How "levee wars" are making floods worse

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  • Published on:  Monday, August 6, 2018
  • Explained with a giant, scientific model.

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    Correction: At 4:27, we mistakenly wrote "Nijmegan" when it should be spelled "Nijmegen."

    In our latest Vox+ProPublica collaboration, we dive into how a structure that’s designed to protect us from floods, may actually be making them worse. High levees come at a high cost, often pushing water into communities that can’t afford the same protection. To demonstrate, we built a giant, scientific model of a river with levees — complete with adorable tiny houses.

    Be sure to check out ProPublica’s feature story here for more on America’s flood control problem: with the science explained here:

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  • Vox  (Aug 6, 2018)

    Correction: At 4:27 we show the city name as "Nijmegan". It should be "Nijmegen".

  • Gay Rice  (Jan 21, 2019)

    Youri Neeven its more triggering

  • Gay Rice  (Jan 21, 2019)

    Vox also note that you said holland instead of the netherlands.

  • Leuk  (Aug 6, 2018)

    Just hire the dutch they'll fix all of your flooding in a decade

  • Tim Derks  (Aug 20, 2018)

    Yeah, because a huge debt is worse than massive flooding every few years, costing lives ánd a lot of money, plus shutting down the local economy for weeks...

  • jack cohen  (Aug 18, 2018)

    And put you in perpetual debt like the water authority of Lekdijk Bovendams did.

  • karthika murugan  (Aug 6, 2018)

    "dont be poor" :- rich people

  • Chris Townsend  (Sep 25, 2018)

    Don’t buy a house built on a flood plane?

  • Nix Da Nope  (Sep 23, 2018)


  • Kevin Slater  (Aug 6, 2018)

    "Don't build near rivers" - Holland

  • Kyotokyo The Asian  (Jan 26, 2019)

    It’s called the netherlands goddammit

  • Specops915  (Aug 6, 2018)

    Down here in El Paso, TX., we have setback levees in some areas of the Rio Grande river. The space between the river and the levee was made into park areas with bike riding lanes and other stuff that actually makes for a great place to hang out. Poseidon reclaims his territory from time to time but he's usually pretty chill with us. 🇺🇸🏞🇲🇽

  • Jossie Machado  (15 hours ago)

    As a spanish speaker reading "rio grande river" was pretty funny

  • Mahandra Raditya Putra  (Jan 23, 2019)

    Never before I read such awesome term for flooding

  • IE B  (Aug 6, 2018)

    This, like many other problems in the US, is a problem of extreme localism and the ridiculous ideas that local governments with limited budgets can solve problems of state or countrywide significance.

  • Harlan Johnson  (Aug 15, 2018)

    Retarded conservatists.

  • lets chat  (Aug 8, 2018)

    pp rr And Trump is giving tax hand outs to the rich while providing farmers with bail outs For his terriffs.

  • Jay Kay  (Aug 6, 2018)

    Trump also wants a tall levee with Mexico.

  • TheCriminalViolin  (Dec 9, 2018)

    Now see, you aren't wrong, it would solve the problem... but not in the way you may think. **flashforward to news stories around the world reciting how America blew itself up by stepping into the minefields to attempt to prove why that particular instance of border wallvee was the world's best for keeping out refugees** +vin 950

  • vin 950  (Sep 23, 2018)

    A levee, a wall, some cannons, and a nice thick minefield should do the job.

  • Nils10Ip  (Aug 23, 2018)

    "In Holland for example."Thanks Vox for making people even more confused about the name of my country.If you're gonna call it by the name of a province in the Netherlands, than at least call it Gelderland.

  • TheCriminalViolin  (Dec 9, 2018)


  • Pieter  (Aug 6, 2018)

    As always, america behind on a 15th century european country. Nice. well done.

  • ArmouredSpacePony  (Oct 17, 2018)

    @Jacob Hogan

  • UltraEdd  (Sep 23, 2018)

    +Jacob Hogan hahahah. Thanks for the good laugh!:D

  • John Lemon  (Aug 6, 2018)

    *laughs in Dutch*

  • Sander Gaasbeek  (Dec 22, 2018)

    G E K O L O N I S E E R D

  • alex derpy racc  (Sep 26, 2018)