T Nation

Sobering Aftermath of Katrina...

I was reading an article last night dated December 2000 that was eerily prophetic about the chance of NO becoming an extinct city.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BJK/is_15_11/ai_68642805

Then I read this article dated today on MSN about the rebuilding effort in NO now that the storm passed and how it may be unfeasible, leaving NO a ghost town and environmental disaster area.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9150429/

Then I read this heart-wrenching story, realizing that there are hundreds of thousands like it going on not just in Louisiana and Mississippi, but all over the world…

http://www.wusatv9.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=42611

I’m still in a state of disbelief about all this. A city I always dreamed of visiting is just gone…possibly forever. And the sad part is, our government knew this would happen for almost a decade if not longer and didn’t do much to prevent it. If anything positive can come out of this situation, it’s a complete attitude change about fuel consumption, alternative fuel development and environmental awareness in general.

[quote]Panther1015 wrote:

And the sad part is, our government knew this would happen for almost a decade if not longer and didn’t do much to prevent it. If anything positive can come out of this situation, it’s a complete attitude change about fuel consumption, alternative fuel development and environmental awareness in general. [/quote]
I don’t follow the jump you made there, can you explain it.

[quote]reddog6376 wrote:
Panther1015 wrote:

And the sad part is, our government knew this would happen for almost a decade if not longer and didn’t do much to prevent it. If anything positive can come out of this situation, it’s a complete attitude change about fuel consumption, alternative fuel development and environmental awareness in general.
I don’t follow the jump you made there, can you explain it.

[/quote]

If you read the first article dated 2000, you’ll see where that comment is coming from. I believe the govt cut funding on that project last year and was considering further cuts in 2006. It’s not a matter of who’s in office. Our government just has a long-standing history of being more reactive than proactive when it comes to environmental disasters.

[quote]Panther1015 wrote:
If you read the first article dated 2000, you’ll see where that comment is coming from. I believe the govt cut funding on that project last year and was considering further cuts in 2006. It’s not a matter of who’s in office. Our government just has a long-standing history of being more reactive than proactive when it comes to environmental disasters.

[/quote]

I agree, however, I question if it’s the federal gov’t place. Ideally, I’d like to have seen the NO & LA gov’t move the entire city of NO about 200 years ago. IMO, it boils down to the fact that NO is 8’ below sea level off of the Gulf of Mexico. As a landluber from CO, even I could predict that sooner or later it would be devistated by a hurricane.

Rather than seeing my tax dollars go to rebuild the same highest risk neighboorhoods repeatedly, I’d like to see the government offering limited buyouts combined with loans in order to get people out of the most dangerous areas-- I’m thinking certain areas of Florida here. I’m sick of the government taking the cheapest short-term out after every disaster rather than taking the situation as an opportunity to rebuild more intelligently on the -relatively- clean slate. In the case of NO, hopefully the feasibility of raising certain areas of the city will be considered, not unlike the feat performed in Gavelston a century ago. Regardless of which specific measures are economicly and otherwise feasible, I just hope the rebuilding effort from this takes a longer view this time than it seems has been done in the past.

I’m not tring to pile-on an already horrific situation, but living between the banks of the largest river in N.A., and the Gulf of Mexico, and the 2nd largest saltwater lake in N.A. AND doing so at 8 feet below sea level (and in some places as low as 22 feet if I am naot mistaken) is a disaster waiting to happen, regardless of the steps taken to prevent it.

I don’t think you can blame government inaction. This was an act of God.

I work in the water/waste water treatment industry.

I have been to NO a number of times, including some trade shows.

A topic of discussion has always been that WHEN the levees fail, NO was going to be lost.

Eveyone hoped it wouldn’t happen in their lifetime, but it was inevitable that it would happen.

Leave it to the French to build a city below seal level.

It is also interesting to note that on my last trip to Biloxi 2 or 3 years ago I stood on the deck of the Beau Rivage Casino overlooking the Gulf and a bigwig in the MS version of the EPA told me that he (and many others) thought it was crazy that people were developing the coast the way they were.

He was afraid a hurricane would wipe everything out.

With the population explosion around the world we are only going to see more of these disasters.

[quote]reddog6376 wrote:
I agree, however, I question if it’s the federal gov’t place. Ideally, I’d like to have seen the NO & LA gov’t move the entire city of NO about 200 years ago. IMO, it boils down to the fact that NO is 8’ below sea level off of the Gulf of Mexico. As a landluber from CO, even I could predict that sooner or later it would be devistated by a hurricane.
[/quote]

If you notice in the first article I linked, the Army Corps of Engineers channeled waterways upstream to minimize flooding there, and they lined those waterways with concrete, which speeds up the flow of water downstream, where the flooding, if it occurs, would be worse. They should’ve consulted the Dutch on this prevention (now rebuilding) project from the start. Those people would’ve NEVER used concrete channels in the first place. Such an attempt likely exacerbated the flooding problem.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
I’m not tring to pile-on an already horrific situation, but living between the banks of the largest river in N.A., and the Gulf of Mexico, and the 2nd largest saltwater lake in N.A. AND doing so at 8 feet below sea level (and in some places as low as 22 feet if I am naot mistaken) is a disaster waiting to happen, regardless of the steps taken to prevent it.

I don’t think you can blame government inaction. This was an act of God.[/quote]

I’m not blaming the government for this at all. I’m saying that the death toll and amount of damage could’ve been greatly reduced if preventive measures were better executed years ago. Everyone knew this day was coming. It’s not a question of preventing the actual event, but preventing unneccessary loss of life and damage as a result. That was my intention with posting the article originally published 5 years ago.