Other Cities Ignore Paris Floods At Their Own Peril

Other Cities Ignore Paris Floods At Their Own Peril

Paris is flooding, and it should give us reason to pause and reflect on whether our cities are prepared for the impact of climate change.

This month marks the anniversary of the worst natural disaster in the modern history of Paris. On January 28, 1910, the Seine reached a height of nearly 28 feet, pushing up into the city's streets.

Thousands were displaced from their homes into government and church-run shelters, often narrowly escaping with their lives in boats rowed by French sailors. Neighborhood merchants put wooden tables along the streets to create improvised walkways allowing people to move through the flood zone. Barrels from wine warehouses situated along the riverbank were pushed out into the Seine's channel and crashed into bridge supports downstream.

More than 100 years later, Paris is once again flooding, a kind of wintertime high-water ritual that frequently plagues the city. While it's nothing like that earlier flood, the water is expected to crest at nearly 20 feet, shy of the 1910 record but still bad enough to shut down the subway, close the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, which sit on the river's banks, stop river traffic and push people from their homes.

As in 1910, Paris will recover, but the routine flooding there should be a lesson to other cities. Forgetting what happened is too dangerous because as cities such as Paris face certain dangers in the future, failing to see what has been possible will deprive them of essential knowledge about how to face future environmental and technical threats.

A century ago, the severity of Paris' flood was the result of conditions created by major urban redevelopment, population growth and new construction. The city's new sewer system, built a few decades earlier, moved water underneath the streets and into homes.

When shocked residents found water in their basements, they pulled the drain plugs hoping to release it into the sewer. Instead, they allowed more water to invade their homes. Water coursed through a subway tunnel still under construction, carrying the Seine into neighborhoods in which no one expected it to go. The choices Paris had made about where to locate infrastructure and how to shape the city's environment unwittingly increased the severity of the flood. The city got in the way of natural processes and made the situation worse.

Throughout the world in our own time, cities are more prone to disasters than ever. Coastal cities see routine flooding where they once saw it only occasionally. In Miami, for instance, the average water height has been slowly increasing, so it takes much less water to flood neighborhoods than in years past. Chronic flooding in towns along the Eastern US shore and in parts of Louisiana's Gulf Coast is causing many communities to consider how they might respond, including relocating.

Continue Reading

Related Books

Product Description: If you are serious about protecting yourself and your home from flooding then you are going to need this essential manual, it’s very friendly and easy to read, and answers a lot of your questions, suitable for both beginner and expert alike. Clear easy to understand comprehensive how to do instructions which are content rich, allowing you to start immediately. The best money you will have ever spend is that which will help you avoid costly mistakes, so eliminate the stress and pain from your life and gain control now with this invaluable fact packed manual. Give yourself that winning edge. From the sheer potential of the information it contains and the heighten sense of relief it will give you won’t be able to imagine a better investment.

This manual comes in two parts, the first part explains why we might get flooding or be flooded, the second part explains what you can do about it and how to actually start protecting yourself and your property. Designed for the whole family, not just technically minded experts, but the whole family, that means Mum, Dad, and kids alike will be able to read it, understand it, and enjoy reading it. It allows any one to take advantage of the information, so that if you are out at the time of the flood warning then those who are at home will be able to follow the easy to understand instructions and put in place the basic protection needed to keep the worse of the flood water out of your home.

What you will learn.

Being unprepared for the onslaught of storms and floods will put you in danger, even if you have experienced it before. If you live on a flood plain, near a river, by the coast or even in an urban neighbourhood and flood waters starts to rises there will be very little that you can do. The feeling of terror will be overwhelming and your main thought will be to flee to safety and to protect yourself, while leaving everything that you have worked for to the mercy of the weather. When you have been flooded water will be everywhere in your home, and it isn’t just a simple case of drying it out. There's the damage, the stench and the filth from the rivers and the sewages, the loss of personal belongings and property such as photographs, collections, memoirs, heirlooms, items that are irreplaceable causing you heartache and stress, also there’s the worry of diseases or even worse the lost of life. Faced with this level of destruction to your life, family, and property wouldn’t you want to know what to do when torrential storms and
floods are forecasted?

A fully comprehensive manual that teaches you in plain English everything from start to finish. This manual is dedicated to teaching you everything that you will need to know and do. It contains detailed information on how to protect your home, yourself and others, covering issues such as what steps you should be taking and how to complete them, how to recognises the first signs of flooding, what to do when you do realise that flooding is imminent and what to do if you are caught in a flood, as well as devising flood plans, insurance, drying out techniques, detail explanation of the dangers of water and it’s effect, flood protection equipment, early warning systems, Information and Emergency Hot Lines. It is packed full of information with of all the things you should know to protect yourself, your family and your property, as well as your treasured valuables. Avoid those costly mistakes and save yourself thousands of pounds and months of heartache and misery. It’s not enough to think that it won’t happen to you. When you are informed with the right information then you can make the right decisions about how you are going to protect yourself from the dangers of flooding. It is packed with information, and is a must have for all those who are vulnerable to the dangers of flooding. DON’T GET CAUGHT UNPREPARED!

List Price: $9.98
Price: $9.98
Product Description: All things are not as they seem as Dr. Abbey Bertrand races against time, while glaciers threaten and others are after her.

List Price: $11.95
Sale Price: $11.95 $8.91 You save: $3.04
Product Description: When eleven-year-old Elizabeth is left to babysit her four-year-old sister one rainy night, neither of them expect the adventure that unfolds. Their parents don’t return home, and by morning there is a flood that fills the first floor of their house.Elizabeth must take initiative and make an agonizing decision: whether to stay put where her parents might find them, or to be brave and leave home to go in search of their parents. Dangers loom in either scenario. Then Elizabeth and her sister Amanda rescue a neighbor, seven-year-old Maya, and her cat. In this adventure for girls, the three lost children and the cat together set out in a little red boat, looking for their mothers and fathers. As they struggle to survive the flood waters, find food, and make their way among the ruins left behind by the rising tides, the quest forces Elizabeth to rise to new levels of courage, bravery, and resourcefulness she didn’t know she had. But will they find their families before it’s too late?

Even though this book is classified for ages 9-12, younger children might be able to read this as well.

English Afrikaans Arabic Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Dutch Filipino French German Hindi Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Malay Persian Portuguese Russian Spanish Swahili Swedish Thai Turkish Urdu Vietnamese


Jay Inslee Tells Hayes That He Wants To Gut The Filibuster To Fight Climate Change
Washington Governor Jay Inslee is running for president on the single issue of climate change and argues that doing…
Causes and Effects of Climate Change
by National Geographic
What causes climate change (also known as global warming)? And what are the effects of climate change? Learn the human…
Extreme Weather and Global Warming
by NASA Goddard
Is the frequency of extreme weather events a sign that global warming is gaining pace and exceeding predictions? Bill…
Thanks to Climate Change, Wet Winters No Match for Drier California Summers
by KPIX CBS SF Bay Area
If the emerald-green hills around Northern California have you thinking recent rains have put a damper on the fire…
Climate Change Is Not One Issue
"Climate change is not one issue," said David Wallace-Wells, author of "The Uninhabitable Earth," but is…
The Heat: Climate change
by CGTN America
Images gathered by NASA show an increase in foliage in China and India. The greening effect is mainly due to ambitious…
No company is doing enough to combat climate change: Jeremy Grantham
by CNBC Television
Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of GMO, on climate change and what needs to be done to combat it.
Power Plants Are POISONING Groundwater All Over America
by The Ring of Fire
According to a new report, 90% of coal-fired power plants across the country have completely contaminated the…


Default Image
Come on, UK weather forecasters – tell it like it is on climate change
by Adam Corner
They have a national reach that most climate campaigners would die for. They are familiar and respected experts on the…
Green New Deal: 6 places already reducing emissions from buildings
Green New Deal: 6 places already reducing emissions from buildings
by David Roberts
One of the elements of the Green New Deal resolution that has caused the most consternation among critics on the right…
Default Image
UK environmentalists target Barclays in fossil fuels campaign
by Matthew Taylor
A UK-wide campaign is being launched to persuade one of the country’s biggest high street banks to stop investing…
Oceanic carbon uptake could falter
Oceanic carbon uptake could falter
by Tim Radford
What does oceanic carbon uptake achieve? Greenhouse gas that sinks below the waves slows global warming a little and…
Britain (Yes, Rainy Britain) Could Run Short of Water by 2050, Official Says
Britain (Yes, Rainy Britain) Could Run Short of Water by 2050, Official Says
by Global Warming & Climate Change
“Climate change plus growth equals an existential threat,” Mr. Bevan said. To avoid severe water shortages, he added,…
Default Image
Record high US temperatures outpace record lows two to one, study finds
by Associated Press
Over the past 20 years, Americans have been twice as likely to sweat through record-breaking heat rather than shiver…
Climate change: Water shortages in England 'within 25 years'
Climate change: Water shortages in England 'within 25 years'
by BBC News - Science & Environment
Image copyright PA Image caption Low water levels at Wayoh Reservoir near Bolton in the UK heatwave in July 2018 Within…
Default Image
Why you'll never meet a white supremacist who cares about climate change
by Rebecca Solnit
As the news of the Christchurch mosque massacre broke and I scoured the news, I came across a map showing that the…