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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Episode 135: Your outfit is trash

Oct 15, 2019

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Midwest flooding has agriculture reeling

by Kimberly Adams Mar 21, 2019
Nebraska officials estimate that flooding has caused $1.3 billion in damage in the state, more than half of it to crops and cattle. The disaster there and in neighboring Iowa follows a difficult year for both states’ farmers, who’ve been…
Floodwaters in Fremont, Nebraska, on March 16.
Courtesy of Scott Olson/Lee Valley Inc.

"It's a mess": Midwest flooding leaves small businesses reeling

by Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst Mar 18, 2019
Heavy rain and melting snow have brought historic flooding to parts of the Midwest. Around 200 miles of Missouri River levees in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas have been compromised, according to the Associated Press, and flood warnings are still…
Floodwater covers a famer's field near Plattsmouth, Nebraska.  Damage estimates from flooding in Nebraska top $1 billion. Midwest states are battling some of the worst flooding they have experienced in decades as rain and snow melt from the recent "bomb cyclone" has inundated rivers and streams. At least three deaths have been linked to the flooding.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Houston homeowners say the government owes them for flooding their homes after Hurricane Harvey

by Travis Bubenik Feb 6, 2019
The lawsuit filed by Houston residents whose homes were flooded could set precedent for disaster liability.
Flooded homes are shown near the Barker reservoir following Hurricane Harvey August 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Houston’s refineries and plants are vulnerable to hurricanes. Will a $32 billion plan save them from flooding?

by Travis Bubenik Nov 27, 2018
When hurricanes hit Texas, the whole country feels it. Now, there’s a plan to lessen the blow.
A view of the Houston Ship Channel.
Travis Bubenik for Marketplace

Repeated flooding leaves small North Carolina town looking for answers about its future

by Jay Price Nov 6, 2018
The Atlantic hurricane season officially has a few more weeks to go, but already this year has been deadly and destructive. The mainland U.S. took a hit from Hurricane Michael in October and Hurricane Florence the month before. Florence devastated…
A roadway is flooded by remnants of Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 11, 2016 in Fair Bluff, North Carolina. The town was devastated again by Hurricane Florence in 2018. 
The long recovery: 2017’s biggest natural disasters

Rebuilding or "building forward": A post-Harvey Houston

by Kimberly Adams, Paulina Velasco, and Katie Long Dec 26, 2017
The city's chief recovery officer shares what the upcoming year might look like for Houston.
A woman paddles down a flooded road while shuttling deliveries for her neighbors during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. 
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Congress faces a deluge in fixing flood insurance

by Jed Kim Dec 15, 2017
The National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire on Dec. 22, in a year that's seen more than $100 billion in estimated damages.
A man walks through a flooded street as Hurricane Matthew passes through St. Augustine, Florida, on Oc. 7, 2016. The storm caused flooding in Virginia also.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Nervous Americans are shelling out for travel insurance

by Ashley Milne-Tyte Nov 13, 2017
Travelers, wary of potential terrorism and natural disasters, are increasingly protecting themselves in advance.
Americans spent almost $3 billion on insurance in 2016, up 19 percent from two years earlier, the US Travel Insurance Association says. Above, travelers make their way to flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Why flood maps may not include areas that actually flood

by Ryan Kailath Oct 12, 2017
The maps take data from past disasters and apply it to future risk, but the calculations can get tricky — and political.
Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey surround a home on Sept. 6, 2017, in Houston.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Weather Economy

After a disaster, FEMA documents home damage, a former inspector explains

by Lizzie O'Leary Sep 8, 2017
His advice: Have your proof of ownership ready.
Jack Wheeler and his wife, Tami Wheeler, watch as a FEMA housing inspector measures their flooded home in 2008 in Oakville, Iowa.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images