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Radars Watching Over Mississippi’s Aging Levees

Mississippi State University researchers used an instrument developed by NASA called Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) in conjunction with satellite-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to detect the variations in the soil properties along the Mississippi River. These two instruments were able to penetrate layers of soil to analyze areas that will suffer from......

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Congress Votes for Levee Safety

Following years of experts calling for a more unified approach to managing the nations known 30,000 miles of levees (with estimations as high as 100,000 miles when considering known and unknown miles of levees) in 2014 Congress passed the national Levee Safety Initiative. The new national Levee Safety Initiative will promote consistent safety standards, establish......

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Green and Grey Solutions to Flood Control

In 2011 the Souris River City overtopped its bank and flooded the city of Minot, North Dakota and nearby towns. The resulting flood damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 homes and about 200 businesses and is estimated to have caused $700 million in damage. The city focused resilient rebuilding and recovering from the storm and......

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Louisiana Saves Big with Levee Inspection System Overhaul

An outdated, non-functioning legacy software system made overseeing Louisiana’s flood protection infrastructure, which requires regular inspections and monitoring to prevent flood damage and risk, difficult and costly. In response, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development discarded the legacy program, which cost approximately $18,000 a year, in favor of a new mobile system to more......

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Plan for the Future, Not the Past

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina unleashed an 18-foot storm surge with 7-foot waves, overpowering the Mississippi River–Gulf Outlet and Gulf Intercoastal Waterway and causing the collapse of a 4,000-foot-long section of the floodwall along Louisiana’s Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC). Following the widespread devastation in the region, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers set out......

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Partnering with Mother Nature

Sometimes, working with nature is easier than working against it. Organizations like Floodplains by Design are working with communities to remove levees and allowing room for rivers to flood in a safe manner. When done appropriately, floodplain restoration can save lives, property and restore wildlife habitat. On the Manastash Creek near Ellensburg, Washington, flooding regularly......

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Flood Planning Never Looked So Green

After a historic flood put 5,000 homes, 900 businesses, and 300 public buildings under water, it was clear Cedar Rapids needed a new flood plan. To prepare for the next time the waters rise, the city held neighborhood meetings to develop a Flood Control System Master Plan identifying projects on both sides of the Cedar......

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