floodwalls

Black Coral Chapter 19: Grief

Solavellan, Mermaid AU. Ongoing.

Masterpost | Read from Chapter One | Read on A03


There are two elves sitting on a fence next to the road, looking out over Crestwood Bay.

This would not normally give either of the Grey Wardens pause; the spot would, under normal circumstances, offer a pretty view over the sparkling water of the bay and the sprawling floodwall at its mouth, with a gentle sea breeze to keep them from growing too warm under the summer sun.

It is, however, the middle of the Maker-forsaken night, with rain falling like buckets from the sky, and, perhaps most importantly, there are thrice-damned undead crawling out of the water.

Keep reading

10 Year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina was only a Category 3 hurricane when it hit New Orleans in August 2005. But circumstances conspired to make it one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. The ingredients for disaster were in place before Katrina even hit.

  • New Orleans is almost entirely below sea level and surrounded by water.
  • City officials had known for years that a major hurricane could cause the levees (walls that hold the water back) to fail. But the problem was never addressed, even as the planet warmed and sea levels rose.
  • Meanwhile the canals and floodwalls built to make the Louisiana coast habitable for humans have displaced the sediments that support its wetlands.
  • Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, which form a natural barrier against hurricanes, are disappearing at a rate of 33 football fields a day.

We won’t soon forget what happened. People trapped on rooftops after the water had risen through the floorboards, poured through windows and filled the attic. Mothers and small children—and children without their mothers—stranded for days in the overcrowded Superdome. New Orleans, one of America’s most vibrant and visited cities, underwater.

Hurricanes have many ways of doing us harm: high winds, storm surge, flooding. But people contribute to the problem. We build on vulnerable coastlines and below sea level. Our industry erodes the land that protects us. There will always be natural disasters. Are we turning them into unnatural disasters?

Learn more about hurricanes and their causes

5

Amphibious Assault

Despite nominally being an airborne assault regiment, the 99th Aleutian Seahawks are not unfamiliar with the humble Taurox APC. Utilising their pressure sealed hulls and magnetic tracks to perform amphibious assaults from unexpected angles - one incident even involved a Hellrain Brigade driving their transports up a near-vertical floodwall - the Taurox provides the Seahawks with a fast-moving ground transport where air power is either limited or unavailable.

Can’t imagine the green lights on the back are good for indicating, though.

4

On this day in 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New York City and the surrounding area. The hurricane was huge, but it was not the windiest storm to ever hit the area. Sandy’s biggest threat was the huge pileup of water — called a storm surge — those winds produced. On top of this, the massive storm surge hit at almost the same moment as an unusually high tide.

New York City has 835 kilometers (520 miles) of coastline, much of it low-lying, so officials expected flooding. But the deluge was worse than anyone thought it would be. In lower Manhattan, seawater poured over floodwalls, flooding roads, subways, and electrical stations. Many were left without transportation or power. The seaside communities were hit worst. As waves crashed into the coast, the storm surge flooded homes and businesses, destroying entire neighborhoods. In the end, the storm took 43 lives, and left many people injured and without homes. It also caused at least $19 billion in damage.

Learn more about this historic hurricane.

2

Staying Ahead of Sandy

I hope that you and your families are well and safe after Sandy’s visit to the Northeast.

The National Archives buildings were largely spared, thanks to extensive preparation based on “lessons learned” from similar weather events.  I am grateful to all of our staff and especially to our facilities and emergency staff for their ongoing work in keeping personnel and records safe. None of our records were damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy, thanks to our staffs’ careful preparation.

While the National Archives buildings overall fared well, we know that other archival facilities did not.  Our staff are reaching out to state archivists whose states have been affected by the hurricane.  Our staff  are poised to advise and coordinate with Federal agencies on any needed records recovery operations. 

Thanks again to the National Archives’ staff for their hard work, and my hope for a speedy return to normal for all affected by the storm.  

These photos are from the Archives I facility in Washington, DC. Due to the low-lying topography of the site, the National Archives Building has implemented several flood control/countermeasures including Self-Closing flood walls at the moat entrances, cofferdams around louver openings serving the electrical vaults and watertight personnel doors leading to the electrical vaults. (Photo credit: Timothy Edwards, National Archives Facility Manager)

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog

In the special exhibition Nature’s Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters, learn about historic hurricanes, like 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina was only a Category 3 hurricane when it hit New Orleans in August 2005. But circumstances conspired to make it one of the worst disasters in U.S. history.

The ingredients for disaster were in place before Katrina even hit:

  • New Orleans is almost entirely below sea level and surrounded by water.
  • City officials had known for years that a major hurricane could cause the levees (walls that hold the water back) to fail. But the problem was never addressed, even as the planet warmed and sea levels rose.
  • Meanwhile the canals and floodwalls built to make the Louisiana coast habitable for humans have displaced the sediments that support its wetlands.
  • Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, which form a natural barrier against hurricanes, are disappearing at a rate of 33 football fields a day.

Learn more on the exhibition website.