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Still Waiting For The Worst

The New Orleans Times-Picayune uses tags on its stories so this link will provide a listing to all of them.

Two stories caught my eye:

Mississippi River shooting through Bonnet Carre Spillway faster than expected

Even though only 330 of its 350 bays are open, an estimated 316,000 cubic feet of water per second is passing through the control structure, more than the structure’s rated capacity of 250,000 cfs, spillway manager Chris Brantley said Monday.

They are watching the side levees for signs of weakness caused by the faster than rated flow. If there is a failure, things will get complicated very quickly as the water pressure will sweep out a major hole.

Meanwhile from over at the Morganza Spillway – Mississippi River flooding threat brings out one town’s Cajun ingenuity

STEPHENSVILLE – A drive through this low-lying town surrounded by water provided a lesson in Cajun ingenuity Monday as residents floodproofed their homes against Mississippi River floodwaters rushing down the Atchafalaya basin from the Morganza Floodway.

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May 16, 2011   7 Comments

Beginning of the End In Sight

The CBC reports that the Assiniboine River flood crest in sight

The worst of Manitoba’s flooding could soon be over as the Assiniboine River is cresting in Brandon and set to peak at the dike breach point on Tuesday.

But it will be weeks, if not months, before things return to normal.

Brandon Mayor Shari Decter Hirst said the high water levels are expected to last for quite while, which means people forced from their homes could be displaced for some time yet.

A commenter pointed out that one of the reasons for increased flooding has been the leveling of the land to facilitate large mechanized farms. The small variations and natural retention areas have been eliminated to facilitate huge farms, and the result is more and faster run-off.

Add to that the levees to eliminate minor flooding and the result is more water in the major rivers, so that even minor increases in seasonal rains cause major problems.

May 16, 2011   Comments Off on Beginning of the End In Sight

Quelle Surprise?

The Captain Louis Renault Award to the media for being “Shocked, shocked I tell you” that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. They have been acting like this was without precedent in his life … and then someone started looking back at the record to find that this is definitely not the first time he has been involved in something that may have been a good deal more serious than what was reported.

[Update below the fold.]

IMF chief may face new sex charge

IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s troubles are mounting, 24 hours after he was charged with attacking and attempting to rape a hotel maid.

Mr Strauss-Kahn, who is set to appear at a New York court on Monday morning, denies the charges.

His court hearing was delayed to allow forensic tests to be carried out.

Now French writer Tristane Banon, 31, has indicated she is considering filing a complaint of sexual assault over a 2002 incident, her lawyer says.

Ms Banon’s mother, Anne Mansouret, herself a politician from Mr Strauss-Kahn’s centre-left Socialist Party, said she persuaded her daughter not to file a complaint at the time.

“I just want to say that the only reason she didn’t press charges at the time is because I convinced her not to, because I thought it was better for her,” Ms Mansouret told French state TV.

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May 16, 2011   10 Comments

Fire and Flood

FireWhile Manitoba is dealing with the floods along the Assiniboine River, just east of the Rocky Mountains, Canada’s problem is wildfires. The CBC reports that Slave Lake firefighters struggle to save town

Provincial officials say 40 per cent of the town of Slave Lake, Alta., has been destroyed or damaged by wildfires which swept into the community with little warning Sunday night, forcing thousands to flee their homes.

Most the destruction happened in the southwestern section of town, said Alberta Municipal Affairs spokesperson John Muir, where half the homes were consumed by flames.

The town’s mall, town hall and many downtown businesses were all destroyed, though the hospital and the town’s schools look to be safe, he said.

The fire is still considered out of control.

Being a real news organization they provide a Map.

Alberta runs north of Montana on the East side of the Continental Divide. The town in on the Lesser Slave Lake, not the Great Slave Lake. As usual, low humidity coupled with high, gusty winds pushes even small initial fires out of control on the prairies.

May 16, 2011   Comments Off on Fire and Flood