Dams to Tame a Swelling River May Be Outmatched by Climate Change

"Along the Missouri, John Remus controls a network of dams that dictates the fate of millions. ‘It was not designed to handle this.’"

"There were no good choices for John Remus, yet he had to choose.

Should he try to hold back the surging Missouri River but risk destroying a major dam, potentially releasing a 45-foot wall of water? Or should he relieve the pressure by opening the spillway, purposefully adding to the flooding of towns, homes and farmland for hundreds of miles.

Mr. Remus controls an extraordinary machine — the dams built decades ago to tame a river system that drains parts of 10 states and two Canadian provinces. But it was designed for a different era, a time before climate change and the extreme weather it can bring."

Tyler J. Kelley reports for the New York Times March 21, 2019.


"When A River Swells, Are Levees The Best Way To Deal With It?" (Washington Post)

Midwestern Flooding Isn’t a Natural Disaster" (Atlantic)

Source: NY Times, 03/22/2019