Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015

Storm pounds region

Rains unleash mudslides, ease drought concerns

A man surveys the flooded scene Wednesday along Northeast 124th Street at West Snoqualmie Valley Road, east of Redmond. KEN LAMBER

Seattle Times

Associated Press

Fierce storms in the Pacific Northwest sent rivers bursting from their banks, spilled boulders and trees into a major highway, and spawned a rare ­tornado that snapped power poles and battered homes. They’ve also had one positive ­effect — easing drought concerns after an unusually dry summer. In Oregon, the storms caused 19 different highway closures on about a dozen highways and 43 landslides, in addition to flooding, culvert failures and sinkholes.

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UW researches how trees respond to drought

University of Washington

Two University of Washington researchers have uncovered details of the radically divergent strategies that two common tree species employ to cope with drought in southwestern Colorado. As the entire western United States becomes warmer and drier through man-made climate change, these findings shed light on how woody plants may confront twin scourges of less water and hot weather.

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Vancouver proves infrastructure can be pretty, too

CityLab

Seawalls are typically some of the most brutish and aesthetically gross pieces of water infrastructure around, but in Vancouver a seawall has been turned into a 200-foot-long piece of public art. Its concrete and steel structure protects homes on the English Bay coastline. Plantings and strategically placed boulders create a more porous edge, slowing the flow of water and the deposit of sediment.

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