Louisiana does not have a lot of places for rain water to flow to

NY Times:
The state said that at least 11 people had died and that about 30,000 had been rescued after a storm system dumped more than 20 inches of rain in two days.
The area impacted by the rain is relatively flat so it takes longer to drain than more hilly regions.  My sister who lives in Lafayette  had the water lapping at her doorstep and used sandbags to keep it out of the house.  Her son's house is surrounded by water and he has not been able to get into it to determine if there has been any damage.  The company he works for gave him a Walmart gift certificate to buy clothes and also is paying for a motel run for a few days.

Just to give the 20-inch rainfall some perspective, when we had the storm blow through this area of Texas a couple of months ago, we had 24 inches of rain in a matter of a few hours.  Because this area is hilly, the runoff made the flooding much more localized around streams.  Most of the damage we had was from the electrical storm that came with the rain.

The Louisiana flooding has been described as a thousand year flood. The economics of planning for that type of flood probably would cost more than the damages they are incurring.

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