Let Flood Plains Do Their Job

By Faber, Scott | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), October 21, 1993 | Go to article overview

Let Flood Plains Do Their Job


Faber, Scott, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


People tend to measure flood relief by how quickly the checks are cut and the levees are rebuilt. But the true measure of the federal and state response to the Great Flood of 1993 will be how well the Midwest withstands the next flood. Will we spend billions of taxpayer dollars to simply return to the status quo? Or will we start to take long-overdue steps to move people and property out of harm's way?

The Mississippi River has sent us a very powerful message: that our reliance on short-sighted engineering solutions and our land management practices have made matters worse. Instead of allowing the river to fan out and take advantage of the natural flood control functions of flood plains, we have spent billions of dollars to force the river into ever-tighter channels, raising flood crests and creating a false sense of security that has encouraged flood-plain development.

More than three-fourths of the wetlands, which act as natural sponges, have been eliminated from the drainage basins of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers north of St. Louis since the late 1700s. It's no wonder that per capita flood losses were almost 2.5 times as great between 1951 to 1985 as they were between 1916 and 1950, after adjusting for inflation.

Even people in the Midwest, whose close ties to the land along the river's edge make moving seem unimaginable, have begun to question their faith in our structural flood control solutions. They are beginning to realize that even the best levees, dams and dikes can only provide a limited level of protection. Many of the private or locally built levees provide an even lower level of protection, as many are poorly designed or maintained. Over time, a levee's history - and its protective limitations - are easily forgotten.

While historic, the Great Flood of 1993 may ultimately be remembered as the disaster that reversed more than 100 years of faulty flood control policy.

Already, more than 50 communities have taken the first steps to partially or totally relocate from the flood plain. That so many of the region's river dwellers should be willing to pull up stakes is unprecedented.

Conservation groups like American Rivers do not think the government should tell people that they have to leave their homes. But those people who want to pursue non-structural alternatives to levees like relocation and wetlands restoration should be able to make real choices. These options not only reduce long-term risks from flooding, they also reduce the long-term flood relief burden on the taxpayer. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Let Flood Plains Do Their Job
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.