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: https://www.propublica.org/article/le... with the science explained here: https://projects.propublica.org/graph...

    And sign up here for ProPublica's Big Story newsletter to get their best reporting in your inbox as soon as it’s published: https://go.propublica.org/bigstorynew...

    In our Vox+ProPublica collaboration, we create deep-dive, investigative video storytelling fueled by ProPublica's reporting. You can read the reporting at https://www.propublica.org, and watch the rest of the series on YouTube at http://bit.ly/2wfVG5Z.

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Comment

  • Vox
    Vox  1 months ago +1034

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

    • Clancy James
      Clancy James  29 days ago +1

      Oh come on all you outraged people, a fair fraction of Dutch will refer to The Netherlands as Holland interchangeably when referring to foreigners. Sure, it's good to correct the reference, but don't use it to push your "oh look it's the US misinterpreting the ROW again..." buttons. I like Joep Ewald's comment on how the Dutch control the building of dijks, this is probably the first lesson to learn, before we worry about the engineering particulars. Great to see Nijmegen get a mention!

    • David Schwartz
      David Schwartz  a months ago

      Certainly the first inaccuracy VOX has made 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    • ganondorf66
      ganondorf66  1 months ago

      To us all you Americans are Texans.

    • Nash Nombre
      Nash Nombre  1 months ago

      Max Mark Oof i know right. Atleast check the name on google if you male such a video

  • Sylvia Else
    Sylvia Else  2 hours ago

    "more people had built alonside the rivier". There's the problem right there. The issue of flooding has been known for a long time. People should not be allowed to build in areas that will get flooded, and if they insist on doing so, they should not then be allowed to demand levees to protect them.

  • Nathan Frederickson

    I live in Wildwood, Missouri, and grew up on the Meramac River and at the time of the 2015 flood, I went to Lafayette High School, and I volunteered at the Equine Assisted Therapy in the floodplain. I was one of the people that helped rebuild the Therapy Center after the flood. It was nuts, the High School had to get new gym floors, and the place was an absolute mess. My church set up a disaster relief center in the church basement. In 2017, when my brother was going to Eureka High School, he tried to bring the family canoe down to canoe over the high school parking lot for fun. Sadly, the national guard stopped him. In other words, its really cool to see Vox reporting in an issue near and dear to my heart. I have lots of memories, mostly good actually, of the Meramac river, and even the floods. these kinds of things have a way of bringing the community together.

  • rutger5000
    rutger5000  7 hours ago

    Flood planes are the solutions for this. But you need a functional government for that.
    America is unique of being a first world economy with a 3rd world government.

  • Rythblaqk
    Rythblaqk  10 hours ago

    Heres an idea...Don't build houses in a floodplain

  • Jonathan Sawyer
    Jonathan Sawyer  11 hours ago

    Never thought my hometown of fenton would make the news

  • Steven Zhu
    Steven Zhu  14 hours ago

    Root problem is: the government doesn't and probably won't pay for the levees and other effective solutions like in China.

  • Nash Nombre
    Nash Nombre  21 hours ago

    Holland isnt a country please stop you ignorant Americans

  • Martin
    Martin  yesterday

    they could make the river deeper........

  • gravitee
    gravitee  yesterday

    Meanwhile in America, our rivers have sewage in them.

  • Therockbrothersmc

    *laughs in Dutch*

  • hyou zan ren
    hyou zan ren  2 days ago

    some people just cant learn! stop building on flood land!

  • AvangionQ
    AvangionQ  3 days ago

    Two levees are needed: first by the river and a second further inland in case the one next to the river floods, but such doubles the cost of preventative measures.

  • patrick pickett
    patrick pickett  3 days ago

    If you live on a floodplain flooding is part of life. Leeves only exacerbate the problem of flooding when they fail, often trapping flood water in. Historically building towns around rivers made sense, but not anymore.

  • MX127
    MX127  5 days ago

    Around here we call them dikes

  • Moe Moe
    Moe Moe  6 days ago

    the Netherlands is like 12 feet underwater but you can't tell. if they can do it so can we by just asking how you guys do it.

  • Junjun
    Junjun  6 days ago

    We dont have levee here in marshland borneo. But we have stilt house.

  • Stephen Jones
    Stephen Jones  9 days ago

    I'm pretty sure you have confused up stream and down stream. upstream is the opposite direction of the flow of water.

  • Jody Bruchon
    Jody Bruchon  9 days ago +1

    If you'd make videos like this and stop making your incredibly stupid SJW videos like that "old film was totally racist you guys" then you'd be far better off.

  • Alex Waln
    Alex Waln  10 days ago

    In my town the put up a wall and made the water pay for it. #MakeAmericaGreatAgainTheWaterIsPartOfMS13
    Jk, the water didn't pay for it. We did.