergency officials were scrambling to finish building hastily erected berms, in hopes of saving homes from rapidly rising flood waters. But their best efforts were not enough, after both the Elbow and Bow rivers spilled their banks, drenching low-lying areas of the city.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi raced back from Ontario as mass evacuations got underway. At the height of the disaster, 100,000 people were forced from their homes, some with only minutes to get out. Power was shut off to many areas including parts of downtown, turning the bustling core into a ghost town.

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