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Oddly NOT being front paged on the papers I get, and little covered within the US (unless directly affected).  Are massive catastrophes now ignored in the US?  A Google search of news for "US floods" shows far more foreign coverage than US.

In Canadian news, the Calgary Sun:

U.S. floods claim land and lives
UPDATED: 2008-03-22 04:08:02 MST By AP

FENTON, Mo. -- Americans in the flood-weary Midwest are fighting to save their homes and businesses from rivers spilling over their banks after rainstorms blamed for at least 16 deaths moved through the region. .............Government forecasters warned flooding could continue because of record rainfall and melting snow packs across the Midwest and Northeast.

AOL News has this frontpaged with photos - but not visible unless you scroll past a story on McCain


This is a pretty significant event affecting a large area but it's not getting a large amount of coverage. Remember those ever-present shots of midwest flooding a decade or so back? It seems like some of the expected levels will be close to the massive flood levels seen in the late 1990's.

Geographically this is larger than Katrina - with lots of people affected over large areas.  How will government respond?  What's the status of Army Reserve and NG units in these states?  Are ther around? Deployed?  Is EQUIPMENT around? (much of the NG's equipment has been sent overseas even if units are at home).  What kind of aid will affected communities be receiving?  

Given the ongoing - and ignored - disaster that was Katrina, will this be handled any better?  And - the only thing that seems to matter right now - how will this affect voters?

A reminder - Most of the nation has other things to worry about and could care less what Obama said (how many do you think has directly heard ANY of his speeches - including the 'race' one?) or whether Clinton is STILL in the race... and is oblivious to McCain's senile old man gaffes....

They're worried about the price of gasoline (wonder how much it'll drop this October right before the elections?), whether they can pay for hamburger or stick with pasta, and trying to make sure the house payments are covered - or meybe even just the electricity.....  Even the 'better off' are recalculating how much LONGER they're going to have to work because their IRA's and 401K's have tanked (checked YOUR retirement fund lately?  How much have YOU lost?)

But some people have it even worse.... they've lost much of what they own.

From the AOL report

At Valley Park, the river rose to a peak of 37.8 feet Saturday morning, well above the flood stage of 16 feet but still below the record of 39.7 feet, according to the National Weather Service.
"For some of these places, this is their 500-year flood," she said.
Across Arkansas, some rivers were hitting their highest levels in 90-odd years. The Arkansas River crested in Little Rock and points upstream at 22 feet, about a foot below flood stage in the capital city.
The Black River at Pocahontas, Ark., was projected to crest Monday at 26.5 feet, the highest there since 1915, the weather service said.
Milwaukee's 12.4 inches of snow Friday brought the city's total this season to 96 inches, its second-heaviest on record.

From SRI Lanka:

Spring snowstorm, floods blanket US midwest
CHICAGO, Thick, heavy snow blanketing parts of the central United States could worsen flood conditions along the Mississippi River basin, the National Weather Service warned Friday.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled and traffic was snarled as a spring snowstorm dumped as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of wet snow in a wide swath ranging from North Dakota to Michigan.

Just a few hours drive to the south, hundreds and homes and business were still under water as soggy towns waited for floodwaters to recede and rivers to crest.

"Around St. Louis they are still looking at major flooding because of the water feeding in from the Ohio River to the Mississippi (River,)" said Pat Slattery, a spokesman for the National Weather Service.

"It's going to take a while for these things to go down." (AFP)

More Floods Forecast for Swamped U.S.
With Ground Saturated, A Little Rain Will Go A Long Way

By Dan Shapley
The floods that have already claimed 13 lives may be only a taste of what is to come, according to numerous reports about the National Weather Service's annual spring outlook.

"In its annual spring outlook released Thursday, the weather service says states where the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri rivers run are at an above-average risk for flooding," USA Today reported. "Pennsylvania, New York, New England and parts of the West, including Colorado and Idaho, will have a high risk, too, because they have had record rain and snowfall."

It's not so much the rain to come, as the National Weather Service is predicting a generally normal, or even dry, April-June period. But because of the amount of snow and rain built up over frozen ground, because the ground is saturated with water in many places, and because flooded rivers have yet to return to normal levels, additional and serious flooding is likely with or without much additional precipitation.

From Natchez:

Miss. River expected to top flood stage Monday in Natchez
The Associated Press
NATCHEZ, Miss. --The Mississippi River is expected to rise above flood stage here sometime Monday, and authorities are concerned flooding could become a problem in the coming weeks.

Flood stage near Natchez is 48 feet above gauge zero. At 47 feet, water will begin to enter the former Belwood Golf Course and Carthage Point Road in southern Adams County.
A flood warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the lower Mississippi River region. Experts predict the river will continue to rise until it reaches its crest height near Natchez April 6, when National Weather Service models predict it will reach a height of 53.5 feet. That would be the highest the river has gotten here since 1997.
Officials in Vicksburg, Miss., are also keeping a close watch on the water level. Flood stage at the city is 43 feet. The river is forecast to rise above flood stage Wednesday, and crest at 46 feet on April 5.

Floods block highways and force hundreds to flee in central US, 9 deaths linked to storm
By Associated Press
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 -

PIEDMONT, Mo. - Flooding forced hundreds of people to flee their homes and closed scores of roads Wednesday across the nation’s midsection as a storm system poured as much as a foot of rain on the region. Nine deaths were linked to the weather and four people were missing.

The National Weather Service posted flood and flash flood warnings from Texas to Pennsylvania on Wednesday, and evacuations were under way in parts of Missouri, Arkansas and Ohio.

Originally posted to xrepub on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 01:39 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well Since I Am In St. Louis (15+ / 0-)

    it is front page news here of course. A number of communities are flooded. We're sand bagging major highways and the waters are still rising. What I'd like our major dailies to address is the problem with the levee system. But I am not holding my breath, since they couldn't even do that after Katrina drowned an entire, major city.

    Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

    by webranding on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 01:46:56 PM PDT

    •  It's so frustrating (6+ / 0-)

      It's not like this doesn't happen every few years or so. Everyone knows how bad the floods can get. There is no excuse for the lack of good levees.

      "how many times do we have to learn that tough talk is not a substitute for sound judgment?" - Senator Obama

      by moviemeister76 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 01:50:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well It Is Really A Catch 22 (8+ / 0-)

        The complete story of this flood has not been written yet. But the places where the levees have broken are in lower income communities.

        As more and more people move into new communities they built bigger and better levees, while many downstream/river don't update their older system.

        And of course the water has to go someplace.

        Also, and I want to be careful here, cause I beat people up that said this about New Orleans, the newer communities that are sprouting up by the/around the rivers are partly to blame. The reason they want to move their is cause of the river (fun, outdoor sports) and the economic benefits (farm land, transportation, etc.).

        But the reason for the great land is cause the freaking rivers flood the land from time-to-time.

        Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

        by webranding on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 02:00:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You make great points (7+ / 0-)

          As more and more people move into new communities they built bigger and better levees, while many downstream/river don't update their older system.

          And of course the water has to go someplace.

          People wanting to build in natural floodplains is also frustrating.  The water has to go somewhere and that's what floodplains are for.

          I agree with Digby: This election is worse than being stuck in seventh grade for the rest of your life. Jesus H Christ.

          by maryb2004 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 02:03:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My Parents Live In Mt. Carmel (4+ / 0-)

            which is right on the Wabash river and IL/IN border. Given the Wabash isn't the Mississippi, but it ain't a stream either. He can recall as a child when the waters would start to rise the farmers would get together and actually blow up the levees to flood a "planned" area.

            They took care of the problem themselves. Not saying that this is a great solution, but I guess if you tried to do something like that today you'd have about 50 government agencies at your house.

            Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

            by webranding on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 02:08:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This sounds like what my grandmother says (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              webranding, Naniboujou, greenearth

              She has told me several times that the way people handled floods was different in her time than it is today. She hates the government because she says they don't know anything about how to handle natural disasters. She is so angry right now that she hasn't come to the phone to talk to me in a few days. I am hoping that this passes soon.

              "how many times do we have to learn that tough talk is not a substitute for sound judgment?" - Senator Obama

              by moviemeister76 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 02:16:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  As I've Gotten Older I've Found I've Become (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenearth, moviemeister76

                more liberal on social issues but more libertarian as it relates to the Federal government. I just feel that 50 Senators in Washington have no clue how to manage the rivers in the midwest, but if they'd talk to a few people who actually have made their livings off of those rivers and the farm land for generations they'd have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done and how. So with that said, give back control (and of course money) to the local folks.

                Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

                by webranding on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 02:23:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I wonder what party that makes us? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I am the same way.

                  The problem is, the local governments have gotten so used to the federal government fixing everything that they are no longer prepared to handle any disasters.

                  Also, many people in my generation (I am 31) have grown up used to the government fixing everything for us. Most of us have no real practice at banding together as a community to fix problems. This is only going to get worse as the older generations die off.

                  "how many times do we have to learn that tough talk is not a substitute for sound judgment?" - Senator Obama

                  by moviemeister76 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 02:33:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  That's what they've done with suburbs in Sacramen (4+ / 0-)

            .... Sacramento, built a lot of new stuff in low lying river flood plains of the American/Sacramento/Feather/Yuba river watersheds which all eventually flow by Sac, and yet after they built this crap the Army Corps of Engineers goes, whoops, did you notice you were in a flood plain and your levees are inadequate for a "200 yr flood event" and you need to pay to upgrade and the Fed Govt. has no money for this "wink" "wink nudge".
            City government: "No kidding? Really? But we want to do even more development there, you big meanies!"
            "Let them buy flood insurance."
            Local Republicans have been trying to put a dam upstream for years instead of fixing the fracking levees, I shall scream if I hear one more time how a dam upstream on the smallest tributary will supposedly fix this threat, when if you talk to the Corps and the Bureau of Rec they will tell you it still must have Big Levees downstream to catch the dam releases or the cities flood anyway.
            It's like New Orleans part deux all over again.

            You can build in low lying areas IF you do certain things, and prepare for certain risks, but they never do the certain things around here.

            •  Cadillac Desert - good overview of water issues (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BoogieMama, AmericanRiverCanyon

              esp the BLM and Corps of Engineers attitudes towards dams.......

              ANY excuse - even invalid ones - will usually work.

            •  Sacramento, etc., is the next big disaster... (4+ / 0-)

              waiting to happen.

              CrashingVor had a recommended diary yesterday that contained a discussion of the great risks to the Northern California levees. Before Katrina, the Sacramento Delta area was #2 on the list of disasters waiting to happen.

              If saltwater from San Francisco Bay infiltrates the delta region, I don't think this country can print enough money to clean this up. This would affect all the water that goes from the delta to the Central Valley and Southern California.

              Thanks for this diary, xrepub, and thanks for your comment, AmericanRiverCanyon. Our shortsightedness and political corruption will do us in.

              •  Flying into Fresno I was astounded at (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AmericanRiverCanyon, DorothyT

                what I saw of the Central Valley in CA......

                Yellow-brown fields punctuated by black left by fires - with those irrigation circles and squares....

                The air pollusion was horrid - a brown/blue transition line visible in the sky as you climbed the mountains....

                and this is one of the most productive agricultural areas in America?!?!

                Comparing this to the Ohio River Valley, you have to wonder.......

                •  Well, that's Fresno.... farther north when you (0+ / 0-)

                  .... fly in during the growing season it's stunningly green and beautiful in the irrigated farm areas and the surrounding landscape is yellow.  The area around Sacramento's airport is still surrounded by rice fields.  Right now in the spring before it stops raining totally, everything is still green, but it will brown out soon.  I can't believe we're only about 3 weeks out fr the official start of "irrigation season."

                  The problem is the developrs have gone completely nutsoid and there has been so much buildup the air pollution now in the foothills in the afternoon when there is not a breeze is horrible because the dirty air has no place to go.

              •  Good link I left a comment there also. n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  I agree with this. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Naniboujou, greenearth

          My parents shake their heads every time they see people moving in by the rivers out there. My mom grew up in Illinois and has lived all over the IN/IL/MO/KY borders. She knows all of the safest places to live in the area. I still worry, though. The way the economy changes in this country, especially in the midwest, the safe places can change rapidly.

          "how many times do we have to learn that tough talk is not a substitute for sound judgment?" - Senator Obama

          by moviemeister76 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 02:08:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  We ain't seen nothin' yet. (3+ / 0-)

        With the massive amount of protective cover (trees) knocked down by Katrina in the South, and timbering everywhere else, it's not going to stop. Rain on bare earth=extensive runoff=flood. We're well on our way to  rock bottom.

    •  levee systems, ho-hum environmental stories (0+ / 0-)

      It is kind of weird--Bush declares several counties to be disaster areas, and it's buried deep inside the paper.  Some day we're going to read "Last polar bear dies.  Story on page 12."  We are losing the ecological foundation of civilization by slow degrees, and yet you wouldn't know it from the news.  There isn't any one story that pops out and makes people take notice; and it seems they're not even going to notice these "routine" ecological problems, since they don't seem to be news anymore.  Some people in the midwest got wet; wonder who's playing basketball today?

      I did find the story deep inside the Sunday NYT, and was struck by one of their "man in the flood" interviews:  a guy whose house was built above the flood level, but whose crawl space was flooded.  He had no important utility functions in the crawlspace, and was just going to ride it out.  

      We've got a lot of population living in flood zones.  Rivers need their flood zones.  (The  dead zone in the gulf of mexico, and the death of the bayous that might have helped mitigate the Katrina damage, are evidence of that.)

      We've got to get policy--building codes--that allow more people to do what that guy did--ride out floods in a house built to accomodate the fact that rivers are only temporarily in their banks.  Ultimately, it will be cheaper than building ever-longer, ever higher levees.  Part of the cost of flood control in the Mississippi is the loss of shrimp fisheries (and other aquatic life) in the Gulf, and the loss of the bayous, which were a natural storm buffer.  The bayous provide non-market but economically valuable ecosystem services, and so when you tote up the cost of flood control you have to include loss of those services, which, when you count correctly, makes the levee system the more expensive way to go.

      The levees were built by policies that had a naive approach to solving the problem of a population living in a flood plain; they are a manifestation of an old-fashioned, root-'em toot-'em cowboy effort to conquer nature.  Some other countries have given up this Quixotic battle and are designing their cultural infrastructure to exist in harmony with, instead of in opposition to, natural processes.

      Thus, a story from the >Christian Science Monitor, titled
      "Dutch Design Lets Homes Float on the Floodwaters."

      some Dutch architects are designing ways to live on, instead of fighting against, the rising tide.   Amphibious housing - structures built on land that rise and fall with the water level - is one of several innovative ideas.  "We have to redefine construction to make it more dynamic and less static," says architect Koen Olthuis in a phone interview from Waterstudio.NL, an amphibious housing design firm in the Dutch city of Rijswijk. "We call this the 'resilient sector.' If a house is resilient, it means there won't be any damage or loss of value from flooding."

      The Netherlands topography resembles that of New Orleans, only on a far grander scale: Some 26 percent of the country lies below sea level.

      What works in the Netherlands would work here--in New Orleans, and in Missouri.  I wish the media would put this stuff in front of people.  I wish somebody would write an op-ed to the local papers in St. Louis....

      ecosystem services

  •  Thank you for this diary (5+ / 0-)

    I have family that lives there and I am really worried about them.

    However, the media is not ignoring this. If you Google "midwest floods" there are a stream of news reports from all outlets. The only place that seems to be ignoring this are the political blogs.

    "how many times do we have to learn that tough talk is not a substitute for sound judgment?" - Senator Obama

    by moviemeister76 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 01:49:00 PM PDT

  •  Mother Nature Missed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The place that needed the water was on the other side of the mountains!  

    North Carolina is still in a drought from last summer and we are still on level 2 water restrictions. I just bought 2 rain barrels and I may have to buy a third even though I know that I still won't have enough this summer for my garden and my flowers.

  •  I guess when natural disasters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, greenearth, Johnny Rapture

    become common place they are no longer news worthy. I suppose if you want to get on the news these days you have to one up the previous episode of human misery.

    Good luck to everyone in harms way, hope you get back on your feet soon.

    "We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

    by Grass on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 01:57:59 PM PDT

    •  Not enough grisly casualties..They need more (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JuliaAnn, Grass

      bodies scattered all over the landscape..Then the MSM would be there like bees drawn to honey..We all slow down at traffic accidents..Its a shame but true..Good News doesnt sell papers or ad air time..

      "Better a little late, than a little never"..Doctor Julian Winston

      by Johnny Rapture on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 04:18:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thought the Missouri floods were getting (4+ / 0-)

    some significant coverage. I'm here so I notice maybe more than other people.  On Friday, every time I looked at Yahoo's latest news it was listed as a news story.

    The truth is that flooding happens when you live around midwestern rivers.  The levee system needs to be attended to and some areas that people want to levee should be left as flood plains. There needs to be better planning.  

    But there is always going to be flooding because we're talking about a HUGE watershed all draining toward the Mississippi.  And the rivers are hgighways here - they move grain etc through the country.  So towns have grown up along them not just because they are scenic but because the rivers provided jobs.  Even today rivers like the Meramec provide recreational jobs.  

    And lets keep it in perspective.  The flooding along the Meramec hasn't been this bad since 1982.  So it's not like it's this bad EVERY year.   I remember my dad sandbagging in 1982.  My sister went out to help sandbag last Friday.  It's kind of a fact of life around here.

    I agree with Digby: This election is worse than being stuck in seventh grade for the rest of your life. Jesus H Christ.

    by maryb2004 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 02:01:41 PM PDT

  •  Not In The News? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, skohayes

    I think this is what you call "spring in the Midwest." Doesn't happen every year, of course, but this was a record year for snowfall, and it melts.

  •  I'd say the fault lies with you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I knew about, was able to follow it, and saw and read plenty of coverage. All of it on, gasp, American media.

    Do you mean to tell me that the American press corps would ignore a natural disaster; it's way too photogenic.

    I don't know from which sources or from which sections of those sources you get your news, but it sounds to me like you should broaden your horizons.

    The Iraq war cost another $48,000 in the time it took you to read this sentence. - QT

    by kafkaesque on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 02:46:42 PM PDT

  •  Here are my photos from the last 4 days (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I live just north of the I-40/141 intersection.  I just happened to take the week off.  So part of my time was walking down to the flood.  Sorry for no specific locations, they were meant for me to document my experiences.  Enjoy.

    About 9AM on the 20th

    About 6PM on the 20th

    About 10am on the 21st

    About noon on the 22nd

    •  Good pics (0+ / 0-)

      My sister was out on Friday helping to sandbag.  I have some friends who live just south of the I-44/141 intersection - up on top of the hills so they are safe and dry.  But not able to get anywhere easily.  

      I agree with Digby: This election is worse than being stuck in seventh grade for the rest of your life. Jesus H Christ.

      by maryb2004 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 04:08:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  MSNBC and CNN lots of coverage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It was big news on the corporate media yesterday. Maybe TV likes the pictures more than print.  

    My last sig was forced into retirement. The position is open.

    by MakeChessNotWar on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 03:03:32 PM PDT

  •  Spring floods happen every year (0+ / 0-)

    We're pretty insulated nowadays, but bad spring and late-winter floods used to be an annual happening.

    This isn't so much news, as "olds"- as in stuff that regularly happens.

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