Energy & Sustainability See Inside Cities Adapt to Extreme Weather Despite Federal Inaction A spate of floods, droughts and heat waves is prompting city and state leaders to take bold steps to protect their people and property By John A. Carey Getty images For a century workers flocked to Dubuque, Iowa, as they raised new generations of laborers, they built houses, shops and streets that eventually covered over the Bee Branch Creek. The water gurgled through underground pipes out of sight and largely out of memory. Until the rains came. On May 16, 1999, 5.6 inches of rain fell in 24 hours. The creek pipes and storm sewers overflowed, blowing out manhole covers and turning streets into chest-deep raging rivers. Hundreds of homes and businesses were flooded. This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now! Select an option below: Buy Digital Issue Customer Sign In *You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on nature.com. Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access. ADVERTISEMENT Scientific American is a trademark of Scientific American, Inc., used with permission © 2015 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.