CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2010 |
With powerful storms expected to further soak hillside communities, crews worked Tuesday to remove muck and fallen trees from debris catch-basins perched in the fire-stripped mountains. The storms could test the aging Los Angeles County flood-control system, which was developed in 1915. The system usually works, steering flowing debris away from homes and into steel and concrete traps at the entrances of drainpipes. The concern now is that rainwater will gather in steep canyons and surge down slopes stripped of binding vegetation.
July 29, 2009
Re "Long Beach's barrier riff," July 24 As a surfer who began in Alamitos Bay in the late 1950s, I applaud the effort to reestablish waves in Long Beach. Before the breakwater, the "flood control" at the outlet of the Los Angeles River was a go-to south swell surf break. Ever since the breakwater, Long Beach has been primarily a surfing backwater whose lore is all about the past. Communities with waves cope with the natural ocean and, in turn, receive the beauty and allure and economic boost.
July 14, 2009 |
The boy knelt gracefully atop a floating wooden door like a surfer poised to catch a wave. But this was no blue ocean. He was paddling the putrid waters of the Malabon River, which stream through the dank factory lands and heartbroken shantytowns of metropolitan Manila like the discharge from an infected wound. Shirtless, his hands thrusting into the sickish brown ooze, the boy eased past a gnawed ear of corn, a red high-heeled shoe, a blackened banana peel and a bobbing onion.
March 27, 2009 |
As snow continued to fall Thursday across North Dakota's frozen plains, weary volunteers and frantic residents in Fargo scrambled to bolster the 12-mile-long man-made barrier that was holding back the Red River. Officials in the city of 90,000 also were busy preparing a plan to evacuate major sections of Fargo -- which they acknowledged would be difficult given the number of roadways being blocked by the rising water.
September 21, 2008 |
Helicopters were used to drop huge sandbags on a levee and a crew of prison inmates worked to create a makeshift dam Saturday as officials in the rural border city of Presidio braced for the possibility of more water being released from a Mexican reservoir. Work also began on an effort to save a weakened levee protecting the city from the Rio Grande. Workers planned to line a section of the levee with heavy plastic anchored by sandbags to keep water from leaking through. Officials in Presidio had expected a significant drop in the Rio Grande water level by Saturday evening after Mexican officials said they would reduce the amount of water being released from the Luis Leon Reservoir.
September 1, 2008 |
As Hurricane Gustav bore down Sunday on New Orleans, top officials at the Army Corps of Engineers said that despite repairs and reinforcements, the 350-mile levee system still might not be able to fully protect the city. The earth and concrete levees are stronger and higher than when Hurricane Katrina struck three years ago, but they would still be unable to resist a storm of the same size. "It all depends on the strength of the storm, in terms of wind speed, water surge and how fast the hurricane tracks," Maj. Gen. Don T. Riley, deputy chief of the corps, said in an interview.
September 1, 2008 |
The fearful weather reports about Hurricane Gustav did not persuade Sheila Moragas to leave Old Jefferson, a suburb just west of New Orleans. It was the 38-year-old mother's dwindling ranks of friends on the micro-blogging network Twitter. One by one, Twitterers with nicknames such as "HumidCity," "DomesticKitty" and "NOLADawn" left south Louisiana, live-blogging the building drama through text messages on their laptops, home computers and cellphones. At noon Sunday, Moragas, known as "NOLAnotes" on Twitter, decided to abandon the New Orleans area in advance of a hurricane for the second time in three years.
August 24, 2008 |
The Department of Defense will hire an independent engineering company to review allegations that pumps installed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina weren't adequately tested and could fail during a storm. Acting Inspector General Gordon Heddell said he has ordered his staff to begin work immediately on a contract to look at tests done before the Army Corps of Engineers installed the pumps, and at the pumps themselves. It was not clear how long that would take. "Based upon my review, and the need for public confidence in New Orleans' flood protection system, I have concluded that an outside opinion is warranted," Heddell wrote in a letter to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
July 6, 2008 |
The last of the Mississippi River navigational locks that were closed to barges because of flooding are back in business with the reopening of the locks in Clarksville and Winfield. Flooding on the Mississippi forced the Army Corps of Engineers to close the locks last month.
June 27, 2008 |
After the great floods of 1993 swamped this tiny town in eastern Iowa, Mike Luck begged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help protect it from future disasters. Corps officials responded that this community of fewer than 700 residents probably would have to chip in more than $1 million to help build the federally engineered levee system it sought, the former mayor recalled.