How has flood control and response changed over time? What technologies have we gained to predict, respond and notify people of flood events?
Native global flood stories are documented as history or legend in almost every region on earth. Old world missionaries reported their amazement at finding remote tribes already possessing legends with tremendous similarities to the Bible's accounts of the worldwide flood. H.S. Bellamy in Moons, Myths and Men estimates that altogether there are over 500 Flood legends worldwide. Ancient civilizations such as (China, Babylonia, Wales, Russia, India, America, Hawaii, Scandinavia, Sumatra, Peru, and Polynesia) all have their own versions of a giant flood.These flood tales are frequently linked by common elements that parallel the Biblical account including the warning of the coming flood, the construction of a boat in advance, the storage of animals, the inclusion of family, and the release of birds to determine if the water level had subsided. The overwhelming consistency among flood legends found in distant parts of the globe indicates they were derived from the same origin (the Bible's record), but oral transcription has changed the details through time.Perhaps the second most important historical account of a global flood can be found in a Babylonian flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh. When the Biblical and Babylonian accounts are compared, a number of outstanding similarities are found that leave no doubt these stories are rooted in the same event or oral tradition.
Highest point Mt. Elbert in Colorado over 14,000 feet to 400 feet at the mouth of the Missouri River
The history of United States Army Corps of Engineers can be traced back to 16 June 1775, when the Continental Congress organized an army with a chief engineer and two assistants.ColonelRichard Gridley became General George Washington's first chief engineer; however, it was not until 1779 that Congress created a separate Corps of Engineers. One of its first tasks was to build fortifications near Boston at Bunker Hill. The first Corps was mostly composed of French subjects, who had been hired by General Washington from the service of Louis XVI.The Corps of Engineers as it is known today came into being on 16 March 1802, when President Thomas Jefferson was authorized to "organize and establish a Corps of Engineers ... that the said Corps ... shall be stationed at West Point in the State of New York and shall constitute a Military Academy." Until 1866, the superintendent of the United States Military Academy was always an engineer officer. During the first half of the 19th century, West Point was the major and, for a while, the only engineering school in the country. The Corps's authority over river works in the United States began with its fortification of New Orleans after the War of 1812.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 34,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency. Although generally associated with dams, canals and flood protection in the United States, USACE is involved in a wide range of public works support to the nation and the Department of Defense throughout the world. The Corps of Engineers provides outdoor recreation opportunities to the public, and provides 24% of U.S. hydropower capacity.The Corps' mission is to provide vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen the nation's security, energize the economy, and reduce risks from disasters.Their most visible missions include:Planning, designing, building, and operating locks and dams. Other civil engineering projects include flood control, beach nourishment, and dredging for waterway navigation.Design and construction of flood protection systems through various federal mandates (see Public Laws below).Design and construction management of military facilities for the Army and Air Force and other Defense and Federal agencies.Environmental regulation and ecosystem restoration.The Corps' vision is having a great engineering force of highly disciplined people working with partners through disciplined thought and action to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions to the nation's engineering challenges.
The Pick-Sloan Flood Control Act of 1944 (P.L. 78–534), enacted in the 2nd session of the 78th Congress, is U.S. legislation that authorized the construction of thousands of dams and levees across the United States. It led to the establishment of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program.The Pick-Sloan legislation managed the Missouri River with six intents: hydropower, recreation, water supply, navigation, flood control and fish and wildlife. Over 50 dams and lakes have been built due to this legislation, not just on the mainly affected river but also on tributaries and other connected rivers. Nebraska, as an example, has seen more than eight new lakes created due to the damming of the Missouri and tributaries.The Act was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on December 22, 1944. It was named for General Lewis A. Pick, head of the Army Corps of Engineers, and W. Glenn Sloan of the Interior Department's Bureau of Reclamation.
Many point to the Corps losing sight of the most important role of the Missouri Basin Project, Flood Control. In this revised copy of the master manual, the first addendum on the inside cover is recognition of the pallid sturgeon and how important it is to change the flow schedule to accommodate this species.
At the height of levee construction, 2K trucks a day were bringing in fill dirt
Top Left: Levee behind Dakota Dunes Country ClubTop Right: 2nd levee above PinehurstBottom Left: Levee behind SpyglassBottom Right: Collection pond in east side of CC are to control water levels on the dry-side of levee
Helicopters flew heli-bags (2 ton sandbags) in and dropped them in placeGenerators used to power “Gator” pumpsPressure release tubes used to reduce the swelling (Boils) on the dry side of the levee
The advances made in technology have brought the number of deaths down by providing early warning systems that reach more people quickly. Fatser reaction time is not the only product. The ability to examine the actions by government agencies increases oversight.The postwar period has brought tremendous changes. Radio, television, and other forms of mass communication allow people from all parts of the globe to be in touch with one another. An information explosion and the growth of technology has led to the need for well-educated people in the workplace. Major social changes have occurred as more and more women work outside the home. As nations industrialize, more people live in urban areas. Social and economic changes have upset traditional ways of life in many nations and contributed to social problems such as crime, the breakdown of the family, and drug abuse. Today, people are searching for solutions and are seeking a balance between the ways of life that worked in the past and the needs of today's rapidly changing world.
Since the 1960s, many people have become concerned about the environment. The use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers as well as the wastes produced by factories have contributed to the problem of polluted air, water, and soil. Both developing and industrialized nations face the difficult decision of how to produce enough for their people while preventing the destruction of the environment. Many problems of the environment are linked to the world's energy needs. To meet their needs, nations are rapidly using up oil, coal, and wood&emdash;non-renewable energy sources. Today, scientists are looking at alternative energy sources such as solar, water, and nuclear power.
Today, the nations of the world are more closely tied than ever before. Economic events in one region, such as OPEC's decision to raise oil prices in the 1970s, affect people around the world. The debt crisis of the 1980s, for example, showed the interdependence of Third World debtor nations and creditor banks in developed nations. Rich and poor nations. The gap between rich and poor nations is growing. Although rich nations have provided aid and technical assistance to Third World nations, the developing nations face many obstacles in their drive to modernize. The population explosion, inflation, natural disasters, poor planning, and even government corruption have upset the development plans of many Third World nations. Some progress has been made in increasing food production. Researchers developed new high-yield crops as well as disease- and droughtresistant crops. The new crops resulted in the "Green Revolution," whereby farmers doubled or tripled the amount of food produced on the same amount of land.
Issues in a Modern World: Flooding
Dakota Valley ClassIssuesin a Modern World: Flooding<br />Response and Responsibility: Perspective on the Missouri River Flood<br />
Flooding in Ancient Times<br /><ul><li>Global Flood Event 3000 BC</li></ul>A Major global paleoclimaticevent appears to have affected <br />sea-level changes, vegetation and much surface chemistry. <br />Similarities in Flood Legends<br />Flood<br />Warning<br />Arc<br />Animals and vegetation saved<br />Over 500 legends worldwide<br />Mostly Oral accounts <br />Gilgamesh and Hebrew Bible most commonly known<br />
Floods in Modern History<br />China, 1887The worst flood in "modern history" happened in China in 1887. The Yellow River overflowed, causing the death of about 900,000 people<br />Vietnam, 1971Red River flood flood leaves about 100,000 dead.<br />Bangladesh, 1991Flooding again took its toll on this nation. About 139,000 lost their lives.<br />Ohio “Super Flood”, 1937<br />Catalyst for Flood Control Act of 1937<br />Mississippi River, 199328 deaths, $20 billion in damages<br />
Corp of Engineers<br />Early History<br />June 16, 1775 Continental Congress hired engineer as part of the first organized army under General George Washington<br />1779 Congress created Corps of Engineers<br />1802 President Thomas Jefferson established the modern form of the Corps of Engineers<br />
Corps of Engineers Mission<br />Planning, designing, building and operation of locks and dams<br />Flood Control, dredging for water navigation<br />Design and construction of military facilities<br />Environmental regulation and ecosystem restoration<br />
Pick Sloan Flood Control Act of 1944 <br />Authorized construction of thousands of dams and levees across the United States<br />Six Intents of Legislation<br />Flood Control<br />Hydropower<br />Recreation<br />Water Supply<br />Navigation<br />Fish and wildlife<br />
Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program<br />Fort Peck Dam<br />Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea<br />Oahe Dam<br />Big Bend Dam<br />Fort Randall Dam<br />Gavins Point Dam and Lewis and Clark Lake<br />
Changing Forms of Communication<br />Dissemination of Information<br />Use of new media to isolate problem<br />Easy information disbursement<br />Examination of Corps Procedures<br />Freedom of Information Act<br />Review Emails, Watershed data, rainfall models<br />
Changes in Flood Control<br />Ancient times mainly reacted<br />Pre-Modern built levees and chose locations<br />Modern<br />Industrial Age brought dam projects<br />Uses dams to create<br />Electricity<br />Recreation<br />Navigation<br />Cities created problem of excess runoff<br />
Modern World Issues<br />Environment<br />How does construction of dams affect the environment and ecology of a region<br />Globalization<br />How does the destruction caused by a flood in the Midwest United States affect the food prices in South America<br />