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TSmith

BFE...

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Base Flood Elevations came out today. Looks like all areas will be open to development afterall. That is, with an elevated structure... a mandatory whopping 3 feet in most areas.

My question is... doesn't anyone else find this ridiculous? What is 3 feet gonna do in the future? Seems pointless to hold up so many lives and the rebuild of our city for such trivial numbers. Opinions?

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Well, I take that back. After reading up on it, some areas will have to elevate their homes up to 11 feet. What a mess. On top of that, the cost to elevate will be deducted from the 150K in state assistance funds. So, once elevated, you are out of money. Apparently, some sly bean counter in Washington gave us just enough money to shut us up, but not enough to re-inhabit the areas in and around New Orleans. A decision has been made somewhere by someone that New Orleans is no longer worth the risk. What a shame.

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Apparently, some sly bean counter in Washington gave us just enough money to shut us up, but not enough to re-inhabit the areas in and around New Orleans. A decision has been made somewhere by someone that New Orleans is no longer worth the risk. What a shame.
Seriously, why should the federal government (and taxpayers) foot the bill to rebuild in areas that are not only below sea level, but below sea level right next to the sea? Seems foolish.

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Seriously, why should the federal government (and taxpayers) foot the bill to rebuild in areas that are not only below sea level, but below sea level right next to the sea? Seems foolish.

Oh I love easy questions. It simple... the federal government, long ago, decided to guarantee protection for these areas by taking control of all levee resposibilities in the region. The levees failed. Pretty simple.

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Oh I love easy questions. It simple... the federal government, long ago, decided to guarantee protection for these areas by taking control of all levee resposibilities in the region. The levees failed. Pretty simple.
So, you are suggesting that the federal government repeat the mistakes of the past and rebuild in a floodplain (basically, rebuild in a bowl where the sides of the bowl of the are surrounded by vasts amount of water)?

levee_system_big.gif

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Yes, that's what I'm saying. Building in a low-lying area wasn't the mistake. The mistake was building levees with faulty design and construction. Another mistake was turning our backs on the coastal marshes that have been dissapearing at an alarming rate for decades, while solutions exist to reverse it. But, I must say, I do respect everyone's opinion... including those that think we should abandon the place. I would just submit to you that it is wrong to do so, for so many reasons.

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The thing about New Orleans is that it can be protected, with the proper investment (an investment that would have dwarfed the current price to rebuild, had it been undertaken long ago).

Can't say the same for the cities out on the Pacific coast along fault lines.

New Orleans' location does not have to be a problem. Look at the Netherlands.

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So, you are suggesting that the federal government repeat the mistakes of the past and rebuild in a floodplain (basically, rebuild in a bowl where the sides of the bowl of the are surrounded by vasts amount of water)?

levee_system_big.gif

Only if you think it's useful to have such things as "major ports"...many of of the world's largest and most important are near or below sea level because (surprise, surprise) they are at the mouths of extensive river systems, essentially sitting in the same types of alluvial floodplains as is New Orleans.

But then, maybe rather than pay what's necessary to "clean up" the results of a faulty engineering design it would be a more efficient use of money to pay the costs to truck everything that now gets transported by barge after being transferred from ocean-going vessels at New Orleans. I mean, gasoline IS pretty cheap right now, right?

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Only if you think it's useful to have such things as "major ports"...many of of the world's largest and most important are near or below sea level because (surprise, surprise) they are at the mouths of extensive river systems, essentially sitting in the same types of alluvial floodplains as is New Orleans.

But then, maybe rather than pay what's necessary to "clean up" the results of a faulty engineering design it would be a more efficient use of money to pay the costs to truck everything that now gets transported by barge after being transferred from ocean-going vessels at New Orleans. I mean, gasoline IS pretty cheap right now, right?

Yes, I agree...restore and protect the ports. But why do ~500,000 people need to live in the bowl between the levees? Along with the ~500,000 people come hundreds of thousands of homes, shopping centers, schools, municiple buildings, hotels, etc., all sitting vunerable inside the bowl.

Why? :dontknow:

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Yes, I agree...restore and protect the ports. But why do ~500,000 people need to live in the bowl between the levees? Along with the ~500,000 people come hundreds of thousands of homes, shopping centers, schools, municiple buildings, hotels, etc., all sitting vunerable inside the bowl.

Why? :dontknow:

Maybe because a major port doesn't operate itself?

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Yes, I agree...restore and protect the ports. But why do ~500,000 people need to live in the bowl between the levees? Along with the ~500,000 people come hundreds of thousands of homes, shopping centers, schools, municiple buildings, hotels, etc., all sitting vunerable inside the bowl.

Why? :dontknow:

HAve you ever been to New Orleans? Besides being one of the great cities of the world, are you going to lead the forced eviction of 500,000 people from their homes?

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Maybe because a major port doesn't operate itself?
So, all of those people were working at the ports?!? Are the ports now suffering because there isn't enough people living in New Orleans to work at the ports?

Interestingly, before Katrina hit, almost 30% of New Orleanians were living below the poverty line. In fact, the reason so many (poor) people were stranded in the city was because they couldn't afford to leave.

Poverty map.

Either a very low percentage of the 500,000 residents were working at the ports or related business, or those port jobs must have very crummy pay.

HAve you ever been to New Orleans? Besides being one of the great cities of the world, are you going to lead the forced eviction of 500,000 people from their homes?
No, Katrina lead the forced eviction of hundreds of thousands of people. But, hey, lets rebuild so another hurricane can do the same! :yahoo:

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The poverty was a result of crappy politics. Hopefully after this disaster, we have learned not only that we need better levees, but a newfound resolve to do things the right way on every level.

Obviously, you cannot evict an area with over a million people. Drain the marsh... move everybody out... reminds me of what Saddam did to the marsh arabs in Iraq. We're better than that, aren't we? Or, have we fallen that far as a country?

This problem is a piece of cake. We have the ability to fix it... we're the United States, right?

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Interestingly, before Katrina hit, almost 30% of New Orleanians were living below the poverty line. In fact, the reason so many (poor) people were stranded in the city was because they couldn't afford to leave.

Interestingly (but perhaps not politically correctly), one of the main obstacles for rescuers who were using boats to try to save people from their roofs was that they had to avoid the thousands of submerged automobiles parked outside their flooded homes. In fact, Poydras Street and the other streets in the neighborhoods surrounding the Superdome were choked with double- and triple-parked autos prior to the floodwaters because--get this--a large percentage of the people using the Superdome as a shelter of last resort DROVE there. They didn't drive out of town to a public shelter somewhere north of I-12 when every official around was begging them to do so. They waited until the announcement that the Dome had been opened, and then drove THERE instead. In doing the research for an extensive and heartrending series on the many individual lives lost to the storm, the Times-Picayune's staff interviewed hundreds of surviving family members. These survivors, almost all of whom had evacuated before the storm, had almost to a person one thing in common--they all reported that in the days before Katrina they had visited or at least called the deceased and tried to talk them into evacuating along with them...offered to take them out of the city to safety. The sad truth is that the larger portion of those who lost their lives to the floodwaters in New Orleans had had an opportunity to leave, and for whatever reason (misguided trust in the federal flood control structures, reluctance to leave their homes unoccupied, unwillingness to leave behind a pet--whatever) they chose to stay behind. Very few, it was learned, had been both too poor to be able to have a vehicle to drive out on their own AND didn't have a family member or friend who had could have been tapped for transportation out or more often had in fact already asked if they needed transportation and been turned down.

The "too poor to leave" story is a lot more useful for all sides to use as a "political club", though...

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