Johnstown Flood – How Incompetent Dam Reconstruction Cost 2,209 Lives

I have become quite interested in the use of GIS to study historical events like the Battle of Gettysburg and the Johnstown Flood.

You can view my Johnstown Flood assessment video here:

Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Scientist Interview

Peter Sinclair (https://climatecrocks.com/) provides excellent video interviews with climate scientists. Here’s an interview with Asa Rennermalm of Rutgers.

Texas – Louisiana Coast Rainfall from Hurricane Harvey

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center is forecasting up to 20-inches of rain for Texas coastal areas over next 7 days (link).

Corpus Christie and Houston are in 20+ inch total 7-day rainfall belt, New Orleans is in the 4-6 inch belt.

Here’s an ArcGIS 10.3 map of the WPC forecast to show the rain belts and Texas – Louisiana cities.

 

Best wishes to all in path of this major flooding event.

Residential Access to Philadelphia’s Sanitation Convenience Centers

Philadelphia has 6 Sanitation Convenience Centers (SCC) that provide residents  safe, free, reliable disposal sites for excess trash and special items like tires and TVs,electronics.

These Centers are a critical resource for the City’s Zero Waste and Litter efforts, however, there are two residential access issues that must be addressed to ensure their potential effectiveness:

  1. Approximately 33% of Philadelphia Housing Units do not own or lease a vehicle, presenting a serious challenge to residents with excess trash. How do they get their excess trash to an SCC?This map shows the of % households without a  vehicle by Census Tract. More than 50% of households do not have a vehicle in 71 census tracts.
    Residents how do not have access to a vehicle so that they can not use the City’s Convenience Centers without borrowing or renting a vehicle.
    We may need some type of trash taxi service for those households without access to a vehicle.
  2. For those households with a vehicle, travel times from residents’ home to an SCC and back can present a significant time challenge. The following map shows the estimated one-way travel times areas for 5, 10 and 15 minutes trips.I think that a 15-minute one-way travel time (30 minutes round trip) is the upper limit for residents to transport excess trash to a SCC on a regular basis.

Residents access to an SCC is critical for reducing illegal dumping. The City will need to improve access to the SCCs for households without vehicles and those outside the 15-minute travel time zones

 

Arctic Sea Ice Melting and Pennsylvania Weather

The Snow,Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic, or SWIPA, has released a report on their 5 year study. Highlights have been summarized in this powerful video.

I recommend Peter Sinclair’s Climate Denial Crock of the Week  for those concerned about climate change.

 

Philadelphia Street Trash – Working Paper

My most recent report on Philadelphia Street Trash includes this hot spot analysis of Philly311 Illegal Dumping Service Requests. You can download the report here.

Using Data to Tackle Philadelphia’s Street Trash Problem

Illegal dumping is a growing problem in Philadelphia (link)!  We need to understand  types – locations – frequency of  dumping to stop it. We have the data, we need better data analysis to effectively manage our trash problem.

Here are 3 charts that demonstrate how we can diagnose our trash dumping problem using January, 2017 311 illegal dumping service requests where citizens submitted photos.

Illegal Dumping Trash Types

jan_2017_type

Illegal Dumping Locations

jan_2017_event_type

Illegal Dumping Trash Events

jan_2017_location

Here’s what we can learn by studying the January, 2017 illegal dumping service requests.

  1. Residential trash (36%) was the most common type of dumping request, followed by tires and construction debris (12% each), mattresses (10%), mix of trash types (9%) and TVs (7%).
  2. 66% of illegal dumping requests  occurred on sidewalks, followed by 15% on/near vacant lots – buildings.
  3. 58% of dumping requests occurred at single event sites, 27% at multiple event sites ad 5% at chronic dumping sites.
  4. Big Belly’s accounted for 5% of Philadelphia illegal dumping service request sites.
  5. Loose litter accumulation accounted for 5% of Philadelphia’s 311 illegal dumping service requests.