Louisiana has a long history of major floods. These are driven by Mississippi River floods, extreme rainfall events, and hurricane surge. There was a heavy rain event in March 2016 in the Shreveport area with major flooding. The Amite River Basin Flood Tracking Chart shows the history of flooding on Amite River, which is the major watershed draining this area. More than 30 years, a major rain event flooded much of the same area as the August 2016 flood. The 1983 flood was not as deep and did not flood as many houses, but was a harbinger of the August 2016 flood. The key question is whether the August 2016 flood was due to a freak rainstorm and could not have been anticipated, or whether it was largely foreseeable due to changes since the 1983 flood.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is proposing to amend 44 CFR part 9 “Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands” and issue a supplementary policy to implement the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) that was established by Executive Order 13690.
The mayor of Walker, a small town near Baton Rouge that flooded in the August 2016 flood, wants to sue the State of Louisiana for flooding caused by the recent expansion of federal highway I12. (While the Federal Department of Transportation funds highway construction, the designed and construction is done by the state and its contractors.) A class action lawsuit was filed against the State after the 1983 flood, alleging that a different stretch of I12 blocked the drainage for a group of homeowners and caused them to flood. The plaintiffs were successful and won a sizable verdict against the state. Unfortunately, in Louisiana, there is no way to enforce a state court judgment against the State, so the plaintiffs were never able to collect the judgment.
This document is a compilation of flood resistant provisions, prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), of the 2015 I-Codes (IBC, IRC, IEBC, IMC, IPC, IFGC, IFC, ISPSC, IPSDC, ICC-PC). Also included, as a separate document, is a summary of changes from the 2012 I-Codes.
General References on the 1% (100-year) flood standard:
See Also: What is a 100/500/1000-Year Flood Event?
This started the 100 year rain event system. Although it was never intended to be about flooding, the notion of a 100 year event was later incorporated into the NFIP when it was passed in 1968.
The record of Mississippi River floods goes back to the earliest explorers: High Flows and Flood History on the Lower Mississippi River Below Red River Landing, LA (1543 – Present) and the paleoclimate records show megafloods greatly exceeding even the 1927 flood: , , and (1999), Marine evidence for episodic Holocene megafloods in North America and the northern Gulf of Mexico, Paleoceanography, 14(4), 498–510, doi:10.1029/1999PA900017; and Tripsanas, E.K. et al., 2013. Paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic implications of enhanced Holocene discharge from the Mississippi River based on the sedimentology and geochemistry of a deep core (JPC-26) from the Gulf of Mexico. Palaios, 28(9), pp.623–636.
This is a project to develop off-shore wind off Cape Cod. It’s relevance to the Louisiana Coast is that the appeals court ruled that the EIS was incomplete because there was not sufficient geological information about the sea bottom and whether it could support the structures.
Chris McLindon, Causes of Accelerated Wetlands Loss in the Late 20th Century – Southeast Louisiana (2016)
Kolker et al. (2011) found a tight coupling between patterns of land loss measured in the Barataria Basin by Couvillion et al. (2011) and their interpretation of subsidence from the historical record of the Grand Isle tidal gauge.
Damage from hurricanes is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades because of the effects of climate change and coastal development. In turn, potential requests for federal relief and recovery efforts will increase as well.
GMACCC Publishes “Climate Change & Security In South Asia: Cooperating For Peace”
A GMACCC report published on 31 May 2016 warns that a recent drought in India which has affected over 330 million people – causing displacement and threatening farms –is just the first hint of how climate change could destabilise the South Asian region, unless steps are taken to address the threat posed by a warming, resource-scarce world.