, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

my note – Cnn had of one of those great stories this morning about a flood control barrier that used water inside long flexible tubes – so I thought I would look it up and found all kinds of stuff, including what they were showing which appears at the very end of this post (and is wonderfully amazing.)

Published April 02 2009
FLOOD UPDATE: Dorgan to hold Senate hearing regarding permanent flood control

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan said in a news release today that he intends to hold an official Senate hearing to determine the steps needed to improve flood control in the Red River Valley.

By: staff, INFORUM

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan said in a news release today that he intends to hold an official Senate hearing to determine the steps needed to improve flood control in the Red River Valley.

The Democratic senator from North Dakota is chairman of the energy and water appropriations panel, which funds all federal flood control projects nationwide.

Dorgan will hold the flood control hearing with local, state, and federal officials to begin assessing the existing flood control infrastructure and evaluate what needs to be done to protect the greater Fargo/Moorhead area and other areas on the Red River from future flooding. This meeting will serve as a follow-up to the hearing Sen. Dorgan held in Washington on February 11 that discussed flooding in the Red River Valley and Devils Lake. The hearing will examine the process of how the Fargo/Moorhead area can expediantly move forward on a flood control project.

Tags: north dakota, federal government, news, flood, flooding, moorhead, fargo, minnesota


PolyU Award-Winning Researches Help Withstand Natural Disasters

Download this press release as an Adobe PDF document.

Civil and structural engineering experts of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University were recently granted two first-honour research awards in the technology category by the Technology Development Centre, established under the Ministry of Education in Mainland China.

(PRWEB) March 14, 2009 — Civil and structural engineering experts of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) were recently granted two first-honour research awards in the technology category by the Technology Development Centre, established under the Ministry of Education in Mainland China.

Collaborated with mainland researchers, Prof. Chan Siu-lai and Associate Professor Dr Chau Kwok-wing of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, developed a method to design reliable steel structures and a reservoir flood control operation system respectively. Both innovations will help withstand natural disasters like earthquake and flooding.

Under the research titled “Nonlinear Analysis and Design of Steel and Other Structures”, Prof. Chan Siu-lai and researchers of the Tongji University have formulated a practical advanced tool to analyse and design steel structures in which their structural behaviour can be predicted reliably, thereby enhancing the load bearing, anti-quake and anti-fire safety levels.

Prof. Chan explained that conventional structural design methods cannot predict the safety, durability and structure behaviour under extreme situations like fire, explosion and progressive collapse. The award-winning design tool can reliably reflect the effective length and buckling strength of structures under extreme circumstances and is, therefore, particularly useful in the quake-struck Chinese mainland where structural safety is a real challenge.

The new design concept has been applied to the code of industry practice as well as the design of a number of structures in the Chinese mainland, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Australia and Spain.

Another award-winning project is the invention of a reservoir flood control operation system, pioneered by Dr Chau Kwok-wing with researchers of Dalian University of Technology and Dalian Naval Academy. Taking 60 reservoirs and four river basin floodwater forecasting systems in the Chinese mainland as models, new technology is applied to this invention which emphasizes practicability and efficiency in the prevention of flood.

Dr Chau described that the newly invented flood control management system can analyse and forecast floodwater level based on the knowledge of decision-makers, historical flood control cases and real-time information and, in turn, formulate flood control proposals and facilitate timely decisions. Due to its expandable nature, this system has proved to be effective and highly practicable. Currently, this novel system has been installed in 60 medium to large-sized reservoirs in the Chinese mainland.


# # #

Trackback URL: http://www.prweb.com/pingpr.php/U3F1YS1TcXVhLVN1bW0tRW1wdC1Db3VwLUNvdXAtWmVybw==

See the original story at: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/03/prweb2231364.htm



Officials must address flood maps

April 2, 2009

The thousands of property owners who discovered they will have to buy flood insurance for the first time are understandably confused, angry and frustrated.

The frustrating part is that it appears there is nothing they can do about it. Property owners will be required to buy flood insurance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as of June 15. The cost for an average policy — covering $250,000 for a home and $100,000 for the contents — will be between $300 and $400 the first year but will rise to as much as $1,500 a year after that.

No wonder some people in a crowd of about 350 were freely expressing their anger at FEMA during a meeting at Divisadero School Tuesday.

Many of them believe that public officials have failed them in not maintaining levees and other flood-control devices that would reduce flood risk. And they’re right. The area’s flood-control districts have become defunct. Flood control waterways are not even monitored, let alone maintained.

County and municipal agencies ought to address this issue and work toward a solution so that these property owners are not victimized.

The most baffling thing is that many of these homeowners had never had to purchase flood insurance before, but now they do, because FEMA has changed its flood-risk maps. Now property owners have to buy insurance, not because of an actual flood, but because of maps.

FEMA periodically surveys areas to create the agency’s Flood Plain Insurance Rate maps, which are used to assess flood risks around the country. Those maps also are used to set flood-insurance rates for the National Flood Insurance Program, administered by FEMA. Hurricane Katrina provoked the latest round of flood map revisions.

Visalia’s flood maps had not changed since 1986. Since then, the extension of Highway 198 has provided more flood control for central Visalia. That means that about 7,900 homes, most of them south of 198, are no longer in areas of flood risk.

However, asn additional 8,600 homes, mostly near the St. Johns River, became flood risks because the levees along the St. Johns have not been maintained. FEMA does not recognize them as even existing.

It apparently does not matter that Terminus Dam at Lake Kaweah has been raised and fusegates installed so the dam can withstand a 100-year flood.

The bottom line is that property that lies in this new flood risk area must carry insurance.

It seems that it would be a conflict of interest for FEMA to be selling the insurance. FEMA sets the risk criteria.

Regardless, property owners have no recourse now but to purchase the insurance.

That had better not be the end of the story. Public officials at the county level and in the city of Visalia ought to be examining this to determine what must be done to alleviate the burden on property owners. Either studies need to be undertaken to establish that Terminus Dam provides adequate flood protection to these properties, or the St. Johns River levees need to be renovated to a condition that gives them flood protection status that will satisfy FEMA’s standards.

City and county ought to get started on this process as soon as possible. Thousands of property owners and taxpayers stand to be paying millions of dollars for flood insurance they don’t need.

And there is nothing more frustrating than that.



updated Thur February 19, 2009
Trees provide ‘free subsidy’ for nature, study finds

Undisturbed tropical forests are absorbing nearly one-fifth of the CO2 released by burning fossil fuels, a new study has found.



My Note –

The pictures are stunning. But, I think what was most stunning to me was back in 1999 – 2000, when I got into some data charts with the recorded temperatures for North Georgia, and Metro Atlanta. These recorded temps had been kept from 1964 and showed a ten degree rise over that time. Now, that is ridiculous. The polar ice caps and other iceshelves, glaciers and ice fields can be seen on Geostat, either on the NOAA site or where photogs and science missions are posting pictures and links. – cricketdiane


(CNN) — A large ice shelf is “imminently” close to breaking away from part of the Antarctic Peninsula, scientists said Friday.
Scientists are investigating whether the ice breakup is caused by global climate change.

Scientists are investigating whether the ice breakup is caused by global climate change.

Satellite images released by the European Space Agency on Friday show new cracks in the Wilkins Ice Shelf where it connects to Charcot Island, a piece of land considered part of the peninsula.

The cracks are quickly expanding, the ESA said.

Scientists are investigating the causes for the breakups and whether it is linked to global climate change.

The Wilkins Ice Shelf — a large mass of floating ice — would still be connected to Latady Island, which is also part of the peninsula, and Alexander Island, which is not, said professor David Vaughan, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey.

The ice shelf experienced a great amount of changes last year, the ESA said.

In February 2008, the shelf dropped 164 square miles (425 square kilometers) of ice. In May it lost a 62-square-mile chunk.
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That meant the “bridge” of ice connecting Wilkins to the islands was just 984 yards wide at its narrowest location, the ESA said.

Further rifts developed in October and November, said Angelika Humbert of the Institute of Geophysics at Germany’s Muenster University.

“During the last year the ice shelf has lost about 1800 square kilometers (694 square miles), or about 14 percent of its size,” Humbert said.

Antarctica’s ice sheet was formed over thousands of years by accumulated and compacted snow. Along the coast, the ice gradually floats on the sea, forming massive ledges known as ice shelves, the ESA says.

Several of these ice shelves, including seven in the past 20 years, have retreated and disintegrated.

The Wilkins Ice Shelf had been stable for most of the past century before it began retreating in the 1990s.

“It had been there almost unchanged since the first expeditions which mapped it back in the 1930s, so it had a very long period of real stability, and it’s only in the last decade that it’s started to retreat,” Vaughan said.

Wilkins is the size of the state of Connecticut, or about half the area of Scotland. It is the largest ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula yet to be threatened.

If the ice shelf breaks away from the peninsula, it will not cause a rise in sea level because it is already floating, scientists say. Some plants and animals may have to adapt to the collapse.

The Antarctic Peninsula is the piece of the continent that stretches toward South America.

All About Antarctica • Global Climate Change


updated 8:50 a.m. EDT, Fri April 3, 2009
$500K homes now selling for $200,000

* Story Highlights
* California couple buys home for $300,000 less than its last sale price
* “My heart goes out to everybody that lost their home,” says Derrick Lepley
* Study finds that homes across nation have plunged 29.1 percent since 2006 peak

From Paul Vercammen and Ted Rowlands

LAKE ELSINORE, California (CNN) — The two-story homes on Fir Circle in an upscale Lake Elsinore, California, neighborhood tell two stunningly different tales.
Mary Ann and Derrick Lepley bought a home for nearly $300,000 less than what the previous owners paid.

Mary Ann and Derrick Lepley bought a home for nearly $300,000 less than what the previous owners paid.
Click to view previous image
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Some are vacant, bank-owned and beat-up inside. Others are filled with kids’ laughter and the sounds of boxes unpacking and families moving in.

Mary Ann Lepley, her husband, Derrick, and their 2-year-old daughter, Melody, have been in their 3,000 square-foot home here for about three months. They bought it for about $250,000. Just two years ago, amid California’s housing boom, the same house sold for nearly $550,000.

“My heart goes out to everybody that lost their home [and] lost their jobs,” says Derrick Lepley. “I’m real sympathetic toward them. But the reality for us was, if this didn’t happen, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Walking through his spacious four-bedroom home, he says, “We feel fortunate.”

His wife adds, “We love our new home. … We’re just really grateful for the market dropping, so we were actually able to buy a home.” See what states are being hammered by foreclosures »

With the nation facing historically high foreclosures, many Americans — like the Lepleys, who have been cautious with their spending and savings in recent years — are using this opportunity to buy their dream homes, large comfy places that once seemed completely unattainable.

A private report issued this week showed that housing prices in 20 major cities have plummeted at record levels, down 19 percent from a year earlier. Home prices have plunged 29.1 percent nationally since they peaked during the second quarter of 2006, according to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Interactive: How the government is trying to help »

“Right now any distressed property that goes from being available to being occupied is a good thing, because it reduces inventory on the market,” said Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac, which lists 1.8 million foreclosed and bank-owned property across the nation.
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“Even though the properties are selling at a dramatic discount from a couple years ago, in most of these markets, the simple truth is that the properties were wildly overpriced — and only able to be sold because there was such recklessness in lending practices.”

Lake Elsinore is in Riverside County, one of the hardest hit counties in the nation’s foreclosure mess. The scenic community about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles is dotted with large suburban homes. The streets are lined with “for sale” signs.

“The banks have dropped the homes tremendously in the past few months and homeowners that usually couldn’t purchase before are being able to purchase at very low prices right now,” said Rachel Morales, a realtor in the area.

Nearly 23,000 homes in Riverside County alone are listed as “bank owned” on RealtyTrac. One in 80 homes is now in the foreclosure process, according to the county assessor’s office.

“Riverside County is in the middle of the mortgage meltdown,” says county assessor Larry Ward. “It’s really tough on people, the foreclosures and prices that dropped below $100 a square foot.”

Next door to the Lepleys are Frank and Leslie Aceves. They are in the midst of a different situation. They are trying to “short sell” their house in order to avoid foreclosure and lose everything to the bank.

The couple has two children, ages 10 and 3, and they bought their 3,500 square-foot home for $620,000 a few years ago. A house about the same size across the street recently went for $267,000.

“We just didn’t think it would happen,” Leslie Aceves says of the massive drop in prices. “We just thought it would stop somewhere.”

Neighbors Shane Latham and Kathy Valdez, a couple in their 20s, bought their house for $220,000 — nearly $300,000 less than what it was a couple of years ago. “We’ve got to feel for people,” Latham says.

Valdez adds, “I’m in my 20s. I mean, why not? A house right now, we could afford it.”

It’s a tale of ecstasy and agony: One person’s gain from others’ pain playing out across America.

“It’s unfortunate for those who are going through such tough times,” says Mary Ann Lepley. “But in some ways, we were really glad that we were able to do something we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.”

CNN’s Wayne Drash contributed to this report.

All About Economic Policy • Job Losses • Job Searching



Ten things (OK, 9) I love about telecommuting

With gas prices inching their way back up and traffic in most metropolitan areas bottlenecking along any rush-hour route, it’s a wonder that the majority of the modern office workforce doesn’t telecommute. full story



UK Flood Control
Water filled temporary cofferdams for worksite dewatering and flood control barriers

(Huge heavy-duty flexible, reinforced PVC tubes are filled on site with water and fill to form wherever needed.)

On news story – CNN this morning (Saturday morning show and thereafter) 04-04-09 but couldn’t find it on their site today. Above site was on a Google search under [temporary water barrier+”flood control”].


is independent.
We’re not affiliated with any manufacturer of flood control system, nor do we sell any products.

We work for you!

So you can count on us to find the best flood control system to meet your requirements.

Flood control system:

The NOAQ patented Flood Control System is a completely new and revolutionary concept for rapid protection.

The flood control system is comprised of inflatable plastic tubes that interconnect to create a temporary water barrier, a “Tube Wall”.

find out more

Work with the natural forces!

Traditionally, temporary flood control system barriers are made of heavy materials like sand and concrete to counteract the pressure force from the floodwaters. Even waterfilled tubes are designed to work this way.

We do it the other way round, taming the water to work for us! The water pushing on the wall is at the same time anchoring it!

Thoroughly tested

The patented flood control system was developed with support from the Swedish Rescue Services Agency. It has been thoroughly tested and examined by independent institutions, and is also among the systems recommended in the Emergency Preparedness Canada report, ”Alternatives to sandbags for temporary protection”.

NOAQ is easy of use

Is the fastest, lightest and most flexible flood control system on the market. This makes it the first choice for quick response to a threat.

flood control water filled barrier tubes – google search



Nautic & Art – apparently makes neoprene / flexible and partially rigid PVC inflatable boats such as used by Navy Seals, military and paramilitary units and on ice missions, etc.

Also is the maker of the water-filled flood barriers described on the site listed above this one and shown on CNN this morning – 04-04-09

Called a TUBE WALL – it is flexible and mobile – can be rolled out onsite and then filled with water. Conforms to the environment where it is placed to be used for flood control, temporary dykes and levee repair / barrier either temporary use such as during flood emergency or during repair work to offer dry worksite to make levee repairs ( whether dirt levees or other?).  Certainly works for earthen levee systems but does it work in concrete and steel application situations where there is fault and immediate need for water bottleneck and control/ flood barrier use? – my note

From company site –

The NOAQ TUBE WALL is the fastest, lightest-weight and most flexible system on the market today, making it the #1 choice in flood control products.
For information: http://www.noaq.com

The NOAQ patented anti-flood system presents a revolutionary and rapid deployment concept in the fight against flooding and its devastating effects.

The system is composed of two interconnected inflatable tubes that create a temporary flood barrier. The water pressure that is exerted onto the skirt of the TUBE WALL maintains the system in place, naturally & safely. No more need for significant manpower; no more need for specialized equipment and heavy-duty machinery.




A father-to-son tradition in the military is passed on at Nautic & Art through its’ President, Luc Larochelle. His 10-years in the Canadian Armed Forces included active duty in the Tactical Group of the 3 rd Battalion R22R on foreign missions. Thus, he has a clear understanding of the vital importance in satisfying the exact requirements of a military operation.

In short, at Nautic & Art, we not only speak the same language, we understand the military’s needs!

Nautic & Art offers a complete line of tactical intervention boats in Hypalon
(46 oz. or 1500 g/sm) perfectly adapted to today’s serious demands.


Logo: NOAQ Flood Protection AB
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Demonstrering av Demonstrating the NOAQ skyddsvall i Koblenz, Tyskland 2001Att skydda sig mot översvämningar är ofta en fråga om tid. Det tar tid att bygga skyddsvallar av sandsäckar, ibland så lång tid att man borde påbörja arbetet redan innan det har regnat…. Den som vet vilket arbete som krävs bygger inte heller en skyddsvall i onödan, utan väntar tills varningar går ut via media. Och då kan det redan vara för sent att börja.

Vi har utvecklat en mobil skyddsvall som är så snabb att bygga upp att man kan vänta tills man vet att den behövs. Dessutom behöver man inte ha en egen armé av folk som bär sandsäckar. Eftersom den reguljära armén förmodligen har fullt upp på annat håll kan det vara tryggt att veta att man kan klara av situationen på egen hand. En NOAQ tubvall väger mindre än en halv procent av de sandsäckar som annars skulle behövas, och hanteras enkelt av 2 – 4 personer. Tubvallen fungerar lika bra på gräsmattor och ängsmark som på grus- eller asfaltvägar och behöver inga förberedelser eller förankringsanordningar. Den utnyttjar nämligen översvämningsvattnets egen tyngd som förankring.

NOAQ Tubvall stoppar vatten utanför ett husEn NOAQ tubvall består av en rad luftfyllda tuber av armerad plast, som skarvas ända mot ända med hjälp av vanliga blixtlås. Varje tub har en längsgående fastsvetsad kappa som ligger mot marken på ”översvämningssidan”. När vattnet börjar stiga över kappan pressas denna fast mot marken och förankrar därmed tuben. Vi kallar det ”bokstödsprincipen” eftersom det fungerar på samma sätt som ett vanligt bokstöd. Bokstödet stöder böckerna, men hindras samtidigt från att tippa genom att böckerna står på det. Läs mer om hur tekniken fungerar i informationsbladet (PDF). Du kan också använda vår checklista (PDF) för att se om och hur tubvallen skulle kunna användas i ditt fall.

Tubvallen har utvecklats i Sverige i samarbete med Räddningsverket och har använts framgångsrikt vid flera översvämningar. Den har också vunnit flera utmärkelser, bl.a. SKAPA-priset som utdelas årligen till de bästa svenska uppfinningarna. Hösten 2002 vann den också BBC:s direktsända uppfinnartävling ”Best Inventions”.




(This is a great explanation document presenting the water-filled barrier fr flood control – with pictures)

Nauticart water-filled flood control barrier tubes - http://www.noaq.com/

Nauticart water-filled flood control barrier tubes - http://www.noaq.com/


My note – I noticed at the bottom of this page, that it indicates this has been around since at least 2002 – so why did our citizens suffer the earthen levee breaks along the Mississippi river in the Midwest last year with the subsequent losses of lives and property? I don’t understand it – why were they using sandbags alone when this was and is available?

And, on the CNN segment that showed this today, there was a comment about the FEMA or Corps of Engineers or somebody having to test this first, so that it won’t be available in the United States too aid in flood control and deflection for at least a year yet. How is that possible when it is already thoroughly tested throughout the world? Whose side are they on?

” In December 2002 it also won first prize in BBĆs live broadcasted ”Best Inventions” show.” – from company information

Thoroughly tested

The patented flood control system was developed with support from the Swedish Rescue Services Agency. It has been thoroughly tested and examined by independent institutions, and is also among the systems recommended in the Emergency Preparedness Canada report, ”Alternatives to sandbags for temporary protection”. – from company information

How is it possible that our country’s resources for the protection of life, limb and property in the event of floods, levee failures and breaches, earthen dam failures, antiquated and unmanaged levee and dam system faults, breaks, breaches and failures don’t warrant having these flood barrier systems available? I just don’t get it. Isn’t it 2009 now. That’s seven years where any of these could have been in use to have changed the outcomes of obscenely stressful, dangerous and costly flood events across the US.

– cricketdiane, 04-04-09

U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan, chairman

Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Panel

The Democratic senator from North Dakota is chairman of the energy and water appropriations panel, which funds all federal flood control projects nationwide.



In English –



Logo: NOAQ Flood Protection AB

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Demonstrering av Demonstrating the NOAQ skyddsvall  i Koblenz, Tyskland 2001Flood protection is often a matter of time. It takes considerable time to build dikes out of sandbags, in some cases so much time that one should have had to start working even before the raining… Those who already have first hand experience from this laborious work will not take the risk of doing it unnecessarily, but waits at least until flood warnings are issued by media. And then it could already be to late to start.

We have developed a temporary flood barrier that is so quickly erected that you can wait until you know for sure that it will be needed. Furthermore, you don´t have to have an army of your own, to carry sandbags. As the regular army probably is already preoccupied elsewhere you will be confidently aware that you can manage the situation yourself. A NOAQ Tube Wall weighs less than half a percent of a correspondent sandbag barrier, and is easily handled by 2 – 4 people. A Tube Wall works as good on lawns and meadows as on gravel roads and asphalt, and does not require any preparations or abutments. Instead it utilizes the weight of the flood water for anchoring.

NOAQ Tubvall stoppar vatten utanför ett husA NOAQ Tube Wall consists of airfilled tubes of reinforced plastic, interconnected by ordinary zips to form a chain. Each tube has a ”skirt” attached alongside the tube, on the ”flood side”. When water start rising the skirt is pressed firmly towards the ground, hereby anchoring the tube. We call it ”The Bookend Principle”, as it works in the same way as an ordinary bookend. The bookend is supporting the books, but is in its turn kept in place because of the heavy books standing on it. Read more about the technique in the presentation leaflet (PDF). You may also use our check list (PDF) to see if and how a Tube Wall could be used in your case.

The Tube Wall was developed in Sweden with the support of the Swedish Rescue Services Agency and has been used succesfully during flood events. It has also been awarded the SKAPA prize, yearly distributed to three Swedish top inventions. In December 2002 it also won first prize in BBC´s live broadcasted ”Best Inventions” show.