So I have been very, very busy of late, both in the office and on my own time, and haven't done a lot of posting. But I came across this, first on the Pittsburgh Press site, then at the P-I (though nothing from the Seattle Times). In short, it says that a lot of levees need repaired.
The article, pretty much identical in the Press and the P-I, makes a passing reference to the fact that a lot of the sites are located in Washington State, though this seems to just be passed on without much comment by our local press. This is particularly interesting since, if you check out the pdfed list, you find that a lot of the areas of concern, where maintenance of the levees has been turned over to local authorities and since lapsed, are along the Cedar and Green Rivers.
These rivers are very close to here, like just down the hill from us. And indeed, both are rivers that had historically different and often random paths before the authorities channeled and leveed them into submission. The Green is particular was known for frequent flooding, and the region now occupied by WotC, the big Southcenter Mall, and the upcoming Federal Reserve Bank, were all regularly flooded (there was a racetrack in this area once, and I have seen pictures of it underwater).
But just because the local waterway was once tamed does not mean it stays tamed, and the heavy rains of the past few years have given concern. Now the feds are voicing the same concern, to the tune that the locals either have to get on the ball, or those in the floodplains will have to pony up for flood plain insurance.
Given that a lot of large businesses (commercial and light industry) are now in the path of the Green, I have a feeling that we will be hearing about this again in the near future.
John Oliver re. Third Parties - I've been meaning to add this as an addendum to my earlier political post, but have decided it's too good to bury. Here's John Oliver giving the minor part...
4 hours ago