Our News

For media contact and resources, please visit our Anthropocene Alliance media page.

Chicago-area flood groups meet national urban flooding experts

12 September 2017


Today, the Flood Group, Floodlothian Midlothian in Illinois, presented to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Expert Committee on 'Urban Flooding in the United States' via webinar. The committee meets next week in Chicago and will be touring the south side and talking to residents from another Flood Group, RainReady Chatham, in the South Side of Chicago. Harriet Festing, Flood Forum Director, is a member of the NAS committee.

residents take charge on flooding in the city of de soto, MO

11 September 2017


This week we met with the Flood Group, Citizens' Committee for Flood Relief, from the City of De Soto, MO. The group of residents meets monthly to discuss the repetitive flooding in the city that affects over 100 homes and has resulted in three deaths. They will be getting a pro bono hydrologist, thanks to our partnership with the American Geophysical Union's Thriving Earth Exchange.

lemmon valley flood group, NV, gets pro-bono hydrologist.

1 september 2017

Thanks to our partnership with the brilliant team at the Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) of the American Geophysical Union, nine Flood Groups are each getting a pro-bono hydrologist to work alongside residents. TEX is just starting to promote the positions, in this case for Lemmon Valley NV.

Read more on the TEX website.


Chicago, once a swamp, also could be walloped by a catastrophic flood.

1 September 2017

Flooded homes are shown near Lake Houston following Hurricane Harvey Aug. 29, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Flooded homes are shown near Lake Houston following Hurricane Harvey Aug. 29, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Stephen F. Eisenman

The catastrophic flooding in Houston has been called “biblical” in scale, but unlike the Great Flood, it was widely predicted.

Read our opinion piece in the Chicago Sun-Times.

no road sign for climate change.

28 august 2017

The unfolding disaster in Houston and along the Texas and Louisiana coasts is a sign of things to come.

Read our blog on the Anthropocene Alliance website.


Preparations for Hurricane Harvey, Houston, TX.

25 August 2017

In advance of Hurricane Harvey, homeowners in Houston, TX are making preparations - see our gallery.

As Flooding Gets Worse Nationwide, Flood Victims Get Louder.

5 august 2017

Over 100 Local Flood Action Groups Mobilizing Across U.S.

Read the article about our work in the Huffington Post.

Diary of a Flood Victim: Louisiana.  

3 August 2017

One year on from the devastating flooding in Louisiana in August 2016, we share the uplifting and distressing diary of Shannon Cooper.

Survivors speak out about man-made flooding, City of Houston, Texas.

3 August 2017

'Residents Against Flooding' is a group of flood survivors that is fighting the City of Houston, TX. 

Partnering with the Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX), American Geophysical Union.

July 12, 2017

Poster Hall - AGU fall meeting 2015.

Poster Hall - AGU fall meeting 2015.

Thanks to our partnership with TEX, nine Flood Groups from across the US are now benefitting (pro bono) from the services of hydrologists who will help them develop Flood Action Plans.  The TEX folks are brilliant. They draw upon the expertise of nearly 200,000 researchers to build teams of community leaders and scientists to advance local resilience, protect people from pollution, and encourage sustainability in an era of changing climate. We want to increase our collaboration with them!

guiding politicans.png

How to Get Politicians to do Things for You.

June 10, 2017

People sometimes ask: “Why don’t elected politicians hear us?” Flood Forum has produced a brief guide is intended to make sure they do. If you follow its three guidelines, you won’t always get what you want, but at least you’ll have a fighting chance.

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Announcing SPOUT – flooding Facebook group.

May 16, 2017

Last week, the folks at Flood Forum (USA) launched SPOUT!, a facebook group for people to speak out about harmful flooding and sewer backups.

Flooding is expensive, stressful, and isolating. Many people are unclear where they should go to get help, who is trustworthy, and whether their local or regional government bears any responsibility. The goal of SPOUT! is to helps neighbors come together, form  flood groups, and get some answers. 

So far, leaders of 25 flood groups from across the country have joined.  Although every flooding event is different (coastal, riverine, overland and sewer backups) many of the solutions are surprisingly similar. And allgroups benefit from organizing, talking to each other, and contacting their local elected officials and government agencies. 

SPOUT! offers flood groups the chance to share best practices, find moral support, and gain collective strength. If you know of people affected by flooding and sewer backups, please tell invite them to SPOUT!

Candidate Runs for Village Mayor on Unity and Anti-Flooding Platform.

April 6, 2017


Sometimes the struggle to protect a community from flooding exacerbated by global warming requires neighbors to roll up their sleeves and …get into politics!

That’s exactly what a group of residents from Midlothian Illinois did. Frustrated by the lack of leadership shown by their Mayor and Clerk, they formed the Unite Midlothian Party and put forward their own candidates. Their platform was collective action to halt the flooding that for years devastated their homes and upended their lives. The new mayor, Gary L’Heureux told the Chicago Tribune: "I just think we gave a better vision. We stayed positive, talking about the issues and the problems.”

Midlothian residents first began to organize around flooding in 2013. Their leader was a dynamo named Helen Lekavich, supported by several Village trustees. Their medium was Facebook. That's when Harriet Festing, founder of the RainReady program at the Center for Neighborhood Technology and now Executive Director of Anthropocene Alliance, stepped in. She helped them organize face to face meetings with community members, and hearings with elected legislators and state administrators. As a result of these efforts, village trustees in 2016 adopted an action plan and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District decided to invest in flood solutions to the tune of $8.3 million. 

Groundbreaking for the project is slated for 2017 and it is a safe bet that Helen, Harriet, Mayor L’Heureux and Unite Midlothian Party members will be present for the ribbon-cutting.

Flood Forum USA co-founder, Harriet Festing, Joins Prestigious Group to Study Urban Flooding.

February 6, 2017

In 2013, Harriet Festing undertook research that for the first time revealed the scale and severity of flooding in the Chicago region. The resulting publication garnered national attention and prompted federal legislation requiring a comprehensive study of urban flooding in the U.S.  Now Harriet has been appointed to the committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine tasked with drafting that report. “It’s an honor to serve with so many brilliant and committed researchers,” Festing told her colleagues at their first meeting in Washington D.C. in January. “I have great hopes that our final report with reveal the depth and complexity of the problem and point the way to economical and people-centered solutions.” The next meeting of the NAS committee is scheduled for April 24 in Baltimore, MD. Stay tuned. 

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