Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Dammed Border Fence Floodzone

[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?


Blogger The Red Son said...

Devastating flooding is a small price to pay for a secure border.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Subtopia said...

If I didn’t know any better (and I wonder whether I really do) I’d say, are you serious? However, being that you can’t be serious (not with that comment), I will just have to give you credit for being funny. Since, it’s exactly the kind of comment good old Chertoff would make at an instance like this. In fact, he might even add something about how the park officials should be thankful for the flooding because it has gathered up all the migrant debris and relocated it now to a place that perhaps can be picked up much easier, as if the floods have cleaned up the desert after the migrants’ mess.
Wow, maybe the DHS really does have an ingenious strategy with this border fence.
Sensing your sarcasm, I trust you can sense mine.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having clicked on their blogger profile and then through to their blog, i am not so sure.
Red Son is a revolutionary Marxist(their words not mine though), so perhaps he doesn't support U.S.A. DHS..
Only he can confirm.

8:24 AM  
Blogger NO BORDER WALL said...

It is important to note that as I type this, DHS is cutting into the flood control levees in south Texas to insert the border wall. Hopefully, once that damage is done, they will be just as effective at damming up flood waters as the walls in Arizona that were supposed to allow them to pass. Homeowners in Granjeno whose houses back up to the levee, now a levee-border wall combination, do not feel a great deal of confidence in DHS' repeated assurances that even without the usual studies or protective laws everything will be just fine.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Subtopia said...

Additionally (and Im not sure if this is good news or bad news) the DHS has halted any projects of a border wall levee project in Cameron County , apparently worried about not being able to meet the end of year deadline to have those projects constructed.
Good news, because for now it means no border wall,
or, bad news because it means no new levee improvements are planned then to constructed?
nevertheless, it is good i think to disentangle to two once more and start from scratch, and hopefully with just new levees.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Countries have a right to secure their borders but they have no excuse to build poorly designed fences.
I am good with fences in concept and not so happy in execution.

4:28 AM  

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