August 31, 2011

KATRINA WAS A WASTED OPPORTUNITY TO FIX A MISTAKE:

STATING THE OBVIOUS (Martin C. Pedersen, August 30, 2011, Metropolis)

Yesterday's New Orleans Times Picayune carried a front page story--fittingly, I guess, on the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina--about the Army Corps of Engineers' new rating systems for the country's levees. The report gave a "near failing grade to New Orleans area levees," despite the $10-billion effort to rebuild them after Katrina. The levees are designed to withstand surges from a "100-year hurricane," or a storm with a one-percent change of happening in any given year. For storms the Corps described as "500-year events," all bets are apparently off. "Larger events, however, would cause flooding," the piece stated, rather bloodlessly. "Reviewers estimated those events could kill as much of 3 percent of the area's population, and inundate as many as 191,180 structures, resulting in $47.7 billion in damage."

It never made any sense to have a large population live below sea level in a hurricane/flood zone. If you wanted to preserve the place for its business and entertainment then just move the people to higher ground and have mass transit to run them into the park.


Posted by at August 31, 2011 6:24 AM
  

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