How Levees and Dam Failures would Affect Us

I have spent the last week or so in the Pacific Northwest.  It was a nice trip even with the rain.  While there, I had time to consider the effects that man has made on our environment.  Over the years, we have changed the land to suite ourselves.

I am thinking particularly of dams and levees.  To use an area that I am familiar with lets discuss the Sacramento California area.  Prior to the discovery of gold, the Sacramento area flooded every year.  Since then we have built dams and levees to prevent this.  The Sacramento Valley had large wetland areas.  It is claimed that you could paddle a canoe from Sacramento to Fresno.  The same types of changes have occurred in many other areas of the country. .

Imagine the effects of an EMP attack or major earthquake, dam gates would be stuck in the open or closed position.  How would this effect flooding downstream, how long until the dams failed?  Levees if not properly maintained, have a shelf life.  Think about rivers like the Mississippi and how the people who live close to it would be affected.

After a major incident like an EMP attack, dams would fail, levees would collapse, water sources would disappear (think Southwestern US) and major floods would become common.

In Oregon I notice how close to the rivers, many of the new homes were built.  Because these areas have not flooded in many years, we have forgotten the history of these areas.  I suggest that you study the history of your area and see how the failure of these infrastructures would affect you.  Would your water sources dry up or would you wash away.

What was your area like a hundred years ago?  Without dams and levees, wetlands will reappear, and nature will take charge.

I will write more on how the failure of other systems will affect you.  How about your comments.

Howard

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2 Responses to How Levees and Dam Failures would Affect Us

  1. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Here alot would dry up. Alot of what was built was in response to the dustbowl. It held up rather well during the drought but the big lakes would be an issue with dam failure

  2. Ellen says:

    Well if I had a boat the only plus to the dams breaking near the Central Valley I wouldn’t have to worry about where to get water. One of my city dwelling concerns.
    In the long run I think that this is one thing that they should have left alone, that way we would already be aware of where the water runs. We could have just had to learn to live in a water world.

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