Saudi Arabia doesn't flood. Ditto for Kuwait, Iraq or Iran. No floods. Alberta floods and we should consider what that means. Fortunately Colorado is giving us the answers we need. From Grist:
Heavy rains returned to Colorado on Sunday and hampered rescue efforts after last week’s flash floods. The confirmed death toll
has risen to seven, and hundreds are still unaccounted for. An
estimated 1,500 homes are destroyed. Some 1,000 people in Larimer
County, north of Boulder, were awaiting airlifts that never came on
Sunday — they were called off because of the foul weather.
The floods have also triggered other problems that have gotten a lot
less media attention: Fracking infrastructure has been inundated and its
toxic contents have spilled out. Pipelines that transport fossil fuels
are sagging and snapping under pressure. Tanks that store chemicals and
polluted water are being overwhelmed and toppling over. Oil and gas
wells are flooding.
A spokesman for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said
the agency is aware of the potential for contamination from flooded
drilling sites, but there simply is no way to get to those sites while
flooding is ongoing and while resources are concentrated on saving
East Boulder County United, a group that fights fracking, has been posting photographs on its Facebook page of fracking tanks and other equipment toppled over or submerged by floodwaters. Blogger TXsharon has also been posting updates and photographs.
Meanwhile, experts are beginning to discuss the links between climate
change and the floods. The flooding was worsened by drought and
wildfires, both of which have been linked to global warming and which
left the ground dry and hard. That reduced the amount of water that the
soil could absorb from the unusual late-summer inundation.
So, Alberta, there's your warning. From here on in it's deja vu.
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