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Patrick Michels

There Was a Plan to Save This City From Flooding. But When the Rains Came, So Did Hesitance.

The Army Corps of Engineers’ delay in activating a floodway — land designated to take on water — cost millions of dollars in damage to Cairo, Illinois, and surrounding communities in 2011.

How the Army Corps’ Hesitation Nearly Destroyed a City

When the worst flood in nearly a century hit Cairo, Illinois, in 2011, the Army Corps waited before following an emergency plan designed to save a city of 2,800 people. See how that week unfolded and the delays and indecision that cost millions in avoidable damage.

Flood Thy Neighbor: Who Stays Dry and Who Decides?

One Missouri town’s levee saga captures what's wrong with America's approach to controlling rivers.

Inside a Secretive Lobbying Effort to Deregulate Federal Levees

The effort seeks to undermine federal rules meant to prevent “levee wars” — where communities race to boost their own flood protection at the expense of their neighbors.

New Model Shows Towns on the Wrong Side of an Illinois Levee District Are Treading Water

By building up their own flood protections, some communities have ensured they would be less affected by future floods, while their neighbors would fare worse.

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