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Australian Floods Move South

The southern state of Victoria is the latest site of the flooding caused by an extended period of heavy rains that have been plaguing eastern Australia since the end of November. The ground is soggy and can’t absorb the rains and nothing can absorb it when it falls at 100mm [4 inches] per hour, which has occurred several times.

There is what is being referred to as a Super La Niña condition in the Pacific west of Peru. It is both larger and warmer than the normal La Niña. The condition should have been in decline by now in normal years, but that hasn’t happened. The last time this occurred was in the mid-1970s, which also resulted in massive flooding in Australia.

The BBC reports that Thousands leave homes as floods hit Victoria

Thousands of people have fled their homes in Victoria as major flooding hits the southern Australian state.

The floods have already swamped some of the state’s northern towns and are threatening 1,400 homes in 43 others.

At least 18 people have lost their lives in Australia’s flood disaster so far. Dozens are still missing.

All the deaths were in the northern state of Queensland, where water levels have now largely receded and a major clean-up operation is now underway.

Victoria state officials said the flood is set to be one of the worst ever seen in the state.

Around 3,500 people have left their homes so far.

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January 16, 2011   2 Comments

Just Another SNAFU

Back in February, 2008 the Department of Homeland Security announced the successful test of a “virtual fence” along the border. For “only” $20 million it covered 28 miles of the border and did all kinds of wonderful things so they were going to expand the system.

That bit of euphoria lasted all of one week, when it was discovered that the project would cost more and take longer than “originally thought”. In other words. the people who won the contract, Boeing, were just kidding about the budgets for time and expenses. Nonetheless, the project went forward.

Until this week, just shy of three years and a billion dollars later, when we learn that the Homeland Security chief cancels costly virtual border fence.

You know, you could pay a lot of Border Patrol officers with a billion dollars.

January 16, 2011   8 Comments