Floods have occurred in Houston, Detroit, St. Louis and eastern Kentucky. President Biden vowed to provide ample federal resources and promised a return trip to gauge progress on efforts to rebuild. But the United States isn’t alone in the devastation caused by these extraordinary deluges. Mayors everywhere have urged citizens to play a role by clearing catch basins of debris and moving cars out of the way of drains. Solutions include building sponge cities, popular in China, where rainwater is repurposed for irrigation and to flush toilets. In Seoul, the gleaming streets of Asia’s most prosperous capitals, were engulfed by floods. Nine people died, the Han River overflowed, cars were stranded across the city, and nearly 800
In New Orleans, urban flooding is an almost daily challenge, due in part to the city’s low geography. While hurricanes have stayed away this season, locals tell me they can’t remember a summer with more thunderstorms. We urgently need to expand on current countermeasures against flooding and pioneer new ones.