There is an increasing risk that rain and storm flood the US coast. And if that will be the case, as is predicted by the rising sea level, suffice to say it would be a total disaster. As it happens, a new study points out that we’ve long ignored the catastrophic theory of coastline flooding. For no reason.
You may have thought that Isaac was much quieter a hurricane than Katrina ever was. And you were probably right. But it turns out that we mustn’t look at hurricanes just in terms of how big they are. There is an equal amount of danger rising from a combined equation comprising sea levels, rains, and storm surges.
It seems that after Katrina had long passed, the people of New Orleans though they knew a thing or two about storms. But how wrong they were, as they far underestimated the capabilities of Isaac. Being the perfect storm for the coastline area of Louisiana, the storm caused water levels to rise by a staggering 6 to 9 feet when it hit back in 2012.
The area that suffered the core of the damage, a not-that-small perimeter next to Lake Pontchartrain, had been completely spared by the blow of Katrina. The locals weren’t at all worried. But the rain around the lake raised the levels by another 11 inches on top of the rising caused by the surge. Naturally, the water rushed into the streets and homes on the western side of the lake.
It was like hitting a man when he’s down. The first blow came from the surge, the second from the rain that just kept pouring and pouring. A researcher specialized in storm surges from the Louisiana State University said that far too few states prepare for compound flooding, as this type of two-stage disaster is called.
A study published in Nature Climate Change yesterday, July 27th, maintained that there should be much more research on the matter. Thomas Wahl and his colleagues who authored the research paper found that compound flooding had been much too common on the east coast and on the southern coast with the Gulf.
By sifting through tons of historical data relating to flooding events, the team found that these types of events have been steadily increasing in frequency. This could be due to climate change, natural climate cycles, or other specific conditions.
It is still pretty clear that climate change, along with the sea level rise, is not at all helping an already worsening situation.
Image source: livescience.com