As Rainstorms Grow More Severe And Frequent, Communities Fail To Prepare

"Lack of a current, national rainfall database means some states use 60-year-old statistics as they design roads, bridges and dams that are supposed to last 50 years "

"When then-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) announced plans in 2017 for a sprawling Foxconn electronics plant, he touted the 13,000 promised jobs and $10 billion investment spread across 1,000 acres, much of it farmland. Downstream across the border in Lake County, Ill., officials focused on a more sinister byproduct: water.

Earlier that summer, more than seven inches of rain drenched the county, setting off flash flooding. Six days later, swollen rivers flowing south from Wisconsin crested at record heights. Families evacuated. More than 3,000 structures flooded. Damage exceeded $12 million.

Where Wisconsin saw jobs and tax revenue, Illinois saw a rising threat. “We realized there were significant storm-water concerns,” said Kurt Woolford, the interim executive director of the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission. “Water doesn’t follow political boundaries, it doesn’t follow state boundaries.”"

Jim Morrison reports for the Washington Post April 9, 2021.

Source: Washington Post, 04/09/2021