NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Michon Scott.
Heavy rains from Hurricane Alex pushed a dam to capacity in northern Mexico in early July 2010. Authorities opened floodgates for the Venustiano Carranza Dam to avoid a catastrophic flood, The Washington Post reported. The decision affected the city of Anáhuac, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) away. The Salado River flows past Anáhuac and neighboring Rodriguez, and after the floodgates were opened, the river overflowed.
On July 12, 2010, the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this natural-color image of the cities of Anáhuac and Rodriguez. Rio Salado, which normally meanders through its river valley, completely fills the valley, and standing water appears on surrounding lands. Sediment has colored the floodwaters muddy brown.
Flooding caused difficulties elsewhere in northern Mexico. Bloomberg Businessweek reported that floodwaters closed highways at Nuevo Laredo. Roughly 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Anáhuac, Nuevo Laredo is Mexico’s busiest crossing. The flooded highways backed up traffic by as much as two days.
- Bloomberg. (2010, July 13). Mexico floods shut Laredo crossing, creating logjam. Bloomberg Businessweek. Accessed July 14, 2010.
- Vargas, J. (2010, July 6). Mexican town evacuated amid fears dam will burst. The Washington Post. Accessed July 14, 2010.
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