3200 Horsepower vs River Flood

Northwest Thailand received a lot of rain recently, causing flooding and landslides there. Rising rivers now threaten a long swath of populated area downstream. Only thing to do now is lay down sandbags, move stuff to higher ground and get ready to evacuate. Some official thought otherwise.

He brought 8 four hundred horsepower tugs to his province, attached lines from their stern to a bridge, pointed the tugs up stream and cranked up the throttle. I can’t include copyrighted photos here, so you can see two at the front page of the Bangkok Post website and the front page of it’s local news page.

Officials say the river is flowing 57 cubic meters per second (CMPS), or 20% faster. Most of the river flows in the news have been from about 3000 to 4000 CMPS. The flow would have to be 285 CMPS for a 20% reduction to be 57 CMPS. Did somebody drop a zero in the numerator or mess up when converting the result from a decimal number to a percentage?

Wouldn’t be the first time for the Post. Recently an editorial writer said a ‘reasonable’ tax increase for one year on another nation’s rich people would be enough to pay off that country’s deficit. His match was correct except for all those pesky zeros. The results of his ‘solution’ would actually just be a drop in the bucket. The Post acknowledged this in the next days letters to the editor.


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