Sunday, May 8, 2011

GREAT DELUGE: The 500 Year Flood - Epic And Historic Proportions!

As engineers blasted a third section of a Missouri levee in a bid to manage flooding along the Mississippi and other rivers, Memphis residents prepared for flooding there that could last through all of May. Another section of the Mississippi River levee is to be breached for the third time to relieve a flood threat in six US states. According to the Associated Press, US engineers and officials are planning the blast on the Birds Point levee with the hope of diverting the flood waters for 35 miles (56 km) before they return to the Mississippi River in the town on New Madrid, as six US states are either bracing for or already reporting record flooding.

"MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Mississippi River continues to rise, so much so that its tributaries are starting to flow backwards. At Tom Lee Park, preps for Memphis in May continue knowing that the worst is still yet to come. It's a site not often seen; the Wolf River and Nonconnah Creek are flowing backwards. The swelling river cannot take on much more water. Gene Rench with the National Weather Service said all eyes are on the Mississippi. The tributaries flowing backwards are a big problem for the adjacent communities. "Right now the Mississippi river is in the process of going through what we call an epic flood, meaning it's more than historic, it's more than a 100 year flood, it's more like a 500 year flood," he said. "We could flood many homes, businesses, close down factories, people could drown." The river is more than two feet past flood stage; it rose two feet in the 24 hours following the storms. It's expected to crest at 45 feet around May 10th, right when Barbecue Festival teams are setting up their tents. Memphis in May's Diane Hampton said they can deal with the forecasted 45 foot river. "At that point Tom Lee Park is not underwater; it's very close, but it's not flooded." - MyFoxMemphis.
It's some of the worst flooding residents along the Mississippi River in Tennessee can remember. The river is back on the rise and those who live in the region are facing the difficult decision of staying or evacuating.
Thousands of people are being warned to prepare for the worst tonight as the Mississippi River swells to historic flood levels. Heavy rain is pushing the river's basin to its limits. That is forcing water into already swollen tributaries, and whereever else it can go. CBS News correspondent Mark Strassman reports that the city of Memphis is preparing for the surge, and many people in the Home of the Blues see their immediate future underwater. The city's mayor has pleaded for calm, however, and said this city possibly faced a "large-scale disaster."  Around Memphis, they're building a buffer, filling sandbags, raising levees near surging waters, and getting to higher ground. The Mississippi has become a menace. "It's just mind-boggling to see it," said Bill and Amanda Adair, flood evacuees. North of Memphis, Kathy Lineberry showed a photo explaining why her family's living in a camper: Their home sits in ten feet of floodwater - water that travelled four miles inland. What's next? We've never had anything like this. We've lost crops to the water. We've never lost a house," Lineberry said. At the Dyer County Fairgrounds, a dozen families live in campers. They all lost a house. "It's bad, bad for everybody. Some of us lost it all," said Keith Ables, flood victim. Things could get much worse. - CBS.

Already at its highest level ever, Lake Champlain surpassed flood stage by 3 feet Friday, leaving hundreds of homes destroyed or damaged in a slowly unfolding catastrophe on island communities and the New York and Vermont sides of the 120-mile-long lake.

Teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be in Vermont on Tuesday to begin assessing damage, said spokesman Dennis Pinkham. Authorities said it could be weeks before floodwaters, which took weeks to hit current levels, recede. "I had a guy from the state tell me that this was the slowest disaster he's ever seen," Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day told the Press-Republican newspaper of Plattsburgh, N.Y., where about 100 residents of an apartment complex evacuated Friday. The two major east-west roads that link the Vermont island county of Grand Isle to the mainland remained open but were water-covered, according to Gov. Peter Shumlin, who wouldn't rule out mandatory evacuations but said they aren't necessary yet. Shumlin toured the flooded area by helicopter this week and then declared the area a disaster, which allowed him to call up help from the Vermont National Guard. Soldiers have filled about 67,000 sandbags and provided high-water vehicles to help with recovery efforts. Maj. Gen. Michael Dubie, commander of the Vermont National Guard, said that 136 soldiers are available on four hours' notice if need be, and that another 350 could be made available on 24 hours' notice if the state requests it. Four to eight FEMA representatives, joined by Vermont Emergency Management officials, will tour the hardest-hit areas to do a preliminary assessment, Shumlin said. Typically, spring rains and snowmelt in Vermont pose a threat for river flooding. This year, it's the lake, fed by rivers and tributaries in the Adirondacks of New York state and the Green Mountains of Vermont. The lake, which separates upstate New York from Vermont and stretches into Canada, reached its highest level ever last week and has continued to rise. At 2 p.m. Friday, the level of the water at Burlington, Vermont's largest city, was 103.22 feet above sea level, down from 103.26 at 12:30 p.m. Flood stage is 100 feet. The state Health Department warned those in flood-stricken areas who use water from private wells to boil it before consuming. Anyone whose well was affected by flooding should bring their water to a rolling boil for one minute, or to use bottled water, or water from a known, safe source, they said. The precautions were recommended until flood waters ebb, the well has been disinfected, the bleach odor has worn off and a follow-up bacterial test find it safe. In Burlington, a city of 39,000 people where about 50 homes have been flooded, city officials announced the formation of a volunteer effort to help victims, coinciding with the state's annual Green Up Day on Saturday. Volunteers will gather at Leddy Park to fill sandbags that will be given to people in flooded neighborhoods. Lake Champlain empties into the Richelieu River, which flows northward through Quebec and flooded fields and homes along its length. The National Weather Service said Friday it was optimistic that the lake level would peak within 48 hours and begin to recede next week. But it won't happen quickly. "Historically, when we see it go up above flood stage, it usually takes 20 days per foot of drop," said Greg Hanson, a National Weather Service hydrologist in South Burlington. "So now, we're at 103 feet (above sea level), which would be 60 days. If we don't get any rain, we can fall faster than that. If we get some rain, it'll certainly be slower." "It takes a long time for it to go back." - Winston Salem Journal.

Speaking of Quebec in Canada, the  province along with Manitoba, are facing flood emergencies.

At least 700 military personnel are in south-eastern Quebec to provide assistance with evacuations, sandbagging, and finding shelters for people forced from their homes. The Richelieu River has reached record high levels and burst its banks in several places. At least 3,000 homes have been affected with a third of them evacuated. Farms and roads in the region have been washed out after the melting of an unusually heavy snowpack, combined with a week of rain. Meanwhile in Manitoba, officials are scrambling to raise several dykes after learning that an unreliable water gauge was reading low. The Assiniboine River is expected to rise by more than 30 centimetres in the next few days; rain is also forecast for the region. -

Across the world, in Indonesia, the deluge continues.

A flash flood swept through villages in the Indonesian province of West Java, killing at least nine people and damaged dozens of homes, media reports said Saturday, M&C reported. Hours of torrential rain caused rivers in the Garur district to overflow their banks and submerge thousands of homes, the online news portal said. Nine people were killed and thousands of residents were fleeing their homes for safety, other news reports said, adding that the floods were also collapsed many power lines. - Focus.

In a late report on Saturday, seventeen people were killed, two people went missing and four others suffered from injuries in flooding and landslides in West Java of Indonesia.
Yayah Suheryanto, senior official of disaster management and mitigation agency in West Java told Xinhua by phone that heavy rains was blamed for the landslide which occurred on Friday afternoon. The rain also cause flash floods, he said. "Searching for the missing person has been underway, involving rescue team and the local resident," he said. The disasters in Garut district also triggered scores of villagers to flee homes and took shelters at their relative's houses, said Sutopo, spokesman of the national disaster management and mitigation agency. "The disaster killed 17 people and wounded four others. Rescuers are searching two missing person now," he told Xinhua. The spokesman said that the local government had provide logistic, and heavy machinery equipment to help search the missing persons and to clean the area hit by the floods and landslides," he said. Indonesia has been frequently hit by landslide and floods due to lack of forest covered areas. The government has struggled to halt deforestation by planting trees. - Xinhua.
In Thailand, a state of widespread flooding where there is no apparent rainfall.

Floods caused to people in flooded homes were seventh district that does not rain all the villagers have to accelerate the transport of water to escape quickly. Expected to flow from the side, Nakhon Si Thammarat. Flooded conditions in spring Moo 1, Tambon Ban Na San district, Surat Thani at 08.30 am today (6 May) after the flood event along Chawang canal in the early morning of this day that. Rain in the area did not fall. But with various amounts of water to flow. The villagers in the area along the canal Chawang many households. To move assets away water, riotously It shocked with the incident. But the water flows faster and look away quickly. No longer trapped in the area. It affects people at home rather Expect the flow of water from Nakhon Si Thammarat. The rain in last 2 days the water flow down the canal into the lower branches. On the occasion Mr. Jirasak Sheriff seventh victory. Said that the incident occurred as the water from the mountain. Nakhon Si Thammarat and from the coast. The side and Kanchana. Along the Khao Luang, which in the past two days with heavy rain in the area of the water flowing down the streams into the canal Chawang. Before flowing into the sea to the river Tapi next The events are usually born during 2-3 consecutive rainy days when the heavy rains at the end of 53 years, it had been born once. And was born in this time. But this rain does not fall in the area. The water would come soon so quickly. Did not take long for 4 hours to drain out so it can not affect people much. - KrobKruakKao.

In Fiji, floods affected the low-lying areas in Rakiraki.

Continuous heavy rain from last night has resulted in the flooding of low-lying areas in Rakiraki. Qalau, Raiwasa, Naqoro Flats, Korotale and other feeder roads are under flood waters as the flood waters continue to rise. Meanwhile, the Nadi Weather Office has issued a flood warning for low-lying areas as a trough of low pressure lies slow moving over Fiji. Rain, heavy at times and squally thunderstorms over most places is expected. - Fiji Village.
In the Philippines, Negros Occidental flooding affects 3,000 families.

Flashfloods caused by heavy rains have affected more than 3,000 families in Negros Occidental province, authorities said on Wednesday. At least 50 families, whose homes were inundated by floodwaters, are now staying in evacuation centers in the city of Victorias and EB Magalona town. Heavy rains started pouring down on the province on Tuesday night. In Victorias, floods affected at least 1,400 families in 7 barangays while the homes and farms of around 2,000 families in EB Magalona are now under water. The local and provincial governments have started giving relief goods to flood victims. The affected families are expected to return home on Thursday, if the weather improves. - ABC-CBN.
In Malaysia, rainy spell causes flooding in low-lying areas. Dozens of houses in 10 villages was flooded yesterday, after heavy rains were overflowing rivers Seluang, Sungai Rambai and Sungai Batang Padang.

Many low-lying areas in Malay kampungs and several parts of Marudi town are under half-a-foot of water at least following continuous heavy downfall in the upper reaches of the Baram River, Tinjar and TutohApoh in the last few days. Kampung Narum, Kampung Dagang and Kampung Ridan are particularly flood-prone with most houses situated in low-lying areas. Many anxious dwellers of longhouses in Long Laput and nearby rushed home to check on the flood situation, Councillor Wan Lah who was in Marudi yesterday told The Borneo Post. Wan said several areas at Long Lama Bazaar were reportedly hit by the flood. The Borneo Post.
Stay tuned. More anon.