Overflowing waste water plants sent more than 31 million gallons of sewage into waterways during last year's Hurricane Harvey. A bridge collapsed, and two dams performed controlled releases to avoid calamitous failures.
The infrastructural failures emphasized the dire state of public facilities. A year later, as rain from Hurricane Florence continues to cascade and storm surges lash coastal areas, infrastructure in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia is at risk. While the hurricane's impact will be damaging, it won't be a surprise.
"What I took away from Harvey is everything that we knew could happen did happen," former president of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Wayne Klotz told Newsweek. "I guarantee you the engineers in North and South Carolina will feel the same."
The ASCE 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, which ranks an array of U.S. systems, gave the country a D+. The nation's bridges received a C+, while its wastewater treatment plants were given a D+. Dams were given a D grade.