Kevin, Toren and Joe take a look at what happens when you get too much of a good thing like water – Floods! They’ll paddle down the two Grote Mandrenkes to Johnstown, Pennsylvania to China’s many great floods. We’ll look at explanations for the story of Noah’s flood, and finally dip into floods in popular culture. Plus an all-wet Lesser of Two Evils!

Music: “When The Levee Breaks” by Kansas Joe and Memphis Minnie

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Showing 14 comments
  • Rick K.

    I lived through the 1993 Mississippi River flood, in St. Louis, Missouri. I didn’t reside anywhere near the flooding, but had friends and relatives who did, and their lives were pretty much devastated. Was here for the 1973 flood, too. Not as bad, but still pretty amazing.

    A lot of the problems during the 1993 flood were due to people building whole towns and business districts on flood plains, which were then wiped out. Ironically, almost as soon as the flood receded, rebuilding began, even more condensed and ostentatious than before. Humans sometimes never learn…

    By the way, the 1927 flood was due to massive rains that Spring, with most of the tributaries filling up and eventually dumping all the excess water into the Mississippi. So you had that right. The rivers hadn’t been dredged properly in a long time. Many levees were placed in the wrong locations, or not high enough, or poorly constructed (or some combination of all three of those). The US Army Corp of Engineers received a lot of grief for their incompetent handling of the river system, especially since they had ignored several experts who had tried to advise them of the best way to deal with it.

    Read, “Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America”, by John M. Barry, if you want a more or less comprehensive history about it.

    • Rick K.

      I was a little disappointed that you didn’t mention the homage to the Johnstown flood that was mentioned in the movie, “Slapshot”. They filmed a scene in a Charlestown park (I believe this was actually a park in Johnstown) where a statue of a dog is located. The dog supposedly warned townsfolk about the flood coming at them.

    • purrdence

      ‘A lot of the problems during the 1993 flood were due to people building whole towns and business districts on flood plains, which were then wiped out. Ironically, almost as soon as the flood receded, rebuilding began, even more condensed and ostentatious than before. Humans sometimes never learn…’

      Sounds like the floods that Brisbane, Queensland, Australia got two summers in a row a few years back.

  • frothyham

    Great episode…but the best part was Joe singing the Katamari Damacy theme song.

  • Patrick Robin Angus

    RE: the telephone electrocution. if i remember my telecom classes correctly.the phone line when not in use the voltage is about 48 volts dc. when ringing the voltage drops to 6 volts, then a AC voltage is imposed of about 90 volts, it can kill you.

  • Derek Weber

    Damn you, Kevin! You made me think of Hard Target and hard ons and Steven Segal!

  • Drhoz

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Boston Molasses Flood – that was pretty caustic. Molasses 5m deep moving at 56kph.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disaster

    • Toren

      Saving it for Industrial Accidents.

      • Drhoz

        Fair enough – it’s certainly a memorable one.

  • Derek

    Another big flood I learned about was in this show: The History of Ancient Britain (http://www.sbs.com.au/documentary/program/853). Roughly 10-15 thousand years ago the British Isles were part of mainland Europe, but a massive flood caused by a tsunami from an undersea earthquake somewhere between Norway and Scotland swept away the land bridge. I know it’s probably not precisely on target for the podcast topic, but it’s fascinating and I have only the highest praise for the doco. Well worth the watch, as are most of Neil Oliver’s docos. 🙂

    • Chew

      They covered that in the Tsunami episode. They also covered tsunami-proof ponies and pony paddling.

      • Derek Weber

        Whoops. It’s been a while since I listened to that one. Still a good opportunity to plug an excellent series. 🙂

  • Pat

    Listening to this November 7, 2014, after the death of Robin Williams, I love hearing the call out to him. So much awesome!