Wildfires, Power Outages, Now Flooding?
November 4, 2019
Source: USA Today
Californians have recently endured the dual hardships of wildfires and mass power outages meant to prevent them, not always effectively.
Now comes word that desert communities in the Golden State could be at risk of flooding.
What’s next, locusts and pestilence?
Well, it’s not quite that dire, but a recent decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers serves as a reminder that everyone is at the mercy of Mother Nature, and preventive measures can go a long way toward sparing life and property.
Here are five questions addressing a new risk that most Californians didn’t even know existed:
What did the U.S. Army Corps do?
It switched the Dam Safety Action Classification of the Mojave River Dam from low to high urgency of action, meaning steps must be taken to safeguard communities close to the river – such as Hesperia, Apple Valley, Victorville and Barstow – from flood hazards.
A recent risk assessment determined that, in an extreme weather event, water could flow over the nearly 50-year-old dam and it could breach, endangering 16,000 residents downstream and property valued at $1.5 billion. Floodwaters could reach as far as Baker, more than 140 miles away.
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