The Stream, March 27, 2020: Flood Recovery in the UK Stalled Due to Coronavirus Spread

The Global Rundown

Residents say that flood recovery efforts in the United Kingdom have stalled due to the coronavirus. Turkey accepts bids for the first phase of construction of a large canal in Istanbul. Businesses and homeowners along the U.S. Great Lakes brace for another year of record-breaking high water levels. Dozens of coronavirus cases are confirmed among members of the Navajo Nation, where many households lack running water. Meteorologists call on British citizens in lockdown to help digitize old rainfall records. 

“We are set to reach in time to rescue millions of pieces of UK rainfall data that are currently going to waste in filing cabinets. These records will help scientists better understand how and why rainfall varies so much in different locations across the UK. With much of the population facing long spells indoors due to Covid-19, the chance to be part of a serious science project may provide a welcome distraction.” –Ed Hawkins, a professor of climate science at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and the University of Reading, in reference to a call for isolated British citizens to help digitize rainfall data from the 1820s to 1960s. Scientists say that digitizing old records could provide further insight into how climate change is affecting Britain’s weather patterns. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

£500 ($607) Amount that flood-hit homeowners in the United Kingdom were supposed to receive after overflowing rivers damaged their homes last month. The payouts, as well as other flood recovery efforts, have been stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Residents say the delays are intensifying an already desperate situation. BBC 

45 kilometers (28 miles) Length of the proposed Kanal Istanbul, which would run alongside Istanbul, Turkey, connecting the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea. The ambitious project, which is expected to cost more than $11 billion, has drawn criticism due to its potential pollution of freshwater resources. Turkey is moving forward with the project, however, holding its first canal-related tender on Thursday. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

This year, several of the U.S. Great Lakes set record-highs for the month of February, and experts say more records will likely fall as 2020 progresses. Coastal communities, which are already grappling with erosion caused by high water levels last year, are rushing to build and repair seawalls and other infrastructure to try to combat the rising waters. MLive

On the Radar

In the past week, coronavirus cases in the Navajo Nation, an American Indian territory in the southwestern United States, have risen to 69. The population is under stay-at-home orders, but many of the reservation’s 350,000 residents are without running water and must drive miles to get it, which experts fear may fuel the spread of the disease. NPR


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