Millions face devastation from Hurricane Irma in southwest Florida, Tampa metro area

By Patrick Martin, 11 September 2017

The destruction accompanying the huge storm is not merely a natural disaster, but a measure of the crisis of American society.

Caribbean islands devastated by storm surge, winds, rain

By our reporter, 11 September 2017

The worst impact of Hurricane Irma was in Lesser Antilles and the US and British Virgin Islands.

Why was American capitalism unable to prepare for Hurricane Irma?

By Niles Niemuth, 11 September 2017

As Hurricane Irma wreaks havoc on Florida, the failure to adequately prepare for the storm and protect those in its path has exposed the irrationality of American capitalism.

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey: Natural disaster and political breakdown

By Patrick Martin, 9 September 2017

In its response to Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and other natural disasters, American capitalism has demonstrated its bankruptcy as a social system.

Why aren’t trains evacuating people from the path of Hurricane Irma?

By Jeff Lusanne, 9 September 2017

Hundreds of thousands need to flee the path of Hurricane Irma. Instead of fleets of trains carrying them away, residents are left to fend for themselves in their own cars on congested roads.

Hurricane Irma heads towards Florida after tearing through the Caribbean

By Matthew Taylor, 8 September 2017

Florida residents are bracing for Hurricane Irma, which has already killed at least 14 people and left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean.

Miles of devastation along Braes Bayou in Houston

A Hurricane Harvey diary: Part 3

By Charles Abelard, 7 September 2017

A reader who has lived in Houston for four decades surveys some of the damage left behind by unprecedented flood waters along the Braes Bayou.

Long-term threats to public health follow in Hurricane Harvey’s wake

By Gary Joad, 7 September 2017

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina points to the long-term threats to public health which will follow in Hurricane Harvey’s wake in the greater Houston area and throughout southeast Texas.

Civil engineers’ reports on US flood preparedness: Lessons of Katrina and Sandy ignored

By Don Barrett, 6 September 2017

The two reports portray a system in complete chaos, with dozens of local and federal agencies struggling even to maintain levees and pumping stations.

Media and political establishment begin to move on as Houston residents return to devastated city

By Tom Hall, 5 September 2017

As the floodwaters begin to recede, the ruling class is moving to bury the social disaster that has only begun to unfold in Southeast Texas.

Hurricane Harvey to be costliest US natural disaster

By Patrick Martin, 4 September 2017

With published estimates approaching $200 billion, Hurricane Harvey may have caused damage greater than Katrina and Sandy combined.

“The working class has organized to save the working class”

A Hurricane Harvey diary: Part 2

By Charles Abelard, 4 September 2017

A reader who has lived in Houston for four decades describes the impact of the storm, the rescue efforts organized by workers and runaway real estate development that has left the city vulnerable to flooding.

Fetid floodwaters in the “chemical coast” carry toxins and disease

The incalculable human health consequences of Hurricane Harvey

By Gary Joad, 2 September 2017

The flooding in Houston, the acknowledged petrochemical capital of the world, has unleashed a toxic soup of chemicals, carcinogens and bacteria, posing a grave threat to human life.

A Hurricane Harvey diary

Part one

By Charles Abelard, 2 September 2017

The author is a member of the Socialist Equality Party who lived in Houston proper for 38 years and still lives in the area.

Who will pay for the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey?

By Joseph Kishore, 2 September 2017

The consequences of what by some measures is the greatest natural disaster in American history will be far-reaching, not only for the millions of people directly affected, but for social and political stability in the United States .

Death toll expected to rise as chemical explosions add to devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey

By Niles Niemuth, 1 September 2017

Officials at every level of government continue to congratulate themselves on their response to the storm, while the endless media commentary avoids any discussion of those responsible for the disaster.

“I grew to call the oil industry the rape, pillage and plunder industry”

Former Shell Oil civil engineer and Berkeley Professor Emeritus Robert Bea speaks on Hurricane Harvey

By Barry Grey, 1 September 2017

Robert Bea, a retired civil engineer, has had a long career in the fields of flood control and risk assessment and management.

More than 80 percent of homeowners impacted by Harvey lack flood insurance

By Niles Niemuth, 1 September 2017

Despite rapid development and expansion in recent years, Harris County, where Houston is located, has 25,000 fewer properties covered by flood insurance than in 2012.

Government indifference leads to vast death toll in South Asian floods

By Arun Kumar, 1 September 2017

Despite regular floods and monsoons, governments in India, Bangladesh and Nepal have not implemented any serious measures to protect ordinary people.

Flooding continues to inundate Gulf Coast as Harvey makes landfall in Louisiana

By Niles Niemuth, 31 August 2017

Hurricane Harvey is expected to far surpass any previous storm as the costliest in American history, with at least $190 billion in damage, equivalent to one percent of the national GDP.

Deportation fears prevent many Houston immigrants from seeking emergency shelter

By Eric London, 31 August 2017

Immigrants are risking rising flood waters because of anti-immigrant maneuvers and false reports of deportations at evacuation sites.

The working class responds to Hurricane Harvey

By Joseph Kishore, 31 August 2017

The self-sacrifice and organizational initiative of the working class in response to the hurricane make a powerful case for independent workers’ organizations and workers’ control over economic and social life.

Lessons of Hurricane Katrina

31 August 2017

The World Socialist Web Site pamphlet on the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago is critical reading in light of the current catastrophe in Texas.

As Trump gloats over “success” of government response to Hurricane Harvey

Reservoir breaches in Houston threaten more death and destruction

By Kate Randall, 30 August 2017

While floodwaters continued to rise in Houston, Governor Abbott and President Trump praised one another and hailed the government response to the disaster.

The Houston flood, the anarchy of the capitalist market and the case for socialist planning

By Niles Niemuth, 30 August 2017

Twelve years after Katrina, nothing has been done to strengthen flood control systems and build up the social infrastructure to limit the impact of major storms.

Government negligence exacerbates Hurricane Harvey damage in Houston, Texas

By Charles Abelard in Houston and Jerry White, 29 August 2017

Emergency shelters, hastily established by authorities in Houston, are overflowing with at least 30,000 residents, while at least nine deaths are blamed on the storm.

The Houston flood disaster: A social crime of the American oligarchy

By Barry Grey, 29 August 2017

Catastrophes such as Hurricane Harvey are the product of a half-century of neglect of America’s social infrastructure, accompanied by a fantastic accumulation of private wealth at the very apex of society.

Houston residents speak out on historic flooding from Hurricane Harvey

By Trévon Austin, 29 August 2017

Stories of devastation along the Gulf Coast continue to emerge three days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas.

Flooding in New Orleans points to climate change, poor infrastructure

By E.P. Milligan and Aaron Murch, 8 August 2017

A rainstorm dumped 10 inches of rain in some portions of the city over a three-hour span.

Manitoba government leaves Churchill residents in limbo after flood cuts rail link

By Jeff Lusanne, 26 June 2017

A month after a railroad to remote Churchill, Manitoba was damaged by flooding, residents face skyrocketing prices.

Floods devastate Bangladesh and parts of India, killing more than 185

By Rohantha De Silva, 26 June 2017

Those most affected are the rural poor, low-wage workers and rickshaw pullers living in flood- and landslide-prone areas, where living costs are relatively low.

California and federal government ignored numerous warnings about Oroville Dam

By Ben McGrath, 21 February 2017

The Department of Water Resources is engaged in a cover-up of its failure to address basic safety issues that imperiled the lives of thousands of people.

Crumbling California dam forces 188,000 to evacuate as threat of major flood looms

By Ben McGrath, 14 February 2017

The state government ignored clear warnings of an impending disaster at the Oroville dam and gave residents just one hour to evacuate when the emergency spillway began to fail.

Deadly floods in North Carolina overwhelmingly affect state’s poorest residents

By Shelley Connor, 15 October 2016

A slowly unwinding catastrophe is ravaging the US state of North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, killing at least 24 people and leaving thousands homeless.

US death toll rises in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

By Nick Barrickman, 13 October 2016

As many as 38 people have died in the US and tens of thousands continue to be impacted in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, which came ashore late last week.

Obama offers pittance to flood victims in Louisiana

By David Brown, 24 August 2016

In perfunctory remarks in Louisiana, Obama told victims to look to private charities and volunteers.

“I don’t expect the government to do a damn thing”

Louisiana flood victims speak out

By Aaron Asa and Tom Hall, 24 August 2016

WSWS reporters traveled to Livingston Parish, Louisiana and spoke to flood victims who are stranded at an emergency shelter after historic floods destroyed more than 40,000 homes.

Government indifference in the midst of historic Louisiana flooding

By Tom Hall, 20 August 2016

The federal government has promised only paltry sums to compensate flood victims, while Obama has delayed any visit until after his lavish vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

The Louisiana flooding—a failure of American capitalism

By Patrick Martin, 17 August 2016

Eleven years after Hurricane Katrina, the social infrastructure and the US political system are no more prepared for a natural disaster.

Louisiana: Seven dead, tens of thousands forced to flee as region braces for more flooding

By Aaron Asa, 16 August 2016

The federal government issued a disaster declaration as more than 20,000 people were rescued from stranded homes and vehicles.

At least four dead, 18,000 rescued in historic flooding in Louisiana

By Tom Hall, 15 August 2016

A slow-moving weather system dumped record levels of rainfall on southern Louisiana, flooding thousands of homes and forcing thousands to flee to temporary shelters.

Widespread destruction in China following floods

By Ben McGrath, 9 July 2016

At least 186 people have been killed, dozens remain missing and 32 million people have been affected overall.

Video: West Virginia coal miners discuss social crisis with SEP presidential candidate Jerry White

By Jerry White and Zac Corrigan, 9 July 2016

Southern West Virginia, which holds a special place in the history of the class struggle in the US, is today mired in depression-like conditions.

West Virginia flood highlights impact of budget cuts, decayed infrastructure

By Naomi Spencer, 5 July 2016

Federal and state agencies ignored warnings about inadequate flood protections, home-building standards and the impact of logging and mining.

The West Virginia floods and America's class divide

By Jerry White, 29 June 2016

While the immediate trigger for the floods was record-setting rainfall, like all natural disasters, the extent of the damage and its human impact were determined by conditions that are man-made.

Southern West Virginia communities devastated by flash floods

By Joe McGee, 27 June 2016

Remote towns in the mountainous coalfield region of the state are assessing the destruction from last week’s historic flooding.

Death toll climbs to 49 in US snowstorm

By Tom Hall, 29 January 2016

The fatalities continue to mount as local officials in Washington, DC struggle to bring the city’s decaying infrastructure back on line.

India: Heavy rains and floods kill over 100 in Tamil Nadu

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 21 November 2015

The flood situation in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu is an indictment not only of the ruling AIADMK but also the opposition DMK.

Extensive damage left in wake of historic South Carolina flood

By Rosa Shahnazarian and Hiram Lee, 9 October 2015

The flooding has led to numerous water line breaks and sewage spills throughout the state, prompting boil water advisories in many counties.

The flooding in South Carolina and the decay of social infrastructure

By Andre Damon, 7 October 2015

The provision of basic infrastructure and disaster preparedness is impossible in a country dominated by a ruling elite whose overriding concern is plunder at home and abroad.

Historic flooding in South Carolina leaves fourteen dead

By Rosa Shahnazarian and Hiram Lee, 7 October 2015

In addition to loss of life, current estimates report that flooding has already caused more than $1 billion in damage.

Record storms, flooding continue to ravage Texas and Oklahoma

By Charles Abelard, 30 May 2015

The response of state and federal authorities has thus far been minimal, leaving thousands of the displaced to fend for themselves.

Historic flooding in Texas and Oklahoma

By Charles Abelard, 27 May 2015

Unprecedented downpours caused life-threatening flooding conditions across Texas and Oklahoma, with at least twelve people missing and eight killed.

Flash flooding forces thousands to flee in Texas, Oklahoma

By Thomas Gaist, 26 May 2015

Record-breaking rainfall in typically dry areas of Texas, Oklahoma and other states has flooded entire residential areas, leading to at least fifteen deaths.

Floods in South Asia kill hundreds

By Wimal Perera, 18 September 2014

The rivalry among various states in South Asia, rooted in the 1947 communal partition of the sub-continent, has prevented any coordinated effort to control the flooding.

Officials rejected plan to relocate homeowners years before Washington state mudslide

By Christine Schofelt, 8 April 2014

In the past week, revelations have emerged about the use of decades-old maps in the issuing of logging permits above the towns of Oso and Darrington, the area buried by the fatal March 22 mudslide.

At least 18 dead in Washington mudslide, dozens still missing

By Christine Schofelt, 31 March 2014

Once again, a natural disaster has been made far worse by a lack of planning and infrastructure.

West Virginia residents speak out on chemical disaster

By Clement Daly and Samuel Davidson, 18 January 2014

While water service is slowly being restored in nine West Virginia counties following last Thursday’s chemical spill, hardships remain for 300,000 people who have been affected.

UK Environment Agency warns of job cuts

By Paul Mitchell, 16 January 2014

Severe flooding across Britain has led to the loss of seven lives and massive damage to property.

Death toll at six in Colorado flooding

By Charles Abelard, 20 September 2013

Six deaths are confirmed in the Colorado flooding, as door-to-door searches for hundreds of missing people begin, and concern rises over pollution.

Seven confirmed dead in Colorado flooding

By Charles Abelard, 17 September 2013

Nearly 400 people remain unaccounted for in Larimer County, where an estimated 1,500 homes have been destroyed and 4,500 more damaged.

More than 500 unaccounted for in Colorado floods

By Charles Abelard, 16 September 2013

Heavy rains have caused unprecedented flooding in the state of Colorado since last Wednesday.

Record flooding ravages midwestern US

By George Marlowe, 26 April 2013

Multiple states are threatened with significant damage to homes and public infrastructure.

Floods devastate Argentina

By Rafael Azul, 18 April 2013

Torrential storms and floods affected 450,000 people and killed 58 in Argentina.

Thai floods compound government’s political problems

By John Roberts, 12 November 2011

The ongoing flooding has impacted heavily on the Thai economy and is also taking its toll on the newly installed government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Flooding causes havoc in eastern US

By Tom Eley, 9 September 2011

Heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Lee on Thursday forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents from Pennsylvania and New York.

Five million ravaged by floods in Pakistan

By Ali Ismail, 8 September 2011

Flash floods brought on by monsoon rains have killed over 130 people in Pakistan in recent weeks and forced millions to flee their submerged villages.

Presidential photo-op in storm-ravaged New Jersey

By a WSWS reporting team, 6 September 2011

Obama made a three-hour visit to the flood-stricken state of New Jersey on Sunday touring the city of Paterson, which has been ravaged by the floods caused by Hurricane Irene.

Power outages, flooding continue in wake of Hurricane Irene

By Kate Randall, 2 September 2011

The death toll from Hurricane Irene climbed to 46 on Thursday as residents in Vermont and New Jersey battled serious flooding, and significant power outages continued throughout the Northeast US.

Hurricane Irene and the decay of US infrastructure

By Kate Randall, 30 August 2011

The massive power outages resulting from Hurricane Irene serve as a stark reminder of the decrepit state of the US infrastructure.

Four dead in Pennsylvania flooding

By Phyllis Scherrer, 24 August 2011

In the latest preventable tragedy in the United States, four people drowned during a heavy rainstorm and flash flooding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Friday.

Obama’s Katrina

By Patrick Martin, 29 June 2011

Large sections of rural and small-town America are being laid waste by storms, floods and wildfires, with little or no assistance from the federal government.

Floodwaters devastate North Dakota city

By Jerry White, 28 June 2011

Flood victims in Minot, North Dakota, face the long and arduous task of rebuilding homes and lives with little or no government relief.

Rising economic toll from US flooding, storms

By Naomi Spencer, 7 June 2011

Flooding continues along the Missouri River, where hundreds have been ordered to evacuate and still more essential crops are threatened.

Victims of Mississippi flood must be made whole

By Jerry White, 16 May 2011

While bowing to the interests of Big Oil, the Obama administration is providing essentially no compensation to those losing their homes and livelihoods in the Mississippi flood.

Mississippi River flood spills into central Louisiana

By Naomi Spencer, 16 May 2011

In a bid to protect Louisiana’s urban centers from catastrophic flooding, federal officials have deliberately inundated thousands of mostly poor bayou residents.

Mississippi floods highlight decay of US infrastructure

By Clement Daly and Naomi Spencer, 14 May 2011

The historic flooding along the Mississippi River casts a spotlight on the crumbling and patchwork state of America’s levees, roads and bridges.

Mississippi River flood looms over Memphis

By Naomi Spencer, 10 May 2011

Towns situated in the Mississippi River watershed are being inundated by the worst flooding in nearly a century.

More violent storms kill seven in Arkansas

By James Brewer, 27 April 2011

Violent storms brought tornadoes and flash flooding in the South on Monday, killing seven people in Arkansas.

Hundreds dead in Brazilian flooding

By Bill Van Auken, 15 January 2011

The death toll from flooding and mudslides rose past 500 Friday, with hundreds more missing, as Brazil confronted its worst ever natural disaster.

Five years since Hurricane Katrina

Part 2: Ongoing social dispossession

By Naomi Spencer, 30 August 2010

For the poor and working class of New Orleans, the immense destruction Hurricane Katrina inflicted on the city turned out to be only the beginning.

As Pakistan drowns, Washington focuses on security threats

By Patrick Martin, 19 August 2010

As the toll of death and destruction in Pakistan from unprecedented flooding continues to mount, US government officials and the American media are raising concerns not over the colossal human tragedy, but over the potential threat to political stability and US security interests in the region.

Arkansas flash flood claims lives of 20 campers

By Samuel Davidson, 16 June 2010

A flash flood along the Little Missouri River, near Langley, Arkansas, swept through a popular campground early last Friday morning, killing 20 campers.

US mid-South faces long term flood impact

By Naomi Spencer, 15 May 2010

Residents of storm ravaged Tennessee and Kentucky continue to assess the damages of the flooding that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in the region. The death toll from the May 2 flood now stands at 33, and one Nashville man remains missing.

Mid-South flood survivors speak to WSWS

By our correspondents, 15 May 2010

Flood survivors in Nashville, Tennessee, and eastern Kentucky spoke to the WSWS about their experiences.

Nashville, Tennessee struggles in flood’s aftermath

By Naomi Spencer, 12 May 2010

As flood water recedes, Nashville, Tennessee residents are confronted with ruined homes, damaged infrastructure, and drastically inadequate emergency funds from the federal government.

Deadly storms, flooding hit US mid-South

By Jerry White, 4 May 2010

Weekend storms and tornados triggered flash flooding throughout several mid-southern states, leaving at least 22 people dead in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi.

Hundreds killed in Rio de Janeiro mudslides

By Rafael Azul, 14 April 2010

For the second time this year, scores of Brazilians have been victimized and left homeless by storms in Rio de Janeiro state.

Ireland suffers widespread flooding

By Jordan Shilton, 8 December 2009

Thousands of people were forced from their homes across Ireland last month after torrential rain caused severe flooding.

Irish government neglect flood victims and infrastructure

By Jordan Shilton, 19 September 2008

This summer saw unprecedented rainfall throughout Ireland, resulting in a number of flash floods across the country. The resulting chaos and damage to infrastructure and people’s homes were largely due to the chronic under-funding of public infrastructure.

Victims blamed in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike

By Hiram Lee, 18 September 2008

Days after Hurricane Ike devastated Texas and other areas on the southern coast and midsection of the United States, the storm’s death toll now stands at 50. While floodwaters and debris caught in high winds led to a number of deaths, others have occurred not as a direct result of the hurricane itself but as the result of victims trying to cope with its elements and aftermath.

Texas hit hard by Hurricane Ike

By Naomi Spencer, 15 September 2008

Hurricane Ike made landfall on the heavily populated southeast coast of Texas early Saturday morning, causing flooding and widespread damage to cities along the Gulf.

Humanitarian crisis worsens in Haiti

By Naomi Spencer, 12 September 2008

The death toll in Haiti continues to rise following a series of devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean. Official government figures have placed the number dead between 600 and 1,000, with more than 800,000 people—half of them children—in need of emergency aid throughout the country. Some 60,000 people in the hard-hit port city of Gonaives remain in temporary shelters.

Haiti devastated by hurricanes

By Naomi Spencer, 8 September 2008

More than 500 have been left dead in Haiti after last Monday’s landfall of Tropical Storm Hanna, according to conservative official estimates, and more than 650,000 Haitians are desperately in need of emergency aid.

Millions affected by flooding in India and Nepal

Official neglect

By W.A. Sunil, 4 September 2008

Severe flooding in India and Nepal over the past fortnight has affected millions of people and left hundreds of thousands homeless, with little in the way of assistance from government authorities.

US Gulf Coast deals with aftermath of Hurricane Gustav

By Kate Randall, 3 September 2008

Hurricane Gustav weakened to a tropical depression on Tuesday, with winds slowing to below 35 miles per hour and the storm forecast to cross into northeastern Texas. Gustav made landfall west of New Orleans as a relatively fast-moving Category 2 hurricane on Monday, substantially weaker than some predictions that it might come ashore as a massive Category 4 storm.

Hurricane Gustav threatens New Orleans, Gulf Coast

By Jerry White, 1 September 2008

As of this writing Hurricane Gustav is bearing down on the US Gulf Coast after its destructive passage through the Caribbean left more than 80 people dead in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica and severe damage and flooding in western Cuba, where the storm, considered the most powerful in half a century, included sustained winds of 150 miles per hour.