Letters to the Editor

Flood concerns

January 9, 2008


To the editor:

On Nov. 28, I attended a city planning meeting, and one of the commissioners attributed part of the difficulty of their job to the NIMBY (not in my back yard) factor.

Yes, the residents of North Lawrence are concerned about the proposed industrial development in Grant Township because their homes and personal safety are at stake. But all of Lawrence will be facing extra taxes from financing a speculation development and also, at some point, more dollars for cleaning up a disaster.

The proposed development calls for a great deal of nonporous surface covering normal drainage areas. No plan has been presented for dealing with the flooding that will result, for paying for the subsequent damage, or even how emergency vehicles are to serve North Lawrence when the Second Street underpass is blocked by flooding and the East Lawrence Turnpike interchange is closed for construction or an accident.

There is no plan for the results of a "hundred-year flood." A hundred-year flood doesn't mean that it won't happen for 100 years; it means in all probability it will happen one year out of 100. The flood is just as likely to be next year as 99 years from now. Nobody claims to be ready for that.

The City Commission will be deciding your future at their Jan. 22 meeting. Let them know: Not in My City (NIMC.)

Ellen Paulsen,



hujiko 10 years, 1 month ago

If by hundred year flood you mean that the Kaw will overtop the leevees? This is highly unlikely because all of the major tributaries to the Kansas river above Lawrence have been dammed. This was in response to the huge flood in 1951, and with these dams in place, North Lawrence is quite safe.

People are ready for it, they've been ready since the 60's

ksdivakat 10 years, 1 month ago

hujiko...........you wasnt here in 93 was you??

GOPConservative 10 years, 1 month ago

There is no question that extremes are going to be a result of global warming. It's already starting to happen here and everywhere, and it will get much worse!

Besides big floods during some years, other years will be times of widespread drought. During those times, food will be scarce and expensive.

What a shame it will be to have our fertile Kaw Valley (with it's readily available irrigation) filled with big boxes and parking lots. It will cost a fortune to pump water up to the higher ground on that poor parched soil where warehouses should have been located in the first place.

Putting more development in the flood plain when there are plenty of warn out pastures on higher ground is just plain stupid!

Logan5 10 years, 1 month ago

There are some good reasons to deny this project, but flooding is not one of them.

Flood or no flood, the construction of this project will not increase the flood level the way it can in other floodplains. North Lawrence is an area that is subject to inundation by a flood. This inundation area is huge and flood waters are not swiftly moving. This, however, is not taken into account. People have also been talking about increased probability of floods due to global warming. It seems to me that this would more than likely have the reverse effect.

HMcMellon 10 years, 1 month ago

As I understand it, the climate scientists are saying is that we will have extremes as a result of global warming. We will have years of severe drought and years of torrential rains. Those Category Six hurricanes that they talk about forming over the warmer waters of the Carribbean are supposed to be ten times larger than anything in the past.

Remnants of hurricanes in the past have dumped 5 inches of rain in the Kaw Valley in a few hours. If a storm is ten times as strong as anything in the past, does that mean it could dump 50 inches of rain? Has anyone in the planning office checked this out? Are climate scientists being consulted about this?

It seems that what happened in the last hundred years is pretty irrelevant given what the climate scientists are saying about these extremely large hurricanes.

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