Dennis Towne (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

When better isn’t good enough: Why I tell my Google co-workers and industry peers to avoid Pittsburgh

Editor's note, Jan. 11: Google issued a statement in response to this first-person essay. Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. In 2017, I was working for Google in the Bay Area of California, lamenting the ever-rising cost of housing, when a co-worker mentioned he was moving to Pittsburgh. I talked it over with my partner, and we did some basic research.

Local newsman Jim Casto stands up against the tiled river height gauge along the entrance of the floodwall in Huntington, West Virginia. (Liam Niemeyer, Ohio Valley ReSource)

Rising waters: Aging levees, climate change and the challenge to hold back the Ohio River

Huntington is one of a dozen levee systems in the basin that the Corps of Engineers classifies as a “high risk” due to the combination of aging infrastructure and the people and property that would be harmed if the system were to fail. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates aging levee systems like these across the country will need $80 billion in upgrades within the next decade.