[Image: Faulty design turned border fence into dam, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.]
In wake of this earlier post (Flooding the Border with Security Preserves), yet another flood ransacked the border at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which straddles Lukeville, Arizona, and Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico, where several border communities reside including the Tohono O'odham. Similar to recent flooding in Nogales, this disaster, too, was caused by -- you guessed it –- a border fence.
Apparently, the new $21.3 million, 5.2-mile fence along the monument's southern border, basically turned into a dam during the storms on July 12th. The wire-mesh construction, meant to prevent crossers and vehicles but allow water to pass through, halted the natural flow of floodwater along the border when, according to a National Park Services report (pdf), “Debris piled up against the fence, including in drainage gates designed to prevent flooding, and the 6-foot deep fence foundation stopped subsurface water flow.” So, instead of flowing north to south, as I understand it naturally should, the floodwater carried laterally through the port of entry pooling 2 to 7 feet high and causing tons of damage to the ecology and nearby businesses.
[Image: Barriers at border go up as debate on effects goes on, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.]
What’s a crime is that none of this came as a surprise to anyone. The DHS had been warned of this sort of potential before they chose to ignore the severity of that discussion, and decided to build a fence regardless, even though they claimed the design would not hamper this flow in any significant way. You can read the full report here (pdf) outlaying the ecological and infrastructural damage that was caused by the border fence, and what can be expected in the future.
When you hear Chertoff blaming migrants for the degradation of the border environment, this kind of news just makes you sick.
Critical at this point will be to see how the DHS responds to these border fence-created disaster zones, whether they will own up to their mistakes and take responsibility for ruining the border (or, whether they can be held accountable by anyone!), or simply continue to clone these disaster stamps elsewhere with future fence construction. So far, this shameless pattern of reckless ineptitude leaves one absolutely no faith in the U.S. government's ability to create anything other than a long linear tale of disaster there.
See these articles:
Faulty design turned border fence into dam
US/Mexico border wall causes flooding O'odham territory
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Damaged by Border Wall Flood Obstruction
New Park Service Report Details Environmental, Infrastructure Damage Caused by Predictable Border Wall Flood Problems
Will the Last Free-Flowing River in Arizona Survive the Border Wall?