Editor's note

The stunning scale of flooding in Houston has even left the National Weather Service grasping for words. But damaging floods can occur far from the ocean as well – and Americans seem to be less aware of flood risks inland. In a recent study, geographer Nina Lam found that development in flood zones near U.S. coastlines slowed in recent years, but increased in flood zones inland, moving people into harm’s way.

Does climate change make a devastating event like Hurricane Harvey more likely? Andrew King from the University of Melbourne explains what scientists can say about the role of climate change and factors such as population growth in extreme weather events.

And Mitchel Roth, author of “Convict Cowboys,” tells the story of the Texas Prison Rodeo, which drew fans from around the state – and, as far as Roth can tell, was the only sporting event in the South during the 1940s and early 1950s that wasn’t segregated.

Jennifer Weeks

Editor, Environment and Energy

Top story

Two people walk down a flooded section of Interstate 610 in Houston in floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Americans who live far from coasts should also be worried about flooding

Nina Lam, Louisiana State University

As Hurricane Harvey shows, flooding can happen wherever large storms stall and dumps lots of rain. A new study finds that development is increasing in flood zones inland, where people may not think they are at risk.

Environment + Energy

  • Is Hurricane Harvey a harbinger for Houston's future?

    Andrew King, University of Melbourne

    The unpredictability of hurricanes makes it hard to say for sure whether climate change is making them worse. But we do know that sea-level rise and increased evaporation will worsen the impacts.

Arts + Culture


  • The wrongs of passage in fraternity hazing

    Hank Nuwer, Franklin College

    With the fall term underway and an ongoing case over the death of a Penn State pledge in February, colleges are trying once again to figure out why hazing happens and what should be done to stop it.

Ethics + Religion

Economy + Business

Politics + Society

Health + Medicine

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