Category: Aquapocalypse

Sewage, fecal bacteria in Hurricane Harvey floodwaters – CNN

Austin-based Jennifer Walker, the water resources program manager at Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter, took time away from putting together evacuee kits with her sister to speak about what’s to come.
“Once the search and rescue is over, once they’ve explored the area and the floodwaters have receded, one of the things we actually really need to do is go out and figure out what we’re dealing with,” said Walker.
This includes thinking of all the different possibilities for “these chemicals and noxious things that are in pockets all over the Texas coast,” she said. “Where they went and where they could possibly land. We want to make sure our communities and our children are going to be safe.”
In parts of the city where there’s a higher concentration of chemical plants and refineries, there’s “obviously” a higher chance of contamination, said Walker. “But there are pipelines and conduits to move these substances all over Texas, frankly, but definitely on the Gulf Coast.”
“The obvious places to look would be around these chemical plants and the refineries,” said Walker. “But also the places where they use these chemicals. Paint and body shops, definitely, print shops, gas stations — they have tanks of gasoline underground, huge tanks of it — we always hear about dry cleaners, of course,” said Walker.
“Those kinds of businesses are all over the place,” said Walker, who noted that they also “have stringent rules in place for how they deal with and contain their chemicals — but this is a highly unusual situation.”
“My own father owns an auto repair place,” she said, adding that his business had containment systems, such as a retaining wall built around the containers holding antifreeze and other chemicals around it.
While there are different kinds of controls in place, “you also don’t expect 50 inches of rain and massive flooding,” said Walker.

What remains behind

Natural processes — including sunlight, oxygen and soil — will break some of the harmful organisms down, but testing is still needed.
“We need to know what we’re dealing with so we can know this stuff is going to break down in a month,” said Walker. “This stuff is going to be here for a long time and we need to put some barricades around it.”
“A lot of this is going to wash out into Galveston Bay and into our bays and estuaries where there’s incredible commercial and recreational fishery,” she said. “It’s not just people. There’s going to be a lot of wildlife impacted by this when all this stuff sweeps out into our bays and into Mexico.”
Sierra Club created a map to catalog a lot of the potential sources, said Walker. “That was us trying to wrap our arms around this problem and also trying to get this information to the public.”
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“I hope that we’re able to watch it and see what happens and be proactive and get some different testing done and see what we’re dealing with,” said Walker. “We don’t want to find out 10 years later that there is a problem and there was something we could have done.”

Source: Sewage, fecal bacteria in Hurricane Harvey floodwaters – CNN

As Dwight Chandler sipped beer and swept out the thick muck caked inside his devastated home, he worried whether Harvey’s floodwaters had also washed in pollution from the old acid pit just a couple blocks away.

Long a center of the nation’s petrochemical industry, the Houston metro area has more than a dozen Superfund sites, designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as being among America’s most intensely contaminated places. Many are now flooded, with the risk that waters were stirring dangerous sediment.

The Highlands Acid Pit site near Chandler’s home was filled in the 1950s with toxic sludge and sulfuric acid from oil and gas operations. Though 22,000 cubic yards of hazardous waste and soil were excavated from the acid pits in the 1980s, the site is still considered a potential threat to groundwater, and the EPA maintains monitoring wells there.


Source: AP EXCLUSIVE: Toxic waste sites flooded in Houston area – ABC News

Gas prices rise, North Carolina declares state of disaster over fuel shortage concerns from Harvey

Source: Gas prices rise, North Carolina declares state of disaster over fuel shortage concerns from Harvey |

Houston, Before and After Harvey – Video –

Officials act to protect downtown Houston from Harvey floods


Elderly Couple Rescued from Flooded Homem Dickinson, TX – CNN

Houston flooding expected to get worse before it gets better

CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann joins CBSN amid a lull in Tropical Storm Harvey. But officials say flooding is expected to get worse before it gets better.

A Look at Why Houston Floods | NBC Nightly News

Experts say the “bayou city” is so vulnerable to floods — not only because it is low-lying — because explosive growth in the metro area has added 25 percent more pavement in the last 15 years, repl…

Houston Orders First Evacuations, Days After It Told People to Stay for Harvey

Millions are trapped, with 10 more inches of rain expected. This morning, the residents of America’s fourth-largest city were finally told to get out.

AUSTIN, Texas — The first mandatory evacuations of the Houston area were ordered early Monday morning, four days after it was first clear Hurricane Harvey would drown America’s fourth-largest city.

What is now Tropical Storm Harvey dropped more than two feet of rain on Houston in 24 hours before a brief pause Sunday. The storm is expected to move back into the Gulf of Mexico, recharge, and dump more rain onto Houston by Wednesday. Fifty inches of rain are expected in some areas by the end of the week.



AFTERMATH: Hurricane Harvey Flood Houston Texas – Flooded In Corpus Christi TX 8/27/2017 • View topic - The Drowned World

The Drowned World by JG Ballard

Hat tip to semper occultus & seemslikeadream at Rigorous Intuition:

It’s a funny old world…….whilst California’s Drought Could Be the Worst in 500 Years a relentless Atlantic weather system deposits ever more rainfall into a totally saturated UK hydrological system – encroaching ever nearer to her Maj herself ensconced in her castle of darkness ….hence a sudden burst of army & navy personnel with sandbags near Windsor as the river level swells over the banks…. ImageFlooding nearby: Swans swim in sight of Windsor Castle where the river Thames has burst its banks in an area known as The Brocas in Eton, Berkshire

…and also effecting nearby Shepperton……

From above: Aerial view showing flooding covering Shepperton, Surrey. The Thames has hit record levels causing extensive flooding to parts of the South-East

…which is sort of resonant as Shepperton’s most notable resident was JG Ballard – author of the 60’s new wave sci-fi novel The Drowned World about survivors in a post apocalyptic submerged London…

Set in the year 2145 in a post-apocalyptic and unrecognisable London, ‘The Drowned World’ is a setting of tropical temperatures, flooding and accelerated evolution. Ballard’s story follows the biologist Dr Robert Kerans and his struggles against the devolutionary impulses of the environment.

Will Self on JG Ballard’s ‘The Drowned World’
JG Ballard’s recently reissued masterpiece, ‘The Drowned World’, shows him to be the most important British writer of the late 20th century, says Will Self.By Will Self / 7:00AM BST 31 Aug 2013London has been flooded many times. Until the late 19th century, and the construction of the Thames embankments as part of Joseph Bazalgette’s grand sewerage works, the high-water mark of the tidal river was an arbitrary dividing line between liquid and solid. All along the river’s banks there was a fretwork of jetties and inlets, and when the waters rose too high they would inundate the streets.

Even after the embanking, in 1928, a flood breached the parapets in Westminster and surged into the impoverished streets around Millbank, drowning 14 people. During the great North Sea floods of 1953, London was relatively unscathed – although in the East End, Canning Town went under the waters, while still further downriver Canvey Island was entirely inundated, with the loss of 58 lives. This event led directly to the construction of the present Thames Barrier, the centrepiece of which is a series of silver-cowled sluice gates ranging across the river between Silvertown and Charlton; structures that resemble – for all their obvious utility – sections of the Sydney Opera House, disarticulated and marooned on the riverbed.

The barrier was completed in the early Eighties, and since then has been employed with greater and greater frequency as combinations of storm surges and high equinoctial tides have threatened the city. Many believe these historically high water levels are a result of global warming, a climatologic phenomenon widely thought to be caused by human activity, specifically the release of so-called greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. But whatever the new, physical threat to London, the city has felt itself to be psychically vulnerable for centuries.

In his Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, published in 1841, Charles Mackay recounted the great panic of 1524. This followed the prophecies of numerous soothsayers and astrologers in the previous year, who all concurred that “on the first day of February… the waters of the Thames would swell to such a height as to overflow the whole city of London, and wash away ten thousand houses”.

According to Mackay the panic was both widespread and no respecter of class: “By the middle of January at least 20,000 persons had quitted the doomed city, leaving nothing but the bare walls of their homes to be swept away by the impending floods.” Among them was the prior of St Bartholomew’s, who “erected, at a very great expense, a sort of fortress at Harrow-on-the-Hill which he stocked with provisions for two months”.

In the event, of course, the deluge failed to materialise, and the shamefaced Londoners returned to the city, their anxiety converted into a rage that they would have vented on the erring Cassandras, were it not that “they asserted that, by an error (a very slight one) of a little figure, they had fixed the date of this awful inundation a whole century too early”. The inaccurate foretelling of the great flood was surely only a correlate of popular fears about the growth of the city itself: since the medieval period, London’s burgeoning size has been a cause of anxiety, uneasiness reflected in its purulent sobriquet “The Great Wen”.

The biblical root of this desire to sluice the streets of their infective inhabitants and so purify the city is obvious. In fiction, the inclination to flood London has remained perennial, reaching its modern apogee during the upsurge of scientific romances published in the last decades of the 19th century.

Richard Jefferies’s After London (1885) is a post-apocalyptic novel that foresees an England returned to a medieval level of social organisation and technological sophistication. The centre of the country is covered by a great lake, and the novel’s wayward protagonist, Felix, ventures over these waters and then into the miasmic swamps which now cover London. “During his advance into this region in the canoe he had in fact become slowly stupefied by the poisonous vapour he had inhaled. His mind was partly in abeyance; it acted, but only after some time had elapsed. He now at last began to realise his position; the finding of the heap of blackened money touched a chord of memory. These skeletons were the miserable relics of men who had ventured, in search of ancient treasures, into the deadly marshes over the sight of the mightiest city of former days. The deserted and utterly extinct city of London was under his feet.” ..cont… • View topic – The Drowned World


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