Flood Risks Con­tinue to In­crease in Most Parts of the U.S.

Trillions - - From The Publisher -

In a new study, Uni­ver­sity of Iowa (UI) en­gi­neers de­ter­mined that, in gen­eral, the threat of flood­ing is grow­ing in the north­ern half of the U.S. and de­clin­ing in the south­ern half—just don't tell that to peo­ple in Louisiana or Texas, which both ex­pe­ri­enced mas­sive flood­ing in 2016.

The Amer­i­can South­west and West are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing de­creas­ing flood risk as the ground dries out and rain­fall de­creases. This in line with most cli­mate pre­dic­tions that have the Amer­i­can South­west be­com­ing in­creas­ingly hot and dry as the cli­mate changes.

UI en­gi­neers Gabriele Vil­lar­ini and Louise Slater com­piled water-height in­for­ma­tion be­tween 1985 and 2015 from 2,042 stream gauges op­er­ated by the U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey. They then com­pared the data to satel­lite in­for­ma­tion gath­ered over more than a dozen years by NASA’S Grav­ity Re­cov­ery and Cli­mate Ex­per­i­ment (GRACE) mis­sion show­ing “basin wet­ness,” or the amount of water stored in the ground.

What they found was the north­ern sec­tions of the coun­try, gen­er­ally, have an in­creased amount of water stored in the ground, and thus are at greater risk for mi­nor and mod­er­ate flood­ing, while mi­nor to mod­er­ate flood risk was de­creas­ing in the south­ern por­tions of the U.S., where stored water has de­clined.

In 2016, many parts of the U.S. ex­pe­ri­enced ex­treme weather and in­creas­ingly bizarre and new weather pat­terns.

Con­trac­tors who work out­doors should count on more ex­treme weather and in­creased dis­trup­tions to their projects.

When pos­si­ble, it may be a good idea to in­clude a weather clause in con­tracts and en­sure that equip­ment and ma­te­ri­als loss and dam­age from weather is cov­ered by in­sur­ance.

When it comes to weather, there is no more nor­mal to be ex­pected and the ab­nor­mal should be taken into ac­count.

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