Thursday, June 4, 2009

Flooding: a natural disaster?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 1:40 PM

The Charlotte Observer warns readers about the potential for flooding today and cites three reasons why the streets may overflow. What they don't mention, however, is how decades — nay, centuries — of over development are key contributors to the Q.C.'s frequent flooding problems.

The truth is obvious: concrete doesn't absorb water. With the advent of parking lots and urban sprawl, the problem has only gotten worse. Remember the 2003 Charlotte floods? How about the ones from last summer?

This problem isn’t going away, it’s getting worse. And, it isn't just about cold fronts and warm fronts colliding, it's about the decisions we make and how we care for this tract of land we're charged with caring for and preserving for future generations.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch through late tonight for much of the Charlotte metro region, saying up to 3 inches of rain could fall today and Friday -- and probably into Saturday.

Three factors are joining forces to cause the flooding threat -- an approaching weak cold front from the northwest; a low pressure system expected to develop over the Deep South and move across the Carolinas late tonight and Friday; and warm, humid air already in place.

Here's some WCNC footage from one of last year's floods:

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