The unfortunate thing about natural disasters is the colossal wreck they leave behind which takes ages to clean up. Loss of lives and property are immediate events during major disasters however, even after the floods have passed those who survive have to deal with the additional trauma of handling the repairs. We already know from the experience of recent hurricanes that swept the US that major flooding disasters can take weeks or months to make repairs.
Floods caused by hurricanes undoubtedly inflict severe damages however, even heavy rains and flooding caused by melting snow pose a major threat to homes and lives! The destruction to acres of farmland results in the ruining of crops and also affects the economy to a great extent. Damage control involves billions of dollars in order to rebuild homes, recover farmland and restart businesses. Flooding disasters not only unsettle people from their homes but the spreading of floodwater into sewer pipes leads to dirty sewer water being spilled out. Diseases spread quickly and for people fleeing homes it is extremely difficult to simultaneously seek shelter, salvage belongings and steer clear of unhygienic water!
Widespread Damage Affects Lives and Businesses
Major flooding disasters include broken rail lines, bridges and factories filled with inches of flood water ruining equipment and machinery. Needles to say, industries that involve hazardous materials and chemicals pose a serious threat to the environment in case of a flooding disaster. There is no way of controlling the seepage of these dangerous substances into the drinking water supply of the area during a flooding disaster. Disaster management efforts are mainly focused on saving lives and evacuating people to safer locations. Even after the floods have receded it will take a while to clean up the water pipes and restore safe water supply in the event of major contamination.
It is relatively difficult to evacuate livestock in the event of flooding disasters. Owners of poultry farms simply cannot find a way to rescue all of the livestock during a major spell of floods. Once the water levels recede, it requires a large-scale effort to remove the dead livestock as quickly as possible to avoid it from becoming a biohazard!
Rail and road repairs, restoration of gas, power and water lines and cleaning operations may take weeks or even months and years depending upon the scale of damage. Rebuilding of homes, resuming of businesses and schools and restoration of general normalcy in a flood affected area can take ages. Several families and businesses take even a single major episode of destruction as a warning and move themselves elsewhere for fear of a repeat event! This may lead to unemployment and general economic damage to the region.
From the viewpoint of disaster management there is not much one can do beyond taking a few measures to prevent flooding inside homes and establishments. Floods caused by hurricanes or by overflowing water from the Mississippi etc. are simply too catastrophic to be prepared for! The aftermath of such a catastrophe is as unmanageable as the event itself. Events like hurricane Katrina have shown us what kind of large-scale and permanent damage can be brought upon by Mother Nature. It has taken years for victims of Katrina to chug their lives back to normalcy. Even with government support, it can take weeks or even months to repair most of the damages. Flooding disasters around different parts of the world are testimony to the fact that it is extremely time-consuming and very expensive to repair the damages caused by flooding disasters.