For seven years, I attended a swim clinic in Blairstown, NJ thatpromoted swimmers to learn new techniques to improve their strokes. The main reason I decided to attend was not to necessarily swim but to get away from home for a couple of weeks, rekindle those summer friendships, and to live my life in those two weeks more than I did during the entire school year. The phrase “it’s a beautiful earth, and it’s great to be alive” originates from those mornings I woke up to a energetic Aussie that forced me out of bed at the early hours of the morning. To get to the dining hall at 7:00 sharp and be ready to be in the frigid ice water by 8:00. To swim lap after lap for two hours and then finally be saved by the 10:00 hour to change and get ready to watch swim videos. This would be the phrase that would get me ready to be in the pool three times a day for two hours and get me through the torturous waves of water gliding on every surface of my body. After several years, I adapted to that morning greeting, that schedule, and to that freezing cold water.
Water is good. It feels good, looks good, and taste good. So why can water do so much good and bad at the same time? Look at Hurricane Katrina for example, the levee’s planted in the grounds were only able to sustain a category three hurricane and failed to withstand the category five hurricane that actually happened. New Orleans suffered a damaging fall when its city became devastated. FEMA took this event into consideration and composed many studies from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that established the National Flood Risk Management Program. This program helped and continues to help cities nationwide to be reviewed thoroughly in regards to declaring these areas as flood zones.
Washington, D.C. has already taken some necessary precautions to prevent flood hazards by implementing various flood walls including on the National Mall in between 17th street and Constitution Avenue. This flood wall will hinder water from bodies of water that rise to higher levels during extreme weather events or particular rain induced seasons.
The Washington National Harbour has already displayed the importance of a flood wall in the April 2011 Georgetown Waterfront flood. This flood occurred because of the inadequate preparation to mount the flood wall that would have saved water damage that happened to three well-known restaurants such as Tony & Joe’s, Nick’s Riverside Grill, and Cabanas.
Water can be good and it can also be bad but the best way to be in sync with water is to adapt to the external forces of nature. Trust me, its better to wake up prepared knowing that you have no surprises coming your way like a flood hazard or an over enthusiastic Aussie.