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tombarnes

Rebuilding the Levees

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Is Washington Reneging On Its Promise to Rebuild the Levees?

This article in the Washington Post is worth reading. How can the cost of rebuilding the levees have tripled so suddenly? I am traditionally Republican and fairly conservative, but something does not seem right about this.

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This is an absolute outrage. I can't believe what is happening. I wish they'd just give us our own oil royalties, or just sell us to another country. Obviously I'm being sarcastic, but I believe controlling 33% of the nation's energy and having one of the world's largest ports would be an attractive deal for any country. Tarrifs collected going into the nation's heartland, and tarrifs on goods leaving the nation's heartland. Honestly, it is a fact that we would be much better off on our own, and it's a shame.

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They are still going to have the port, there is no question of that, this just tells us that certain parts of the region are not going to protected by levees.

In the analysis, three Plaquemines Parish sections, southeast of the city, look ripe for cost-cutting. Less than 2 percent of the area's population lives there, but it would cost nearly $2.9 billion to build certified levees.

By contrast, protecting Algiers, where 13 percent of the region's population lives, would cost $129 million.

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Our president has a habit of making promises that never materialize not to mention the incompetants that he has appointed that head every agency. This shouldn't be a surprise.

He is too busy wining and dining with the people he represents...... in Mexico. NO isn't even on his radar.

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Do you think that the administration has decided that NO will be smaller in the future and that it is not worth rebuilding areas that are significanly below sea level? Is this their way of breaking the news?

I actually do think that there is some wisdom to shrinking the city's footprint and abandoning some of the lowest lying areas. I realize that there are numerous issues involving emotional attachment to place, class, and race here, but there is still some intrinsic sense in not building everything back. The essential functions of NO for the nation could be performed with a smaller population. And the city may be more economically vibrant as a smaller city (perhaps there were too many people and too few decent jobs before Katrina from what I heard from residents I know).

To some degree, I think people are putting too much confidence in levees as a sure thing. It pays to remember that the pre-Katrina levees were "supposed" to withstand a category 3, which was apparently what Katrina was when it made landfall. I dread to think of what would have happened to NO if a stronger hurricane had struck. Just because the Army of Corps of Engineers says a levee will withstand a storm does not mean that it will. Just one weak spot in one levee in a largely below sea level city can mean disaster.

The point in the article about the expectations of additional big storms with a potential to hit NO in the coming years was rather sobering.

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I personally don't think the goverment should rebuild the levees. There is something fundamentally wrong about rebuilding a city in such a dangerous area. However the Bush administration isn't so forward thinking. If they were they would have taken a stand right off and said this is best for the country and city if we let it return to nature. But that would take a bit of leadership.

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I personally don't think the goverment should rebuild the levees. There is something fundamentally wrong about rebuilding a city in such a dangerous area. However the Bush administration isn't so forward thinking. If they were they would have taken a stand right off and said this is best for the country and city if we let it return to nature. But that would take a bit of leadership.

I think the 1850 or so footprint of the city is at or slightly above sea level (forming a crescent shape along the bend in the river, thus the name "Crescent City"). You could take that area and select other areas and protect them with levees (with the understanding that nothing is absolute certain in terms of flood protection). But I agree that many areas really should not be rebuilt. It would seem like an emotionally infuriating decision to many residents of course, but it would be a rational course of action. And yes, I would also prefer that the barrier islands in other southern states not be redeveloped after hurricanes knock the big beach houses down. It is nothing but tax payers and insurance payers subsidizing people who are living where they should not be living. There should be some sort of buy out program. The first time your home or business is destroyed, you get a full buy out but no more coverage for future events.

I looked up the numbers just to make sure I was correct about Katrina's strength. It made landfall in LA/MS with top sustained winds of 125 mph, which is a category 3. Contrast that with Hurricane Andrew which had 165 mph winds when it made landfall south of Miami back in 1992. What keeps hitting me is that while Katrina was certainly a serious storm, it was not THAT strong. Yet it destroyed much of a large city and basically shut the whole place down in a historically unprecedented event in US history. New Orleans is not well situated and really should be shrunk in size to avoid future repeats of Katrina--perhaps from a stronger storm.

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Patience...there are so many issues like this that are going to come up as we work through this process...we'll get our protection and everything will work out in the end...we'll have our beautiful New Orleans back, it will continue to prosper and will grow, and we will be protected. Just let all of these issues work themselves through..

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I cannot stand people from out of town proudly saying how New Orleans should be shrunk. New Orleans flooded because of poorly designed outflow canals, not because of its location or altitude. The I-wall levees that failed last year have been completely redesigned for this hurricane season, so unless a category five storm comes, which happens once every 500 years, New Orleans will be all right from future flooding. No one who doesn't know what they're talking about should talk about shrinking the city. The people of New Orleans have property rights and want to return. Over a million of the metro area's 1.3 million pre-Katrina residents have already returned, and even more will come when their kids finish school elsewhere this spring. The words "return to nature" shout out that you have no clue about the region.

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They could do what Grand Forks has done following the 1997 severe flooding. They rebuilt the city, but instead of rebuilding businesses and residents right along the river, they rebuilt it as a Greenway, a large public park. The levees are behind the greenway, and protect the structures beyond. So if another flood of that magnitude comes, the Grteenway will flood, but the city will be protected. Then, when the waters recede, it only remains to clean up the parkland area.

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Just out of curiousity, how many other deltaic ports are there in the United States of any real size. And of those, how many are 50+ % (i.e., majority) below sea level. I am not picking a fight--I am asking a serious question. I had always thought that New Orleans was unique within the United States in the sheer size of its below sea level areas. The other southern port cities with which I am familiar are not majority below sea level.

I remember the first time that I visited a cousin in New Orleans who lived in an apartment complex on the river. I walked up on the levee and was awstruck at the wall of water held back by the levee and the height of the water compared to the buildings.

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I'm not sure there are any great deltaic rivers in America, outside of the Mississippi. America's largest rivers all flow into the Mississippi.

Read this article by John Barry, author of Rising Tide, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich if you want to hear why New Orleans is worth saving:

http://www.nola.com/search/index.ssf?/base...141580.xml?nola

Thanks for the article link. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are very interesting examples because half of the entire country is below sea level. The Netherlands has built a serious of elabatorate systems to try to protect the half of the country that is below sea level.

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