U.S. flood control policy on our nation's rivers is — officially, at least — only about a century old. For much of our country's history, the federal government left flood control to local authorities. River management was done in the name of navigation because Congress was wary of officially adding flood control to its responsibilities.Devastating, widespread flooding of the early 20th century changed all that. And ever since, the U.S. has been trying to conquer our rivers with incredible advances in technology and, at times, catastrophic failures.Dr. J. David Rogers with the Missouri University of Science and Technology has studied major floods on every continent except Antarctica. In this video, he lays out the nation's history of trying to innovate our way out of river flooding.Only after the massive levee system failure in 2005's Hurricane Katrina did the government and experts shift the flood control mindset away from solely building up protective barriers.Now, experts acknowledge it must be a combination of protection and managing risk.Based on data analysis of the National Levee Database, U.S. levees currently protect 19.5 million people, 5.5 million structures and $2.5 trillion in property value.
Lessons Learned: Our History Fighting Off Floods
We've been trying to conquer floods for generations, but nature keeps reminding us no levee or dam is 100% fail-proof.
Efforts to change crosses on graves of Jewish American soldiers
Hundreds of Jewish American soldiers killed during World War II are thought to be buried under Latin crosses.
Children of fallen military members gather for remembrance and healing
Children in the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors express pain, loss and dreams through therapy, art and poetry.
Inside the complicated process of building a new national memorial
Building a national memorial to the lives lost in the Global War on Terror requires new laws, layers of bureaucracy and millions of dollars.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels saw another steep jump in 2023
Atmospheric CO2 is now 50% higher than it was before the start of the industrial revolution.
Taylor Swift delivers impactful Pride month speech at Chicago concert
Taylor Swift delivered a powerful message for Pride, telling her Chicago audience she sees "incredible individuals who are living authentically."
At least 42 dead, thousands displaced due to heavy floods in Haiti
Haiti, already experiencing a humanitarian crisis, was hit with a deadly storm over the weekend.