August 2016 brought record floods to the Baton Rouge Capital Region, equaling and surpassing the historic 1983 flood which many pointed to as a worst-case flooding scenario. After decades of continued land development of the watersheds in this region, fresh, often contentious discussion around the impacts have been flowing in the public discourse. With the fork in the road these concerns present to evolving public policy and expectations upon private development patterns, we've invited Bob Jacobsen, engineering consultant on flood hydrology, flood risk, & floodplain management, to illuminate the factors that contribute to flooding in the region.
Jacobsen will address the July 20th meeting of the Baton Rouge Group of the Sierra Club about how storm water runoff has been impacted by: 1) rapid and pervasive development; 2) man-made modifications to channels (dredging, straightening, lining, etc.) and to floodplains (road/railroad embankments); 3) subsidence; and 4) anthropogenic climate change (perhaps the greatest impact). He will also discuss the misconceptions of flood zones and will suggest steps that need to be taken to prevent or reduce flooding and its impact on lives and property.