Is Midwestern Flood Damage Worse than It Needed to Be?
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This year's Midwest rainfall and flooding is the worst since 1993, which was the worst in living memory up until then. Has recent development guaranteed that the devastation will be more extensive than it needed to be? We update the damage and economic consequences that will be worldwide. Is the region ready for the challenges of global warming? Also, in London, Bush gets agreement on tougher sanctions on Iran; and California courts, the voters and same-sex marriage.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
In London, Bush Gets Agreement on Tougher Sanctions on Iran ()
In London today, after talks with President Bush, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Britain will freeze the assets of the biggest bank in Iran. He also promised to increase British troops in Afghanistan. Daniel Dombey is the diplomatic correspondent for the Financial Times.
Is the Deluge in Iowa Worse than It Needed to Be? ()
This weekend's newscasts and front pages were full of pictures dramatizing the damage from record rainfall and massive flooding, especially in Iowa. The area covered is smaller than it was in 1993--the worst such period in living memory, but the damage could end up being even worse. Midwestern farming has been a bright spot in a declining economy, but record rainfall and massive flooding are turning success into disaster. Widespread development on natural floodplains leaves less land to soak up excess water, which leads to big trouble downstream. When the levees are over-topped, those new developments are threatened with inundation. Have local and federal officials failed to learn the lessons of flooding in decades past? What will that mean in the future?
- Jim Keeney: Weather Program Manager, National Weather Service Central Region Headquarters
- Ernie Goss: Professor of Economics, Creighton University
- Tim Kusky: Director of the Center for Environmental Sciences, Saint Louis University
- Eric Halpin: Special Assistant for Dam and Levee Safety, US Army Corps of Engineers
- Larry Larson: Executive Director, Association of State Floodplain Managers
Gay Marriage Starts Today in California ()
Last month, the California Supreme Court declared a state ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, even though it was passed by the voters eight years ago. In California today, county clerks will be issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, who are expected to come here from all over the country. TV news vans are already surrounding San Francisco City Hall, where this afternoon, Mayor Gavin Newsom will marry a lesbian couple who’ve been together for more than 50 years. Bob Egelko covers the issue for the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Bob Egelko: Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle
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