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Here is the Faroe antithesis. It is an account by a resident of Ellicott City, MD. I recall the flood in '16, because its residents' sad stories infused regional economic-disaster-news for months, merging in my mind with with similar restoration-aspiration/inspiration stories from North Carolina's tidewater later in the hurricane "season". I'd no idea about the calamity this spring until reading City Lab. The author illustrates with topography that should have prepared or condemned the civic "leadership" of the town a long, long time ago.

When the Water Came for Me
This is the second devastating flood to hit Ellicott City since 2016--to say nothing of floods that came through in 1817, 1837, 1868, 1901, 1917, 1923, 1938, 1942, 1952, 1956, 1972, 1975, 1989, and 2011.

The big difference, however, is that while most of these events are credited to the nearby Patapsco River overflowing following sustained heavy rains, often from tropical storms, the 2016 and 2018 floods are different beasts entirely.
[...]
[An] exacerbating factor in the 2016 and 2018 floods is the long-term consequences of excessive land development. ... [D]evelopers have gone around the town, peppering the surrounding hillsides with condominiums and apartment complexes. Forested land has been replaced with slick concrete and impervious surfaces that deflect runoff. Rainwater that was once absorbed naturally by the environment has nowhere to go but down.

Which brings me home to pat, sanctimonious criticism about the devastation that "developing nations" harvest by stripping landscapes for fuel and housing.

I have no reason to expect this MIT challenge to produce solutions for all-too-human demand for expedience, do I?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jun 8th, 2018 at 11:35:43 PM EST

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