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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Majority wants New Orleans Abandoned... 

...and rebuilt on higher ground. I'm surprised that I'm with the majority opinion on this one. I figured most people would want to rebuilt without thinking that another storm could come by do the same thing in 5 years and flush a hundred billion dollars down the drain.

Comments:
I think you'll find most liberals in agreement with you too (I'm a liberal).

They should create a series of elevated throughways criss-crossing the existing city. Could be done by elevating existing roads.

Take the areas that have to be demolished due to flooding and turn them into parks.

Rebuild everything that was destroyed on higher ground.

Not only will the city be safer, but with the amount of parkland that would create, us liberals would love it. It wouldn't hurt tourism any and it could even provide a larger area for Mardi Gras.
 
I think it's 16 million live below sea level in Holland. They are safe due to a huge engineering project of hydraulic levees built to withstand a "perfect storm" + record high tides.

If the US still thought big in terms of public projects, as it did at the beginning of the last century, it could be imagined here.

Very sad that the possibility is not even entertained. Yet the right use for the Mississippi delta is perhaps as wetlands/delta -- except for the shipping requirement! Silly to forget that NO was built in a known dangerous spot for a very simple reason: MONEY. Shipping is still important, but modern techniques could change the unloading/loading spots to something much more rational.

NO is a symbol of the US. Any reasonable plan will recognize that too.
 
Anonymous,

While I'm a big fan of modern engineering marvels and I'd love to see another Apollo era space program or energy program, I think a "perfect storm" levee project would be money down the toilet.

First off, New Orleans isn't the only major American waterfront city that is below sea level. How many of those projects would be required? We may be the richest country in the world, but we still have our limits.

The bigger problem is that global warming is leading to higher sea levels. In NO the problem is particularly compounded by the fact that the city is sinking at roughly the same rate that the sea level is rising.

A levee system built today wouldn't stand up to the sea levels of tomorrow. And as levels rise, more land falls below the sea level, requiring more levees.

The answer is going to have to be a combination of different things.

- In NO the wetlands have to be brought back.
- Levees will have to be used in a lot of places, but probably not on the magnitude that you're talking about.
- As I said before, existing roadways need to be raised in at-risk areas to provide safe transportation routes.
- Buildings need to be built on higher ground as well.
- Local building codes should be amended to require different materials (such as concrete) for new construction. Countries like Bahamas, which are used to getting hit with hurricanes all the time already do this. Concrete provides natural insulation and isn't prone to mold problems post-flooding.
 
I like your blog. In case you didn't know, Wonkette is an alumnae (and I'm an alumnus) of the University of Chicago.

FYI - you also might want to include The Nation under your news sources. It's pretty good in general, though a more than a bit left leaning.
 
Oh, and I have similar thoughts on rebuilding NOLA on my blog: http://blogspot.unevensteven2.com
 
If we chose to abandon all the sites in the US that Bush'ss negligence and incompetence has neglected, the only places left standing would be the governor's mansion in Florida and a few acres of brush in Crawford, Texas.
 
One poster alluded to the reason that New Orleans cannot be rebuilt to the north: it's at the limit of deep-water navigation on the Mississippi.

The city is at the place where freight is transloaded between barges and ocean-going craft. The only possible relocation site would be TOWARDS the Gulf of Mexico, which is patently dumb.

New Orleans experienced catastrophic floods twice during the twentieth century. In 1928 the Mississippi overtopped the levees and inundated the whole city. In 1969 hurricane Betsy ruptured several of the internal levees and flooded the eastern part of the city like a small scale Katrina.

Both times the city was rebuilt in place, because it's the only place it can be.

It will be rebuilt. The only question is whether it will be rebuilt for the residents of August 27th or filled with wintertime "second home" condos.

They'll have to keep at least a few houses for the waiters in the French Quarter. If they leave them out, the condo dwellers won't have that great party to attend.
 
Cool Blog, I never really thought about it that way.

I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.

Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!
 
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