Fewer Trees = More Flooding

Shayna Held, Reporter

The September flooding in Colorado has killed 8 people. Floods have damaged houses, bridges, and destroyed highways. Entire fields of cars were underwater. There was less than one percent chance of this flooding to happen.

While it’s almost entirely impossible to change the weather, could there have been a way to prevent such flooding in the Colorado area? The answer is yes.

Many homeowners have cut down trees to protect their homes in storms. However, did they realize that by chopping down trees, they put not only their own house, but those around them in danger? From 2000-2005 approximately 2,152,000,000 square meters of trees were deforested in the United States alone and approximately 11 billion trees were cut down in 2012. These numbers will continue to grow unless we choose to reverse this.

Some individuals only know the one advantage of trees, which is providing us with oxygen. A majority also know that trees provide us with paper and fruit, but trees also prevent floods.
“Prevention of soil erosion also helps control flooding, which is why it’s a good idea to plant lots of trees, treat slopes and grads, and create reservoirs to catch sediment and debris,” according to the Forces of Nature website.

Trees can retain the water that flows into our streets and by our houses during storms, but when people cut down their trees there is less of a chance of reduction of this water flow, hence basements and first floors will be inundated.

Had Coloradans not cut down so many trees perhaps they might have prevented some of the devastating flooding that destroyed so much property.