Water into rivers faster


  Flood damage in Winsted, Conn., in August 1955 after former Hurricane Diane came through.

Flood damage in Winsted, Conn., in August 1955 after former Hurricane Diane came through.

From Robert Whitcomb’s “Digital Diary’’ in GoLocal24.com

With more than 30 inches of rain in some places, the flooding in North Carolina would have been awful even if so much land hadn’t been paved over for parking lots in our car-dependent culture. But, as we have discovered in New England in big rainstorms, it certainly makes things worse as storm water isn’t permitted to be absorbed into the soil but instead rushes off into streams, often carrying oil and other pollutants from impervious surfaces.

Catastrophic rain events seem to be increasing with global warming. Public- and private-sector planners need to make more of an effort to replace, wherever possible, asphalt and concrete parking surfaces with porous ones, such as paving stones set in sand.

Meanwhile, the Trump regime will make things worse as it takes steps to make it easier for developers to fill in more water-absorbing wetlands. (See comments on deregulation below.) And of course it’s promoting a massive increase in the drilling and mining for fossil fuel, whose global-warming effects include more intense fresh and saltwater flooding.

Meanwhile, readers might want to hear this dramatic Rhode Island Public Radio piece about the 1938 hurricane that ravaged New England and on how vulnerable we still are around here. To hear it, please hit this link.