resilience reporter

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Nebraska flooding shows (again) how extreme weather can threaten national security

In Her Words: Samaris Pagán on Hurricane Maria

Twenty days had passed and I felt myself going a bit crazy.

Not because I’d been living in complete darkness with zero communication whatsoever and no water for the past several few weeks due to ghostly winds and perpetual rain…but, because I didn’t know if my beautiful island would see an end to this torture.

We were losing whatever little hope we had left. And I was devastated and heartbroken. I felt neglected by my government, and even more so by the US government. I felt forgotten and hurt. And so did the millions of “boricuas” who experienced this horror.

These were the thoughts running through my head during one of the most impactful moments of my life. To be completely real, no one was ever going to be 100% ready for the natural disaster that was coming our way. Hurricane Irma came in and did very little damage. So, we felt confident that Hurricane Maria would change route.

That wasn’t the case. And Puerto Rico, to this day–nearly eighteen months after said disaster–is still struggling.

I confess that I am the “look on the bright side” type of gal. And, I do have to admit that it wasn’t all negative, at least from my part. I re-read all of my favorite books from high school; almost all of them involved vampires because hey, that was the trend. I managed to…

 

Nebraska flooding shows (again) how extreme weather can threaten national security

Catastrophic flooding in Nebraska has wiped out roads, overtopped dams, and left at least a third of the Offutt Air Force Base submerged, highlighting the ongoing threat that extreme weather poses to both people’s lives, and national security.

A massive winter storm created a “bomb cyclone” over parts of the country last week, and dumped snow and rain on Nebraska. Rain slicked off frozen ground, snow melted, and ice thawed on rivers — kicking off devastating floods that killed at least two people in the state and destroyed hundreds of homes. “This was a monster, no question about it,” Greg Carbin at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Prediction Center told the Omaha World-Herald.

Now, the Omaha World-Herald reports flooding of at least a third of Offutt Air Force Base, including part of the runway and at least 30 buildings. The floods forced aircraft to evacuate, but the headquarters of US Strategic Command, which oversees the US nuclear arsenal, remained unflooded, according to the World Herald. This kind of extreme flooding threatens military readiness and, in this case, our nuclear capabilities, according to Francesco Femia, CEO of The Center for Climate and Security….

 

In Photos: Deadly Floods Sweep the Midwest

Flooded apartments are seen over Elkhorn River after a storm triggered historic flooding in Nebraska

Flooded apartments are seen in this aerial photo taken above the Elkhorn River in Nebraska on March 16, 2019. # Office of Governor Pete Ricketts / Handout via Reuters

At least three people are confirmed to have lost their lives so far amid record-setting floods affecting parts of Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and other nearby states. Thousands of people have been asked to evacuate, and many have been away from their homes for days in hard-hit Nebraska, following last week’s “bomb cyclone” weather system that dropped huge amounts of precipitation—adding to existing troubles from heavy snowmelt and ice-choked rivers. Dams and levees were overwhelmed, roads have been washed away, and some neighborhoods, farms, and military bases now sit in water up to eight feet deep. Some of the rivers in eastern Nebraska are beginning to recede, and others are expected to crest within 24 hours. Areas downstream, along the Mississippi River Valley, are preparing for likely flooding….

 

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