Floods Show California’s Climate Dilemma: Fight the Water, or Pull Back?

As global warming brings more intense rainfall, experts say the state needs to give rivers more room to flood safely. But the obstacles are enormous.

Send any friend a story

As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

By Christopher Flavelle and Raymond Zhong

Graphics by Zach Levitt and Mira Rojanasakul

As California battles a second week of lashing rain and snow that have flooded communities, broken levees and toppled power lines, the state is facing questions about whether its approach to handling crippling storms is suited to 21st-century climate threats.

For decades, federal and state planners built dams and levees in California to store water and keep it at bay. But as climate change increases the risk of stronger and more destructive storms — like the one that was battering Northern California on Wednesday — experts and some policymakers are urging another approach: giving rivers room to overflow.

Precipitation in California Over the Last 10 Days

Source: Read Full Article