Flood Facts From Four Ferocious Floods: Part Two

Ferocious floods cannot really be stopped and that’s what makes them so scary. If you haven’t read Flood Facts From Four Ferocious Floods: Part One, follow the link, because this is part two.

Venezuela Coast Continued…

Out of the 30,000 people who died, only 1000 bodies were ever found. The rest disappeared into the water. 150,000 people lost their homes when Los Corales was washed away. What an absolutely awful and ferocious flood.

1.9 million cubic yards of debris was swept to the bottom of the slopes and in

places it was up to 30 feet deep. The flood created a new coastline extending an additional hundreds of feet out into the sea.

Flash floods like this may only happen once every century. Slow rising floods can be just as scary and happen every year. 

Slow rising floods can take days to develop and are much more predictable than flash floods, but that doesn’t make them not ferocious floods. 

Because there is no way to stop them once they start.

The Mississippi

Every Spring the Mississippi river rises until the riverbanks can no longer contain it.

In 2008, heavy rains caused the Mississippi to rise more than 14 feet above normal. The river and its tributaries jumped their banks and spread out to their flood plain.

Most people made it out. Damage to property, crops and livestock totaled $2.56 billion dollars. 

Water spread over eastern Iowa at a rate of filling 1 ½ Olympic swimming pools every second. Once it reached Cedar Rapids, the water took over 9 square miles of the city.

It surrounded 1300 city blocks in Cedar Rapids. It took out highways and railroad bridges and wrecked more than 5000 homes. What an addition to crazy, ferocious floods.

The Mississippi is the largest river in the US. It fans out into a Delta and the city in the middle is New Orleans. In 1927 the river bursts its banks and killed 500 people and submerged nearly one million homes. 

The most impoverished area of the city is the 9th ward. Levees were blown up with dynamite previously to prevent flooding elsewhere in the city. 

A new elaborate system of dikes and levees was built to protect the city. But river water isn’t the only threat to New Orleans. 

Storm surges from hurricanes slam into the coast and this city is more vulnerable to those floods because the surrounding wetlands have started to dry up and shrink.

Currently, 80% of New Orleans is below sea level. The lower 9th ward is on the east end on New Orleans and the only thing protecting the residents from the water is a wall. 

In August 2005 Hurricane Katrina and its ferocious floods tested the dikes and canals protecting the city as it pushed a 12 foot storm surge up the Mississippi Delta. One of those canals channeled water straight toward the 9th ward.

Water from the hurricane storm surge was beginning to lap up over the flood walls. As water began running over the flood walls it also eroded the foundations and the lower 9th ward was filled up.

Tennessee street was two blocks from the storm surge wall, and after the hurricane, it was under 18 feet of water.

A total of 50 flood defenses were overwhelmed and failed along with the one in the 9th ward. Over 700 people died and 370,000 were left homeless. 

With an estimated $80 billion dollars of damage, it’s become the most costly flood in recorded history.

These are such sad endings to such ferocious floods. What do you think?