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View Diary: Katrina Victims: What's Your Proposal To Help Them? (124 comments)

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  •  no offense.... (none)
    ... but what about cities did nature intend?  I agree that nature provides humans certain features that make the location of certain cities "natural."  But what is the natural location for a city???  This is changing constantly.  Cities are defined by their times.  My recollection is that New Orleans started off as a fur trading post because of it's location at the mouth of the Mississippi.    

    What about San Francisco, LA, Hawaii... low lying areas along our major rivers.  Would you say no to rebuilding in those places also?

    I say rebuild NOLA and put a ton of investment in the levee system.  You can't abandon a whole city... and the cost to relocate would far outstrip the cost to rebuild.


    If Rove concealed the fact that he was a leaker from the President, why hasn't the President fired him?

    by wintersnowman on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 08:36:17 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly, The Netherlands would ... (none)
      ...have to give up a third of its land if it gave up levees.

      "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 08:37:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True (none)
        but the Dutch were forced to reclaim land because, they have an acute land shortage in their country.  We have plenty of land in this country.  Even in the Netherlands until the closing of the Zuidersee in the 60's the country was regularly inundated by massive floods.  Does it make since to make the investment needed to protect a rebuilt New Orleans, when there is plenty of other locations to build that are better suited to house a city?
    •  Relocation works... (none)
      The Mississippi River floods of 1993 also were no surprise and they lasted for months (don't even get me started about the heavy equipment that was brought INTO the areas forecasted to flood). Mississippi River floods have occurred regularly and are known, when they happen, to be exacerbated by the channelization and levee systems.

      So, from a policy report by the Environmental Defense Fund (even if you don't agree with their policy recommendations, their relocation facts here are correct):

      Since the Great Flood of 1993, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has acquired, relocated or elevated more than 22,000 structures, sharply reducing future disaster costs by removing many of the nation's repeatedly flooded homes, businesses and farms from harm's way. In particular, FEMA relocated approximately 12,800 homes, businesses and farms in nine states bordering the Mississippi and Missouri rivers - approximately one-out-of-seven structures damaged by the Great Flood. For the first time, repeatedly flooded homeowners opted to use federal relief to relocate their homes to higher ground - ending the cycle of rebuilding their homes in harm's way and instead launching the largest voluntary relocation in the nation's history. In Illinois and Missouri alone, 5,100 homes and businesses were relocated at a cost of $66 million. These structures which had previously received $191 million in flood insurance payments. When floodwaters returned in 1995, approximately 2,500 people flooded in 1993 were now on higher ground; disaster relief for Saint Charles County, Missouri fell from $26 million in 1993 to less than $300,000 in 1995.

      Rebuilding anywhere along Florida and the Gulf Coast should be deeply reconsidered, especially in the face of increasingly active hurricane seasons over the next decade at least. Federal money for reconstruction may be better spent (even from the perspective of people affected by the disaster) by paying for construction elsewhere. And folks should be supported for deciding to get out -- including with WPA-style programs elsewhere.

      But the idea of other posters to use bases temporarily and WPA programs for cleaning up, and then for restoring natural river and wetland funtions would be good.

      •  I thought that (none)
        some of this occurred after 1993, and I think that the rebuild of NOLA should take the saem tack.  We should be building cities on solid foundations, not sand, so to speak. I hope you don't get upset but I'm going to put up a thread so I don't hijack DHinMi's diary here, and I'm going to put this up there.
        •  Sounds fine to me (none)
          The idea isn't to downplay the tragedy that everyone is facing now, but to begin to think about how to keep these sorts of things from happening repeatedly. And engineers are beginning to realize that working with, not against, natural processes works best in long run. When an area is completely destroyed, that's the time for completely rethinking the approach.  And that goes for the entire Florida and Gulf Coasts, not just New Orleans....

          Anyway, enough of the tangent...

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