Charles Guswelle wrote that floods “are the work of an indifferent nature,” and that nature, not the U.S. Supreme Court and Army Corps of Engineers, ought decide who or doesn’t take losses in flood (“Who gets to decide between survivors and victims?” 5/29/11).
High water is a condition of indifferent nature. Humans create “flood” when they build their lives and assets where the river will flow in a high-water event. We build structures (levees, floodwalls) to protect our assets and lives, which leads to higher water and worsening floods, which, in turn, leads us to bolster our flood-control structures.
The unfortunate result of our levees and floodwalls is a need for administrative and legal bodies like the Corps and the Supreme Court to decide, in a high-water event, who will be flooded and who won’t.
Better, I believe, to rethink building and living where the river runs.
1717 Jarboe St.
Kansas City, MO 64108