The 2011 Mississippi River flood, which has broken records in some places, is creating steady destruction in America's midsection. Hurricanes tend to cause more financial damage, and flash floods typically take more lives. But overflowing rivers deliver a long, slow economic punch. Arkansas farmers have lost an estimated $500 million in crops to this year's flood. Mississippi homes and catfish farms – a leading industry – are threatened. In Louisiana, the diversion of water through a spillway to spare Baton Rouge and New Orleans still puts hundreds of homes, businesses, and chemical plants and oil refineries at risk. Total damages could run into the billions. Here's a look at five of the most expensive river floods in the US, according to estimates from the National Weather Service and historical accounts (reported in 2011 dollars):
Rescue crews and community members searching a square mile of muck for the 20 people still missing are contending with treacherous, and nearly impossible, conditions.
At Caddo Lake, in Texas, the paddlefish will return decades after it was almost completely wiped out. The fish will be closely tracked by scientists, researchers, and students as part of a broad collaboration attempting to revitalize a long-damaged ecosystem by changing the water releases from a nearby dam.
The US Army has made some impressive commitments to renewable energy, Daly writes, in an effort to procure reliable and locally generated energy sources.
Arch Coal and the EPA faced off in federal appeals court over agency's revoked permit for West Virginia coal mine. The case has several industries worried that the EPA could take back their permits retroactively under the Clean Water Act.