In Europe, High-Tech Flood Control, With Nature&39;s Help – New York Times

Ξ September 7th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Science |


New York Times article looking towards the rebuilding of New Orleans, and the prevention of anything similar ever happening again.

From the page: "On a cold winter night in 1953, the Netherlands suffered a terrifying blow as old dikes and seawalls gave way during a violent storm.

Flooding killed nearly 2,000 people and forced the evacuation of 70,000 others. Icy waters turned villages and farm districts into lakes dotted with dead cows.

Ultimately, the waters destroyed more than 4,000 buildings.

Afterward, the Dutch - realizing that the disaster could have been much worse, since half the country, including Amsterdam and Rotterdam, lies below sea level - vowed never again.

After all, as Tjalle de Haan, a Dutch public works official, put it in an interview last week, "Here, if something goes wrong, 10 million people can be threatened."

So at a cost of some $8 billion over a quarter century, the nation erected a futuristic system of coastal defenses that is admired around the world today as one of the best barriers against the sea's fury - one that could withstand the kind of storm that happens only once in 10,000 years."


References
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en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sea_Flood_of_1953

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Works

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thames_Barrier



"Around 5:30 AM, February 1, the Groenendijk collapsed under the immense pressure. The seawater broke through and started moving into South Holland. In desperation, the mayor of Nieuwekerk commandeered the river ship "de Twee Gebroeders" (the Two Brothers) and ordered the owner to plug the hole in the dike by navigating the ship into it. Fearing that the ship may break through and dive into the polder, captain Arie Evegroen took a row boat with him. The mayor's plan turned out to be successful, as the ship lodged itself firmly into the dike, sparing Holland."

 

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