Friday, August 11, 2017


Miami and New Orleans were both recently flooded by heavy rains. Miami is barely above sea level, the limestone it's built on is porous, and parts of the city flood every time there's a high tide. New Orleans could be flooded just by turning the pumps off. If I had a job that required I live in either of those cities, I'd live on a boat.

You don't have to live in a coastal city to have flooding issues. Our cities are built to handle normal weather. A “100 year flood,” is one of those things they don't build for. The only problem is that those “100 year floods,” seem to come around every three or four years.

My state of NH did a study where they discovered that our rain events were becoming more intense. Storms drop a lot more water in a shorter period of time. They've quietly been making improvements like digging drainage ditches deeper and replacing small culverts with much larger ones.

I live 1000 feet above sea level. If I'm ever flooded out, it would have to be a civilization ending event of Biblical proportions. That doesn't mean I'm not affected by flooding. Some years it's been impossible to get into town because all the roads were washed out.

The last thing you want to do is to drive through a flooded area. It might look like there's only six inches of water on the road. However, that water may be hiding the fact a 6 foot culvert is completely washed out. People also tend to underestimate the power of flowing water. Water is heavy and can easily push cars and even large trucks around.

You also want to avoid wading in flood water if you can. There's the threat of being injured on submerged debris, but that's just the start of your worries. Sewage treatment plants, septic systems, chemical storage areas, gas stations, and other places with hazardous chemicals get flooded. Flood waters are a mix of infectious toxic sludge.

There are some problems with flooding that many people don't think about. One of major problems is that while there is water everywhere, none if it is fit to drink. Most people rely on water treatment plants for the their water. When those get flooded you are out of luck. Have a decent backup supply. Water filters are good, but they may not be able to handle the bacteria, virus, and chemical loads in the flood water.

Another issue is fire. Seems counter intuitive, I know. Think about it, flood water can short out electrical systems causing fires. People who lose power may set their house on fire by using candles and camp stoves. Due to the flooding, small fires become large ones because the fire department cannot respond.

Make sure you have water and food. Practice fire safety. Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere. Even Noah's flood eventually drained away. Of course, Noah wasn't in New Orleans.



  1. Here one has to be prepared for ice storms. They don't happen often, but when they do the power can be out for days. I have jugs of water that I make sure are full at all times, 3 fireplaces and a wood stove. I think I can make it.

    1. Good planning. It's surprising how many people do not prepare for things that everyone knows happens in their area.

  2. Off subject but here is why your Nabors are so friendly .

    1. We sell an awful lot of Beer to out of state buyers, but my fellow NH residents do their share. Something has to be done to get through the long winters.