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||N O E R R O R
||BP oil-capturing vessel restarts after vent problem, storm
||String of floods raise climate change questions
- Call it the spring of flash floods. Rare and deadly flash flooding
events have struck several parts of the south-central U.S. from Tennessee
to Oklahoma this spring, with two remarkable events occurring in just the
past five days: the astounding six-to-ten-inch gully washer that resulted
in numerous swift-water rescues in Oklahoma City yesterday morning, and the
tragic deluge in rural Arkansas late last week.
- One might think the rainfall was extremely unusual, even unprecedented.
However, the approximately 6.83 inches of rain that fell in 24 hours in the
Arkansas event was actually a 1-in-10-year event with respect to the 24-hour
rainfall total (it may have been rarer if one were to examine historical
six-hour precipitation data). A confluence of factors made the the heavy
rain so deadly -- most of it fell in just a few hours, in an area primed
for rapid rises in small rivers, creeks and streams, while a large and vulnerable
population of campers was sleeping in a remote area.
- A gauge maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey reveals
that the Little Missouri River climbed almost 20 feet in just a few hours
at the nearby town of Langley. At 2 a.m. central time the river was at 3.81
feet, and by 5:30 a.m. it reached a whopping 23.39 feet. This exceeded the
previous highest flood in that location by about 10 feet!
- The Tennessee and Oklahoma rainstorms were far more unusual than
the Arkansas flood. The Tennessee event, in which 13 to 19 inches of rain
fell during a two-day period, flooding much of the state including downtown
Nashville, was around a 1-in-1,000-year event. And the Oklahoma City floods
yesterday were a 1-in-100-year event. Some areas in and around Oklahoma City
eclipsed their monthly average rainfall totals for June in under 12
- When an extreme event occurs, a reporter is often caught in a quandary.
If we overplay the causal link between climate change and the event, then
we can rightly be accused of being alarmist...
- Yet, if journalists ignore the scientific studies that show that
some types of extreme events are consistent with what is expected due to
climate change, then we may be guilty of a sin of omission
||Alberta residents flee flood
- Hundreds of Medicine Hat residents are fleeing their homes
as waterways in the southern Alberta city swell, threatening to flood low-lying
- the Trans-Canada Hwy. remains closed between Medicine
Hat and the Saskatchewan border due to flooding,
||BP, Transocean tap a well of Washington lobbyists and consultants
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