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August 22, 2011 [CLICK HERE to see proper format.][LINK / comment]
Midwest photos: cities and floods
This year's batch of photos from my travels to the Midwest has two main themes: urban centers and floods. It was the first time I had really stopped to look around (and photograph) the downtown sections of Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Saint Louis. In each case I came across interesting scenery, a combination of vibrant new structures and crumbling old factories. The Rust Belt! In the latter two cities, searching for the sites of former baseball stadiums led me to discover some charming but rather run-down neighborhoods. [One especially sad scene was the ongoing demolition of Holy Name Catholic Church, in Kansas City, about a half mile from where Municipal Stadium used to be. It was a beautiful old stone structure, but the congregants had evidently moved far away several decades ago, and nobody seems willing or able to maintain or restore it.]
The other theme was the floods all along the Missouri River, which was supposed to be protected against such natural disasters by the advent of large dams that were built in the decades following World War II. I was aware that Interstate 29 had been closed in the vicinity of Omaha, Nebraska, but I assumed the waters would have receded by now. Wrong! To my surprise, on my way out west I had to drive through several low-lying sections of I-29 that are still protected by sandbags on either side, with the flood right next to the road bed. Yikes! Low-lying parts of Sioux City, Iowa remains inundated as well, I learned. As I was heading toward Kansas City on my return trip, I had to take an extensive detour through southwestern Iowa along U.S. Route 71 because I-29 is still closed south of Omaha! To me, that is almost incomprehensible.
While sight-seeing in South Dakota, I was astonished by the enormous volume of water that is being released at the Gavins Point Dam. (See below.) Those in charge of managing the Missouri River dams did not anticipate the consequences of the above-average winter snowfall, combined with a very rainy spring. (Your government in action. ) I learned that the 1944 "Pick Sloan Plan" (named after an Army Corps of Engineers general who had a zeal for damming rivers) was never fully thought through in advance. This year we learned that the ability of human beings to control the natural environment through dams, etc. is more limited than we would like to think. For both points of view, see the Corps of Engineers Web site and Prairie Fire, a progressive (leftist) newspaper based in Lincoln, Nebraska.
With that as background preparation, please take a look at the brand-new Midwest 2011 photo gallery.
The Gavins Point Dam, which has been overflowing all summer. It is located about five miles west of Yankton, South Dakota.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 22 Aug 2011, 11: 41 PM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
March 9, 2011 ~ Life bird: (un-) Common Redpoll
March 31, 2011 ~ Batter UP!!! Opening Day 2011 is here!
April 3, 2011 ~
Legislators seek redistricting input (?)
April 18, 2011 ~
Tea Party Tax Day rally
May 1, 2011 ~ Confirmed: Osama bin Laden is dead!
May 25, 2011 ~ Governor visits Staunton
May 30, 2011 ~ Nationals WIN, then resume plunge
June 2, 2011 ~ Republicans declare candidacies
June 14, 2011 ~ Anti-tax dogma vs. fiscal sanity
June 23, 2011 ~ Nationals sweep Mariners; Riggleman quits
June 26, 2011 ~ Two extraordinary extra-inning games
July 8, 2011 ~ Nationals sweep the Cubs (almost)
July 26, 2011 ~ Debt ceiling showdown: farce majeur
August 1, 2011 ~ Leaders compromise on debt ceiling
August 20, 2011 ~ Baseball road trip 2011: Missouri
August 31, 2011 ~ Is Obama getting desperate?
September 11, 2011 ~ 9/11: Ten years later
October 1, 2011 ~ THREE "shots heard around the world"
October 3, 2011 ~ Hundreds of hawks, dozens of warblers, and three bears!!
October 10, 2011 ~ Kansas performs in concert at JMU
October 10, 2011 ~ R.I.P. Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011)
October 29, 2011 ~ The Cardinals are world champions again
November 5, 2011 ~ Washington Nationals: year in review
November 9, 2011 ~ Republicans gain, State Senate is tied (?)
November 28, 2011 ~ Newt gets real (?) on immigration
December 3, 2011 ~ Moneyball, the A's, and Billy Beane
December 14, 2011 ~ Libertarians don't get no respect *
December 31, 2011 ~ Those wintertime no-baseball blues
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)