Success in flood control in the Netherlands

CBS 60 Minutes, September 23, 2018.  If you missed it, the link to the full segment is below.  Here are some excerpts and of course a comment from me here and there.

Holland is about twice the size of New Jersey and is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. Much of it is below sea level, yet the Dutch don’t bother with flood insurance. They don’t need it. As the U.S. cleans up from Hurricane Florence, we were wondering, do the Dutch have a solution?

We met a Dutchman – Henk Ovink – who says it’s time to rewrite America’s disaster playbook entirely.

“The storms are perhaps man-caused and you can debate that, but the catastrophes because of the storms? Uh, those are man-made.” Hank Ovink.

Henk is the world’s only water ambassador, appointed by the Netherlands, says damage from hurricanes could be lessened with the help of Dutch-innovated storm water management

FEMA and many other federal, state and local agencies do a tremendous job in advanced warning and managing the aftermath…  Katrina, Harvey, Sandy, Florence.

But we spend billions on the aftermath …  the Netherlands spent billions on managing the storm water to eliminate the flooding.  It was not easy!

The Netherland gates took six years to build and cost $500 million.  Bill Whitaker: That’s a big investment for something that you’ve only had to use once or twice since it was built. Henk Ovink: $150 billion were lost in New Orleans. I don’t think I need to say more. How many people were killed? Sandy, another storm, $70 billion. We don’t have those damages.

Henk has been consulting with FEMA and other US government agencies for years… apparently we must be slow learners.

Why is it we can always find the money for wars, but not domestic priorities.

***** S&E *****

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