Conheça melhor a tragédia que se abateu sobre Arboga, na Califórnia, em 1997.
Claire Royal, Marion Anderson and Winston Nakagawa of Arboga, Calif – a retired elementary-school teacher, a grandmother and a World War II veteran, respectively – were all killed when a levee burst and flood waters destroyed their town on January 2, 1997. The flood also forced more than 32,000 people from their homes.
For a decade federal officials had known that a flood could wreak havoc in Arboga, and had urged that levee receive immediate attention. In 1990, referring to the flood-control system in the area, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported, "Loss of life expected under existing conditions, without remedial repairs for major flood events".
Unfortunately for Arboga residents, the levee area was home to 37 elderberry bushes, know to shelter the threatened valley elderberry longhorn beetle. Nobody had seen the beetle in the area, but local officials spend nine years and several million dollars on studies that helped delay flood protection. When repair work finally began in the summer of 1997, it was too late.
Angela Antonelli in "Weekly Standard" (Reader's Digest - January 1998).