When the Levee Breaks

by James Denning, Assistant Editor; Civil Engineering, 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1994, Vol. 64, Issue 1, Pg. 38-41

Document Type: Feature article


As repairs to the billions of dollars in damages left by the Mississippi and Missouri floods continue, many engineers believe it is time to step back and see if there are better ways of coping with the river's floods than by throwing up billions of dollars worth of levees. In the years to come, a number of options will be explored and important issues need to be addressed: What role will non-structural solutions, which save some regions by flooding others, play in the future? Will regional planning take the place of local decision making on matters related to the rivers? If so, what role will the government play? Working with the rivers will likely become increasingly important, because as the Mississippi and Missouri demonstrated last summer, they will win any fight they care to pick.

Subject Headings: Floods | Levees and dikes | High-rise buildings | Damage (structural) | Decision making | Government | United States | Mississippi | Missouri

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