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Last week, another national report was released covering the national chronic and epidemic illness of urban flooding. The report is titled “Urban Flooding Moving Towards Resilience” and was released by the Association of State Floodplain Managers Foundation. Click here if you care to read the full report. I’m going to post my personal highlights and commentary on the report below.

While the focus of the Pittsburgh Urban Flooding Journal is Pittsburgh centered (well duh it’s in the title of the blog, Tom), it’s important to keep an eye on the national landscape to better understand and learn perspectives from other places across the country.

You may recall a past blog post where I wrote (in David Letterman style) about another national report titled: “The Growing Threat of Urban Flooding: A National Challenge”. Boy, did I really enjoy doing that whole David Letterman bit around that report. But let’s be honest I’m no David Letterman, even though I desperately want to be. David, if you are reading this, which I realize you are not, but will pretend you are anyway, you are a true American hero. For example, you deserve this country’s highest medal of honor, not that jackass Rush Limbaugh, for this skit when you were the manager at the local Taco Bell taking orders in the drive thru. Not in this or any parallel universe can I compete with that level of comedy on this blog.

“Nacho Supreme takes about an hour and a half. You need to give us a day’s notice on that one.”

But enough about David Letterman, I wanted to discuss some of the highlights from the report “Urban Flooding Moving Towards Resilience” and provide some reflections and commentary from a Pittsburgh perspective. So let’s get to it. Passages from the report in bold. Commentary in italics.

Pg. 7 (of the pdf): “Local action alone is not enough. Resilience requires coordinated action across multiple domains and multiple levels of government.”

This passage from the report should pretty much be the official motto for this blog. Individual municipalities in the Pittsburgh region need to come together. Right now…. ♫ Over me. He got early warning. He got muddy water.

Pg. 7: Ugh… Not this photograph again…

Well well well we meet again flooding bike kid and lackadaisical adult supervision guy wearing mesh basketball shorts. See my prior blog post offering my commentary on the lunacy of this photo.

Pg. 8: “We need to better understand urban flooding: where, how and why it is taking place, and the social, environmental, economic and cultural impacts. Detailed data and strong visualizations can help.”

Motto number 2 for why this blog exists.

Pg. 9: ” GIS maps can detail where flooding is likely to occur … Heat maps can show “hot spots” for reported flooding—for example, the locations of 311 calls over time.”

Stay tuned to this blog for more on this idea of determining hot spots. I’m using twitter data and GIS tools to map flooding report locations throughout Allegheny county.

Pg. 10: “A mayor’s committee, a task force structure or special authorization may be needed.”

Like, maybe a Pittsburgh Regional Flood Commission? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone hear me? Is this Fisher-Price microphone on?

Pg. 11: “Throughout the country, multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional coalitions are being formed to discuss shared water concerns and create common standards and programs.”

Yes and this needs to happen in the Pittsburgh Region. The report highlights Denver as an example. The Mile High Flood District is a great example that the Pittsburgh region should use as a potential model agency.

Pg. 19: In Washington DC “The mayor set up a Task Force on Prevention of Flooding to find solutions that could be implemented through coordinated efforts over time”

The first step in fixing a problem is admitting you have one.”

Way to go Mr. Mayor in taking this first step. We need a similar type of leader in the Pittsburgh region to do the same.Pittsburgh Regional Flood Commission” drum beating noises emanating from my Fraggle Rock drum set.

And finally my favorite line from the report from Page 24 …

“The path to the future starts with community commitment. But the path can be made easier through focused support.”

We need community commitment and focused support in the Pittsburgh region to address our chronic flooding illness. The only way this can be done is if we come together.

Right now...

Here’s a photo of John and Ringo spending a relaxing day fishing…

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