- torrential /taw-REN-shuhl/
- impassable /im-PAS-uh-buhl/
- infrastructure /IN-fruh-struhk-cher/
- abundance /uh-BUHN-duhns/
- devastate /DEV-uh-steyt/
[adjective] – used to refer to very heavy rain
The coast has been battered by torrential rain all week.
[adjective] – an impassable road or path cannot be traveled on because of bad weather conditions or because it is blocked
The mud made the roads impassable.
[noun] – the basic systems and services, such as transportation and power supplies, that a country or organization uses in order to work effectively
The industry was accused of having invested little in workers, plants, or infrastructure.
[noun] – the situation in which there is more than enough of something
The country has an abundance of natural resources.
[verb] – to destroy a place or thing completely or cause great damage
Earthquakes can also cause tsunamis, which devastate coastal regions.
Floods can impact negatively critical public infrastructure, such as transportation networks and hospitals. After losing power, some hospitals in London had to order patients to leave. Because of the abundance of hard surfaces in urban areas, such as paved front gardens, roads, parking lots, and high streets, this type of “surface water” flooding is more likely. When it rains, it doesn’t soak into the ground as it does in the countryside. In July, when New York City was devastated by Storm Elsa, which flooded the subway system, an example was seen.
“If the drains at the street level can’t handle the water, it goes over the curb and makes things even worse,” said Sarah Feinberg, president of the city’s transit authority. She claimed that water had gotten into the subway vents and down the stairwell. Old sewer systems were designed in many countries, including much of the United Kingdom, based on historical rainfall estimates. According to Dr. Veronica Edmonds-Brown of the University of Hertfordshire, the development of London is also a concern because the city’s Victorian-era drainage system “cannot cope with the massive rise in population.”
- Was there a time you experienced flooding in your area? Could you tell me more about it?
- When was the last time it rained so hard in your area?
- If you had the power to do something about flooding, how would you address this problem?
- Do you agree with the idea that the abundance of hard surfaces in urban areas makes flooding worse?
- In your opinion, will flood control infrastructure work in urban areas? Why do you think so?