Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

TSmith

Lets Rebuild New Orleans

31 posts in this topic

This thread is only for discussions on the technical details of rebuilding New Orleans. How will it be accomplished, what can be saved, what needs to be leveled, what has happened so far. Please do not have political or philosophical discussions on if it should happen or not. There is another thread in this section for that discussion. No Politics

I'd like to make a request. For those of you saying that we shouldn't rebuild, or that we should rebuild in a different location, or that new levees wouldn't make a difference... please keep your comments and thoughts to yourselves. Do not post these type of comments on this forum. You are only going to upset those of us who live there.

Fact is, the city will be rebuilt in the same place that it sits now. Divert your energy to finding solutions for this city... in it's current location. And don't say that better levees won't make a difference. Educate yourselves about it. I just heard the director of the U.S. Army Corp of engineers say, "We can absolutely prevent New Orleans from flooding... forever. It will only take money." That is the solution, and that is the ONLY solution. This is the framework of this dicussion, period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I will be in New Orleans in a little over a week with the red cross... I must be mad to commit 3 weeks of living in the Superdome.

But I am doing it because it is the first step in this city being rebuilt... Maybe when it is finished you all down there can buy me a drink hehe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding is Denmark Belgium have a large part of their land below sea level as well...

How do they manage it to keep the sea out...

I know they dont get any huricanes, but north sea storms can get pretty feirce...

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said this a dozen times on a dozen forums, including this one-----

90% of the houses in New Orleans have been underwater before, many for weeks and weeks. I've witnessed that firsthand, including my own home.

They were not "rebuilt". People moved back in and cleaned them up.

New Orleans will not be "rebuilt". It will be repaired.

That's just my experience with the "physical" city.

I think rebuilding in terms of the city's economy and psychology may be the real challenge--not the houses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think rebuilding in terms of the city's economy and psychology may be the real challenge--not the houses.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think you may be dead on there. I still wonder if the damage in some of the city's poorer sections - especially those with severe water damage like the 9th ward may not lead to parts of town largely being abandoned in favor of some of the less-damaged sections. It sounds like Uptown, Garden District and Quarter fared fairly well in terms of water damage.

The killer, I think, is going to be the damage from looters. I wonder how many shopowners decide not to reopen or have to wait for FEMA and insurance funds for quite a long time to do so. Not only are the windows broken, etc but many stores will have to replace their entire inventory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

new_orleans_500_500.jpg

If this map showing the remaining flooded areas is correct, then a significant portion of the New Orleans metro is in good condition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What New Orleans needs:

1)  Higher levees built by Dutch engineers and made of concrete and steel, not earth

2)  Additional pumps built above grade so they will not cease working during floods.

3)  A complete rebuilding of the water pumping system and the elimination of the canals leading into the city.

4)  A restoration of the natural flow of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans to allow for frequent flooding and the restoration of the bayou system.

5)  All new construction should be built above-grade to allow some room for error in flood.

6)  A complete restoration of all historic housing that can be saved.  This architecture is both a local and national treasure.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There was a plan in 1998 that would cost $14 billion to build but it stalled in Congress. From an article in the Houston Chronicle today the plan was to:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


What New Orleans needs:

1)  Higher levees built by Dutch engineers and made of concrete and steel, not earth

2)  Additional pumps built above grade so they will not cease working during floods.

3)  A complete rebuilding of the water pumping system and the elimination of the canals leading into the city.

4)  A restoration of the natural flow of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans to allow for frequent flooding and the restoration of the bayou system.

5)  All new construction should be built above-grade to allow some room for error in flood.

6)  A complete restoration of all historic housing that can be saved.  This architecture is both a local and national treasure.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Those canals that cut through New Orleans are the only thing getting the water out of the city. If you take them out, they would literally have to pump that water out with hoses. In any normal instance it is an impeciably brillant system however like anything, if you don't have money to repair and upgrade it will eventually fail, and that is exactly what happened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been able to use a computer in a while. But, I'd like to thank all of you for your input. There are some great ideas in this thread. And, it seems that the vast majority of you have take the time to inform yourselves about our unique situation.

First, about letting the river deposit it's sediment south of the city. This is an excellent idea, and one that is beginning to be carried out, even before this storm. River diversions have been constructed in a few areas to siphon water out of the river and deposit it into the marshes south of the city. Problem is, we need many more of these diversions.

Second, building a removable floodwall to close off the opening to Lake Ponchartrain is a GREAT idea. This would stop water from entering the lake in the first place. And, you'd have to make it removable to preserve the natural tidal flow into the lake... this is vital to the health of Lake Ponchartrain. It would be closed as a storm approaches.

Third, building the pumps above grade... what a great idea. This way, if the worst does happen, the pumps would never be disabled.

And lastly, hiring Dutch engineers to consult on this levee improvement. Another great idea. Earthen levees do not work when you need them most. And the concrete ones, as on the 17th Street Canal, don't work either because they wash out the dirt at their base, and collapse. We can prevent this in the future.

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. Make a point to visit New Orleans in the coming years. We are going to need you. We want you to visit, and you are welcome anytime. Tourism is going to have to help this city along in this long struggle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a NASA website that has satellite images of the flooding in New Orleans. Very very shocking. :unsure:

Click Here

There are numerous images including a couple of south florida.

I fully expect NO to be rebuilt, however, it will be a very very slow process. It may not be back to normal for 10 years or more. My prayers are with anyone suffering through this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I created this thread to discuss the technical details of rebuilding New Orleans. This thread is only for those discussions and I have split off some of the relevant posts from the other thread pinned in the LA section for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts turn to better preparing a] emergency shelters and b] evacuation routes for the future.

All-in-all, watching this from a distance, it appeared to me that the idea of using the Louisiana Superdome as a shelter was not a bad idea. It's the fact that people were stranded there with no way out that made it become such a hell on earth.

A couple of thoughts that may come in handy when rebuilding the major infrastructure of the city:

1) Is it structurally possible to construct a retractable-roof stadium to a] withstand a Category 5 hurricane and b] so that the roof can operate during a major loss of power? I'm sure it's possible, but perhaps costly. I would think that New Orleans should build such a building so that it can be used as a sheter and can air out as well.

2) If such a building is built, it should be built ON TOP OF at least 5 stories of parking deck, so that only parking would be under water in the event of such a catastrophe in the future.

3) Additionally, the elevated highways leading into and out of the area should remain elevated well above the highest possible flood stage so that vehicles can quickly and easily move in to evacuate people rather than leave them stranded.

I'll take this a step further. Perhaps the City of New Orleans should build a new complex of structures in one central location (i.e. a retractable-roof football stadium, a retractable-roof baseball stadium (which would, of course, require a baseball team in New Orleans), a large arena, and a huge new convention center). The entire complex should be built on top of an elevated parking deck that is well above flood stage. The highways leading into and out of the complex should be elevated as well so that no part of it is under water at any point in time. Each building could, in an emergency, be used as a shelter, and then readily evacuated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


In addition, I think an expanded citywide rail transit system implementing commuter or light rail should be included, as well. Not only would it raise property values, and serve thousands of residents in one of America's densest cities, it could also become part of an evacuation or emergency plan that could rapidly move residents out of town, if needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Second levee breach and it wasn't even a direct hit by Rita. Granted the levees hadn't been rapaired right since Katrina but below sea level is a stupid idea. I say raze the whole flooded area and build somewhere higher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition, I think an expanded citywide rail transit system implementing commuter or light rail should be included, as well. Not only would it raise property values, and serve thousands of residents in one of America's densest cities, it could also become part of an evacuation or emergency plan that could rapidly move residents out of town, if needed.

Whay aren't more people thinking of this? Excellent idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Second levee breach and it wasn't even a direct hit by Rita. Granted the levees hadn't been rapaired right since Katrina but below sea level is a stupid idea. I say raze the whole flooded area and build somewhere higher.

The place isn't flooded because it's below sea level. It's flooded because the government should have built and maintained better levees that can handle at least a category 4. They didn't,this all could've been prevented,you know a pound of prevention is worth a ton of cure. Imagine if you buy a Mercedes and you never give it any checkups and the brakes fail. It didn't fail because it was a Mercedes or it had drum brakes,it failed because you didn't keep tabs on it.

Where are they going to relocate New Orleans? The only higher land is north of lake Pontchartrain. The city and it's immediate urban area is as densely populated as it is because you have a lake directly north and it's completely surrounded by swamp land on the west,east and south. In fact the second you leave Kenner,which is the westernmost urban part,going west you're in the swamps. The only developement once you leave Kenner heading west is the tiny bit of developement along the Mississippi river. People really have no clue,the urban area is almost literally an island in the swamps,you head east from Baton Rouge toward New Orleans through St Charles Parish and you'll notice a few things.

1-You're going to be spending a bit of time on an elevated interstate because of the swamps.

2-You might see a few houses down below on the sides of the interstate.

3-The second,and I mean the second you reach Jefferson Parish- Boom-instant urbanization. It's nothing gradual like a regular metro area.

If you relocate New Orleans to St Tammany Parish,you might as well rename it. The river will not be there,most likely the architecture will be more suburban.

You know living below sea level has it's own appeal,you might as well have a good time before it's washed away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The place isn't flooded because it's below sea level. It's flooded because the government should have built and maintained better levees that can handle at least a category 4. They didn't,this all could've been prevented,you know a pound of prevention is worth a ton of cure. Imagine if you buy a Mercedes and you never give it any checkups and the brakes fail. It didn't fail because it was a Mercedes or it had drum brakes,it failed because you didn't keep tabs on it.

Where are they going to relocate New Orleans? The only higher land is north of lake Pontchartrain. The city and it's immediate urban area is as densely populated as it is because you have a lake directly north and it's completely surrounded by swamp land on the west,east and south. In fact the second you leave Kenner,which is the westernmost urban part,going west you're in the swamps. The only developement once you leave Kenner heading west is the tiny bit of developement along the Mississippi river. People really have no clue,the urban area is almost literally an island in the swamps,you head east from Baton Rouge toward New Orleans through St Charles Parish and you'll notice a few things.

1-You're going to be spending a bit of time on an elevated interstate because of the swamps.

2-You might see a few houses down below on the sides of the interstate.

3-The second,and I mean the second you reach Jefferson Parish- Boom-instant urbanization. It's nothing gradual like a regular metro area.

If you relocate New Orleans to St Tammany Parish,you might as well rename it. The river will not be there,most likely the architecture will be more suburban.

You know living below sea level has it's own appeal,you might as well have a good time before it's washed away.

Very true, Mikejesmike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not seen proposals for rebuilding the destroyed neighborhoods. Surely thay will not be rebuilt as before? I hope that some thought will be placed into this process. As on the coast of Mississippi, I hope that mere expedience will not trump long term value. What proposals have come forward?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not seen proposals for rebuilding the destroyed neighborhoods. Surely thay will not be rebuilt as before? I hope that some thought will be placed into this process. As on the coast of Mississippi, I hope that mere expedience will not trump long term value. What proposals have come forward?

There is thinking and meeting going on right now. Presently residents are returning to devastated areas to clean their properties. I know my parents have completed cleaning out their home in St. Bernard Parish and have completely gutted both floors. All that is their now is the studs. Like most residents, they are waiting on a few studies and flood rules before rebuilding. I don't see significant rebuilding to occur until sometime next Spring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey alon, what do you think about Ray Nagin's statement saying he expects New Orleans to have a population of 500,000 at this time next year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see it happening. Something like 40% of those displaced say they're not returning,but that could the result of raw nerves. I do think that once the city gets the huge cash injection added to those coming in to fill in the jobs by those that left,and if they cut crime,like murder,by a huge amount (You're 7 times more likely to be murdered in New Orleans than you are in NYC.) and they keep what makes the city attractive then I can see huge growth. The likes of which the city has never seen. So if this is pulled off I can see the population exceeding it's peak of 627,525 upwards to over 700,000. This could very well become the next hotspot (Phoenix,Houston,Los Angeles) if they don't screw this up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.