Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Floods

As Manchin Blocks Climate Plan, His State Can’t Hold Back Floods

As Manchin Blocks Climate Plan, His State Can’t Hold Back Floods

Technology, World
FARMINGTON, W.Va. — In Senator Joe Manchin’s hometown, a flood-prone hamlet of about 200 homes that hugs a curve on a shallow creek, the rain is getting worse.Those storms swell the river, called Buffalo Creek, inundating homes along its banks. They burst the streams that spill down the hills on either side of this former coal-mining town, pushing water into basements. They saturate the ground, seeping into Farmington’s aging pipes and overwhelming its sewage treatment system.Climate change is warming the air, allowing it to hold more moisture, which causes more frequent and intense rainfall. And no state in the contiguous United States is more exposed to flood damage than West Virginia, according to data released last week.From the porch of his riverfront house, Jim Hall, who is married t...
U.K. Agency Issues Climate Change Warning Before U.N. Summit

U.K. Agency Issues Climate Change Warning Before U.N. Summit

Technology, World
LONDON — The British Environment Agency on Wednesday urged world leaders to take decisive action to combat climate change, issuing a stark warning before a U.N. summit in Glasgow this month when some 20,000 delegates from nearly every country will discuss ways to tackle potentially disastrous global warming.“It is adapt or die,” Emma Howard Boyd, chairwoman of the government agency, said in a report to the British government.Deadly floods like those in Germany this summer will happen in Britain sooner or later, no matter how high the country’s flood defenses are built, she cautioned, urging adaptations to homes and workplaces to make them more resilient to the effects of the increasingly violent weather brought on by the climate emergency.“While mitigation might save the planet, it is adap...

Should You Get Flood Insurance for Your Home?

Technology, World
“The most marginalized people are the ones who are going to be most affected,” he added, because they are more likely to live in areas more vulnerable to the effects of climate change, frequently receive a smaller share of federal disaster aid, and are less likely to be able to afford the high cost of insurance.The National Flood Insurance ProgramAbout 75 percent of all flood insurance policies are administered by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. You can buy one of these policies through a local insurance broker or get referred to one by calling the national program at (888) 379-9531.Any renter, homeowner or business owner in one of the 23,000 participating communities is eligible for a policy, with rates set by FEMA. But those rates are changing. Currently, the average annual prem...
How Record Rain and Officials’ Mistakes in China Led to Drownings on a Subway

How Record Rain and Officials’ Mistakes in China Led to Drownings on a Subway

Technology, World
ZHENGZHOU, China — The heaviest hour of rainfall ever reliably recorded in China crashed like a miles-wide waterfall over the city of Zhengzhou on July 20, killing at least 300 people, including 14 who drowned in a subway tunnel.In the aftermath, regional and national officials initially suggested that little could have been done in the face of a storm of such magnitude.But an analysis of how the authorities responded that day, based on government documents, interviews with experts and Chinese news reports, shows that flaws in the subway system’s design and missteps in its operations that day almost certainly contributed to the deaths in the tunnel.Zhengzhou’s difficulties hold lessons for other urban centers in an era of climate change — including New York City, which shut down its subway...
Subtropical Storm Teresa Forms North of Bermuda

Subtropical Storm Teresa Forms North of Bermuda

Technology, World
Subtropical Storm Teresa formed on Friday north of Bermuda, becoming the 19th named storm of the busy 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.Unlike tropical storms, subtropical storms do not have the potential to quickly grow into hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service.Teresa has a small window to “intensify slightly” but it’s more likely to remain a subtropical storm until it dissipates, the National Hurricane Center said.A developing system forming off New England should absorb Teresa in a day or two, forecasters said. The storm is not expected to threaten land.The Hurricane Center said Teresa would most likely be the ninth “shortie” — a system that is short-lived and relatively weak — of the hurricane season. Odette, Peter and Rose are recent examples of these kinds of storms.“Th...
Flood Insurance Costs Are Set to Skyrocket for Some

Flood Insurance Costs Are Set to Skyrocket for Some

Technology, World
In 2019, FEMA said it would instead price flood insurance based on the particular risks facing each individual property, a change the agency called “Risk Rating 2.0.” After a delay by the Trump administration, the new system takes effect next month for people purchasing flood insurance. For existing customers, rates will rise starting next April.The change has won applause from a grab bag of advocacy groups, including climate resilience experts, environmentalists, the insurance industry and the budget watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.“With a rapidly escalating threat of natural disasters, Risk Rating 2.0 is a much needed and timely change,” said Laura Lightbody, director of the flood-prepared communities project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, which has pushed governments to better ...
How Can New York City Prepare for the Next Ida? Here’s a To-Do List.

How Can New York City Prepare for the Next Ida? Here’s a To-Do List.

Technology, World
When the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept into New York this month, the storm’s ferocity shocked the city. Even with meteorologists warning of intense rains and flooding, the swiftness with which the storm turned streets into rushing — and deadly — rivers caught officials and residents off guard.New York has taken steps to prepare for the extreme weather driven by climate change. For years, particularly after Hurricane Sandy flooded much of the region, civic groups, environmental organizations and officials had raised alarms and urged action to protect from extreme storms.But much of the post-Sandy work focused on flooding caused by rising waters surrounding the city’s shores. The rains brought by Ida — and two other storms this summer that deluged parts of the area — pose a different kind ...
Biden’s Speech on Climate Change and Ida: Full Transcript

Biden’s Speech on Climate Change and Ida: Full Transcript

Technology, World
My “Build Back Better” plan with key investments to fight climate change, cutting emissions and make things more resilient. Each dollar we invest, every dollar — we raise a city block by two feet, flood-proof power stations, sanitations, reduction in the buildup of kindling in our forest, installing electrical lines underground rather than overhead — saves us six dollars for every single dollar we spend to do those things.Because the next time disaster strikes, the flood is contained, the fire doesn’t spread as widely, and power stays on. Not to mention those investments save lives, homes and create good-paying union jobs.I hosted 56 heads of state in Washington. And I pointed out, we’re talking about climate change, and I said I think of one word when I think of climate change: jobs. Good...
Biden to Visit Northeast Flood Zones as Demand Grows for Climate Action

Biden to Visit Northeast Flood Zones as Demand Grows for Climate Action

Technology, World
As residents scrambled to clean up and assess damage from catastrophic flash floods that swept the Northeast last week, President Biden prepared to visit hard-hit areas in New York and New Jersey, where he will confront political ferment that is growing over the climate-driven disaster.The lethal deluge from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which killed more than 45 people in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, has amped up battles that began in 2012 with Hurricane Sandy over how to slow climate change and protect communities. The floods are already sharpening debate over whether city, state and national leaders are doing enough — even those who, like Mr. Biden, publicly champion strong measures.Mr. Biden’s trip comes as he and Democratic leaders struggle to get Congress to i...
After a Summer of Disasters, Some Lawmakers See a Chance for Climate Action

After a Summer of Disasters, Some Lawmakers See a Chance for Climate Action

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — As the country reels from the cascade of deaths and devastation wrought by this summer’s record floods, heat waves, droughts and wildfires, President Biden and progressive Democrats are using the moment to push for aggressive climate provisions in a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget bill.Speaking on Thursday in Queens, where nearly a dozen people died a day earlier during flash floods, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said that when the Senate returned to Washington on Tuesday to continue work on budget legislation, it would include provisions designed to reduce fossil fuel emissions linked to extreme weather.Congress is also considering a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes money to help communities gird against climate disasters. The S...