The Stream, January 24: Flooding Swamps Roads, Halts Transportation in France and United Kingdom

The Global Rundown

The River Seine overflows its bank amid heavy rainfall, halting normal transportation in Paris, France. The end of a cold snap brings rains and flooding throughout the United Kingdom. The U.S. Supreme Court rules that cases litigating the Clean Water Act should be heard in federal district courts. Industry experts warn that drought could cut Zambia’s maize crop by 50 percent. Water levels in the U.S. Great Lakes are expected to rise for the fifth straight year. Piles of trash wash ashore in Lebanon, dirtying beaches and angering residents.

“We said it was not possible to keep dumping in the water. We knew we were going to get here.” –Paul Abi Rached, a Beirut environmentalist, in reference to the vast amounts of Lebanon’s waste being dumped into the Mediterranean. Since 2015, the government has failed to provide trash collection services in Beirut, causing the sea to become a dumping ground. Now, the waste is washing ashore onto beaches across the country. ABC News

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By The Numbers

50 percent Amount of 2018 maize output that Zambia could lose if the country’s drought continues, according to industry experts. Maize crop in many key production areas has already wilted. Reuters

90 millimeters (3.5 inches) Amount of rain that has fallen in Paris, France, so far in January, nearly twice as much as normal. The River Seine has overflowed in several places, upsetting transportation throughout the city. Other areas of France are also experiencing floods. Forbes

Science, Studies, And Reports

Water levels in the Great Lakes are expected to rise for the fifth consecutive year, according to forecasts by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lakes hit record-low levels in 2013, prompting a $21 million emergency dredging program for 58 harbors in Michigan. The Detroit News

In context: Report: Water Levels Hit Record Lows in Two Great Lakes, Wildlife Struggles to Cope with Changing Climate

On The Radar

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that cases litigating the Clean Water Act should be heard in federal district courts. The ruling came in opposition to the Trump administration, which argued that the cases should be heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals because the rule related to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) permitting authority. The Hill

Flood warnings have been issued across the United Kingdom as a recent cold snap gives way to heavy rain. The downpour, coupled with meltwater, has caused landslides, road damage, and flooding. The Guardian