Climate Change Hits Home

May 20, 2020

When scientists talk about “Abrupt” climate change, they usually don’t mean the “Day After Tomorrow” scenario with giant waves roaring into New York.
What they mean is that slow, incremental change gradually reaches a point where it can suddenly overwhelm infrastructure – leading to an abrupt threat, a step change that a community may not expect.

That’s the case in my county right now as, after several days of heavy rains, two 100 year old dams failed simultaneously, and have created an unprecedented flooding situation that is still evolving.
I’m safe on the high side of town, such as it is, but there are a number of neighborhoods, including some very high end real estate, that are going to see major impacts on home values, from which they will not recover any time soon.

Also, the two dams, like thousands of others around the midwest, built in the 1920s or 30s, backed up good size lakes that have been drivers of fishing and sport industry, as well as the site of a large number of high end lake-front homes – now with no lakes. Not sure where that leaves them, whether these structures get rebuilt or not, and who might pay for it.



Above, Sanford dam about 3:45 Tuesday afternoon.

Sanford Dam giving way on tuesday evening.

8 Responses to “Climate Change Hits Home”

  1. redskylite Says:

    Wishing all who live on the low side of town safe passage.

    “She urged residents in the affected areas to stay with relatives or friends if they were able to.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-52741965/dam-failures-in-michigan-lead-thousands-to-evacuate

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    Another small town full of good people that just wants to get along with living life and instead gets hammered. Sad to see.

    “We are all in this together” has been a byword for the CV-19 pandemic and for climate change, but it’s unfortunately not true. The folks in Midland will struggle along with some limited help from government at various levels and make some recovery. That will also happen in many other places until the frequency and intensity of climate change overwhelms the system—-then we can really start adding it up.


  3. Can you please include references for data and graphs e.g. Increase in Very Heavy Precipitation map. Information like that is very useful when debunking denier memes e.g. they’ll show graphs showing average annual rainfall hasn’t changed that much.

  4. redskylite Says:

    “A two-hour cloudburst drenched Charleston on Wednesday, turning downtown streets into swirling rivers. Nearly 5 inches fell over the city’s hospitals, turning the medical district into an island. Five inches fell on Johns Island, turning parking lots into lakes. It was a mess. And it’s not normal.

    Set aside the notion of climate change. The climate has always changed. The real story is about speed. The pace of change. From rain bombs to higher sea levels, the impacts are coming faster. This is as real as Wednesday’s storm. And the one four weeks ago. And so many others in the past five years.”

    https://www.postandcourier.com/rising-waters/forget-about-climate-change-the-real-story-is-climate-speed/article_b0785be0-8e2f-11ea-bc3f-3bd7afe8bdf2.html

  5. Maddie Says:

    Great post! feel free to check out my recent post regarding the environmental impacts of the coronavirus pandemic! #spreadawareness ❤️


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