Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The death of New Orleans

That phrase is what Sedosi used over at his blog to describe the utter holocaust that is the city of New orleans. I believe the news of the death of New Orleans is exaggerated, but perhaps not by much. New Orleans IS a disaster rivalling that of the 1900 Hurricane that struck Galveston. That event was a turning point in many ways. It lead to the formation of the National Weather service that we know today. It also lead to the complete rebuilding of Galveston. The Galveston we know today is very different from the Galveston of the 1900 event. A committee led by Alfred Nobel was formed to address what could be done to prevent such a disaster in the future. One salient point that came out of that investigation should be seriously considered for the future New Orleans. Galveston Island was only inches above sea level at the time of the 1900 Hurricane, when the storm surge hit, Galveston was 19-20 feet underwater. The decision was made to change that. The entire city was built up to several feet above sea level. and a concrete lined seawall was built to the height of the storm surge of the 1900 storm.

New Orleans already has a network of dikes and levees to hold back the water, but of course these cut both ways as we are seeing now. When the dikes fail, the whole city is innundated. The Galveston seawall was not intended to hold back millions of gallons of water forever, it was intended to hold back the storm surge until the storm passed. The only way to prevent a repeat of this magnitude is to raise as much of the city above sea level as possible. There will always be parts of the city that are impossible to raise. Downtown, with it's buildings, is a lost cause unless the city is willing to demolish them and rebuid Downtown. The French Quarter with it's historic buildings MIGHT be possible, but cost prohibitive. But the real problem is the residential areas, and since they are all pretty much complete losses now anyway, NOW is an excellent time to do what needs to be done. RAISE NEW ORLEANS. PUT ALL EVACUATION ROUTES WELL ABOVE SEA LEVEL.


Blogger Kathy Herrmann said...

Actually, your raise the city suggestion reminds me of Seattle. It's about a story higher than the original city was. I don't know the gory details of how they accomplished the feat but, basically, the city raised the streets. You can still go on tours of underground Seattle and see the original level of the city.

August 31, 2005 10:15 PM  
Blogger Cory said...

Yeah, the death of New Orleans was probably a little rough, but I just saw all the pictures and after hearing that man explain how he had lost his wife when she let go of his hand....


Still, I believe that this IS the end of New Orleans as we know it today.

It may come back, but in a VERY different form.

Good insight (as usual)


August 31, 2005 10:51 PM  
Blogger ttyler5 Editor said...

I don't know how much of it we will raise, but I know this: NOLA will be holding Mardis Gras next Feb, the Quarter has survived.

September 05, 2005 4:44 AM  
Blogger Kathy Herrmann said...

I suspect as long as there is a French Quarter there will be a NO. Which raises an interesting speculation. If the French Quarter had been devastated, what would NO future have been then?

September 13, 2005 11:01 AM  

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