9 September 2005

Let's move New Orleans

A recent poll (by Ipsos) has found that 54 percent of Americans want the vast sections of New Orleans that were flooded by Hurricane Katrina moved to a safer location. The city, home to about half a million people, sits six feet below sea level on average. The suggestion to move the city, originating from Hastert (Republican) and now primarily supported by Republicans, makes perfect sense. (As much as I hate to admit the Republicans could be right about anything!) This ain't the Stone Age folks! We should be able to figure out that if you put homes under sea level next to a large river and the ocean, you're going to have problems. And I don't see why the whole country should continuously bail out those who choose to live on a flood plane. We aren't living in over-populated Bangladesh. The new city could be started on unused land several miles inland.

I suggest doing all we can to take care of victims of the current disaster. The government should then buy up the low-lying areas and create a giant park. The same should be done for many similar communities in Florida. It's a waste to have some small area like Louisana annually suck up 7 or 8 times the FEMA funds used by the entire state of California. We've been paying to protect these areas and now once disaster hits we'll pay again.

I realize this all my sound callous to some, to worry about this when displaced residents are still looking for places to live and how to survive. But I'm concerned that the decision to rebuild the city where it was will be made without adequate deliberation. In a sense, this is an opportunity that will probably only come once a century. The city's been destroyed so now is the time to move it. There's no point in waiting 50 or 100 years for 2.


Brian said...

It is the same situation as in the city which I called home for 20+ years (Austin, MN). Three smaller rivers, prone to flooding, converge in the heart of the city. Last Spetember it rained 6+ inches overnight and water rose to 10 feet deep in parts of the city. It was the fifth 100 year flood in the past 20 years. They city has bought hundreds of homes in the flood plane and people either moved their homes of moved themselves but remain in the city of 25,000. It created large expanses of green space and park land in the middle of a town that needed rejuvenation.

Glen Dean said...

There used to be a commercial that said "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature", and fooling with Mother Nature is exactly what we did by putting a city down there in a swamp. The levees and the fact that New Orleans has not been flooding for the past 300 years, ironically is what caused the problem. In the past, all of that sediment from all of the flooding would settle into the pre-New Orleans area. But those levees have prevented that flooding. As a result, New Orleans has been sinking even further than it already was. In other words, we messed with nature a little too much and we are now paying the price for it. That Austin example is a good one. I never knew that about Austin. Perhaps that is the inspiration for the old blues song Texas Flood.

I agree, at least in the sense that we should not put low income housing down there. I could not imagine the federal govt. being stupid enough to put housing projects back down in that bowl. New Orleans should just become a historical place with a port and business district. You know I actually think that a lot of those people that are currently displaced, won't be coming back. If they do decide to, it should be to a new city built outside of the old one. Maybe they could call it New N'awlins.

Karlo said...

New N'Awlings. You got me sufferin' from esprit d'escalier. What a great name for a post.

Glen Dean said...

And all I can think about is cajun cooking. :)

Ole Blue The Heretic said...

They will probably bulldoze the houses, and a lot of dirt, and then rebuild.

The marshland, which acts like a buffer to keep New Orleans dry, has been devestated due to human intervention. The land mass the size of Delaware has been lost due to erosion. Something needs to be done quickly.

delftsman3 said...

"I realize this all my sound callous to some..."

No Andy, it doesn't sound callous at all. It sounds like a Liberal who has gotten a taste of Clue™ and has a proposal based in reality and common sense rather than "feelgoodism" on the public tab.

delftsman3 said...

Your right Ole Blue, much of the disaster is the result of mans meddling in forces that he can't control.

The question now is if we will bow to reality or just keep trying to follow the same old path and expect a different result.