One Geologist Predicted Floods in St. Louis Months Before They Struck

Hindsight is 20-20, but so too sometimes is the foresight of geologists. That was the case prior to the flooding that struck St. Louis this December.

Read Time: 1 minute

January 3, 2016, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Tony Messenger spotlights the example of Washington University geology professor Bob Criss, who several months ago, at a local conference and later in the Journal of Earth Science [pdf], raised alarms that St. Louis was severely underprepared for the flood risk facing the region. Criss argued that "statistical methods used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to define flood risk are outdated."

Criss turned out to be right—the Mississippi River flooded towns around St. Louis on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Flood warnings continued through December 31, at this time of this writing.

The article presents the "Floods of 2015" as a failure of policy. Criss argues especially against the policies enacted by the Army Corps of Engineers. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015 in St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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