Debra Shore

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My Mission Debra Shore

The Next Storm,
The Next Flood?

August 26, 2014

People Are Asking…On the Radio!

Is it better to put food waste down the garbage disposal or throw it out in the trash? I’ll be a guest on Jerome McDonnell's Worldview program on WBEZ 91.5 FM Tuesday, August 26 at approximately 12:40p.m. discussing this very question with Jerome and his co-host Kate Sackman of the EcoMyths Alliance. Also joining me will be Northwestern University’s expert on life cycle analysis, Professor Eric Masanet.

The Next Storm…The Next Flood?

Ever since the big storm of June 30/July 1, I’ve been pondering the intense rain events we’ve been experiencing in the Chicagoland area in recent years. As I noted in my newsletter from July 5 ("It Was Worse Than I Thought — Storm Story 2.0"), it’s not just the amount of rain that has been significant, but the intensity as well. If 3.6 inches of rain were to fall over a 24-hour period, the total would be a lot of rain, but the local sewers are designed to handle that amount. (Most local storm sewers are designed to handle a five-year storm — the amount of rain that has a one in five chance of occurring every year.) But if those 3.6 inches fall in 40 minutes — as happened near Midway Airport between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. on Friday, August 22 — then no local sewers can accommodate so much rain in such a short a period of time. That amount of rain in 40 minutes is greater than a 100-year storm event (a rainstorm that has a one in one hundred chance of occurring every year. Big diff.)

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