The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Deadly Flooding in Texas Causes Dramatic Bridge Collapse
Heavy rains led to flooding where the Llano River and the Colorado River meet in Kingsland, Texas. Flood waters rushed over the 2900 bridge for hours before it collapsed.
A rainfall graph showing the heavy rains that caused flooding in Central Texas. National Weather Service
Residents in the area were ordered to evacuate Tuesday, and Llano County Emergency Management Coordinator Ron Anderson warned them on Wednesday not to return to their homes too quickly.
"Texas is taking immediate action to respond to the threat of recent severe weather and flooding across the state," Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said in a statement Tuesday as he issued a state disaster declaration for 18 impacted counties.
The Texas flooding in the latest in a year of extreme weather events.
The Llano River almost reached record levels Tuesday when it crested at 39.91 feet, just under the 1935 high of 41.5 feet. By Wednesday, however, it had fallen to 12.5 feet.
"And that has been outstanding news for us. It's going to allow us to begin to get a lot of the recovery work initiated that's going to be ongoing in weeks and couple of months that are ahead of us," Anderson said.
But that doesn't mean the area is in the clear yet. The National Weather Service has predicted more rain for the area Thursday and Friday, The Associated Press reported.
"It's not going to take hardly anything to cause additional issues with flash flooding and river flooding," NWS forecaster Jason Runyen said.
Two bodies have so far been found in the swollen rivers. A body was found early Tuesday in Lake Lyndon B. Johnson where the Llano flows into the Colorado, and a woman's body was found Tuesday night at a low-water crossing in Llano.
Four additional people were swept up in river waters last week when the South Llano River flooded an RV Park in Junction, Texas. Three bodies have been recovered and one is still missing.
The Lower Colorado River Authority said it would likely have to open a record number of eight flood gates at the Mansfield Dam at Lake Travis. There are currently four open.
Heavy rains, or extreme precipitation events, are linked to climate change because a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, according to the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Between 1901 and 2016, the percentage of annual rainfall falling in the most extreme one percent of precipitation events increased in Texas by 24 percent.
The change in rainfall falling in extreme rainfall events across the U.S.U.S. Global Change Research Program
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.
By Jeff Turrentine
Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?