The deadly floods of Europe are shocking scientists

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The deadly floods of Europe are shocking scientists

Story Highlights

  • Deadly flooding in northern Europe has prompted questions about how such wealthy developed countries could still be taken by surprise, despite ample flood warnings. Although recent infrastructure projects appear to have reduced damage in parts of the Netherlands, scientists point to a number of potential factors: Climate change has supercharged rainstorms in Europe, making them even more intense than expected. The speed and intensity of flooding on small tributaries surprised emergency managers and residents and caused damage in smaller villages that have received less flood mitigation work. Researchers also wonder whether residents disregarded or were unsure what to do in response to flood warnings.