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FortKnox's Journal: Is NO worth saving/repairing? 63

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I want to preface this with a "this is not about the blame game or anythign political... do that in the countless other NO JE's"

But something that wasn't talked about much and I wanted to say it. NO wasn't built in what we'd call "a prime location for a city." It is built below sea level right next to the sea. Flooding is and always will be a major concern.

Now that we know how much it will cost to rebuild the city....... should we? Would there be an advantage to simply building the city somewhere else in a better location? Or simply abandon it?
Remember... removing the water is step one. Cleaning all the bacteria and other stuff is step two (and this will be a looong step!). Rebuilding is step three (which will last years and years).

Is my thoughts completely insane?
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Is NO worth saving/repairing?

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  • But who wants to be the politician who tells the citizens of New Orleans "Too bad. So sorry. Find a new place to call home"?

    Nobody.

    And that's why New Orleans will be rebuilt, regardless of whether or not it should be.
  • I've been thinking along similar lines. I wonder if moving the city to a better locale and rebuilding there might be more feasible from a technical and engineering perspective. I do wonder, however, what happen to the Old NO? Would it sit abonded populated by the homeless and drug mob? Use it as a massive movie set? Raze the whole thing and use the material in New NO? That's the part that I'm not sure what to do with.
  • by Alioth (221270)
    I already wrote about it the day after the hurricane in my journal, but to summarize, I don't think NO should be rebuilt as it is. Save the historic quarter, and provide enough infrastructure to service the historic area. This would perhaps give you a town of 50,000 people which would be a lot easier to defend from flooding and easier to evacuate, and would allow the Mississippi delta to be mostly returned to flood plain as nature intended.

    It's *insanity* to rebuild NO as it is. Doing the same thing again u
    • Sorry... you aren't friended so I missed that JE. I'll remedy that right now :D
    • You can make cities resistant to flooding. Note that it's not that the levees COULDN'T have protected the city, it's that they weren't DESIGNED to protect the city under these circumstances.

      The disaster in New Orleans is far more a problem of engineering than the location. You COULD build levees that can withstand twenty foot storm surges. You COULD build levees that can withstand a category four or even five hurricane, they just DIDN'T.

      Which brings us back to the original point. Designing and building such
      • by sulli (195030) *
        Elevated beach style buildings would be a good idea. As would better urban planning to make their neighborhoods more walkable and much, much less segregated.
      • Well, I used to live near Galveston, and a friend had a house in Galveston of that construction (and after the 1906(?) hurricane, Galveston was built up a bit higher to make it less suceptible).
        • Galveston style earthmoving ops were before the epa, no way would we be able to level, compact, dredge, and drain the lower mississippi like we would have to to make new new orleans safe.
    • by ces (119879) *
      People compare it to California - built on a faultline, however you can reasonably make buildings resistant to earthquakes. You cannot make a building built on the coast below sea level resistant to flooding. You have to raise it above sea level or put it elsewhere.

      Someone should maybe let the Dutch know about that. A good sized hunk of their entire country is below sea level.
      • If we (as in the US Government) were smart we would bring in the Netherland's top civil engineers and ask someone the RIGHT way to protect a city that is below sea level. While they probably do not have anything near (pls correct me if I am wrong) the level of cat 4/5 hurricance threat, I am very sure they would be a valuable aid in trying to protect New Orleans.

        However, I have to agree with another poster's comments on just keeping the shipping ports/lanes open and letting the rest of the area revert back
      • The Dutch don't get hurricanes, though. Sure, North Sea storms can be vile, but they are not at risk from Cat 4/5 hurricanes.
        • by ces (119879) *
          They come pretty close, the combination of storm surge and wind driven waves gets up to hurricane levels and the winds get to cat 1/2 strength.

          I've seen pictures of the seawalls and floodgates in the Netherlands ... I have no doubt they would survive 200+ MPH winds and a big storm surge. They are WAY overengineered just in case.
    • you're missing something though... NOLA is the Only gulf seaport with 6 or 7 Major railways. You can't just up and move those railways somewhere else.. you can't not have NOLA as such a major port. now, even considering that you just have the historic district, and the shipping now you're still at a city of 125,000 people ;) but those people need places to shop, eat, etc.. i say Rebuilld NOLA on giant mega ships and just sail them away from hurricanes ;) oh well.. the cost for that would be more rediculou
  • Wherein we move the city 5 miles north? [snpp.com]

    Marge: I can't believe it's come to this.
    Homer: Come to what?
    Marge: Moving the whole town five miles down the road, it's crazy!
    Homer: Yeah, it's something all right.
  • of Venice.

    Gondolas everywhere. Homes on stilts.

    Singing Italians everywhere, with a slight cajun accent.

    Sweet.
  • Even if they have to fill the city with concrete to get it above sea level and import dirt to put on top, the location is prime.

    Many of the components of New Orleans could be built elsewhere, but the shipping business would be hard to move.
    • Except it is sinking, in some places up to a foot/century, declaring everything south of I-10/12 a nature preserve in between Lafayette and Gulfport MS is tbe only way to not have to create atlantis west. Build a seaport at Lake Marepaus with a monster canal running from the mississippi at Baton Rouge to there build a shipping chanel from Maurepas to Borgne
  • here's the real kicker is even if we backfill the bowl that is NO, it is still sinking, in some places up to 1'/century, so if it is to be done right, a 1000 year survivable situation, we're talking about doing the largest earth moving project in history, compacting and filling everything south of I-10 and I-12 except a shipping channel. I'f we're going to go to that much trouble, why not breach Lakes Borgne, Pontchartrain, and Maurepas, dredge a shipping channel, build a massive air, land, and sea port in
  • yes and no (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eglamkowski (631706)
    It IS one of the best deep water ports around, so the port facilities pretty much have to be rebuilt.

    But that doesn't mean it has to have huge residential or commerical areas - just the port and some key transportation facilities (rail yards, interstates and the like). Let the residential areas be built a few miles further out in safer areas and build some good mass transit to the port facilities for the workers.
    • Indeed. Building industrial/commerical structures makes a lot more sense than large residential areas. Flood defenses can be built to withstand pretty much anything, the only limit is money. But preventing a Volvo from flying into a residential living room during a cat 5 hurricane will prove very difficult as well as very expensive for the individual house owner.

    • 2nd most favorite answer! Ever! Bonus points if the mass transportation was ferries and the ports, warehouses, and even the rail lines to them were built to float with anchors instead of being based on pillars in the sinking sea floor!
      • Unfortunately, such a method of planned development appears to be doomed to the dustbin of good ideas never to be heard, much less implemented.

        People are going to buy up land and build houses wherever they want, and the city council isn't going to have the guts to rezone in a way that would prevent that, or if they did they would cave as big real estate builders lure them with promises of tax revenues from having big apartment and condo and town home complexes, etc.

        Money, power, corruption. It's even worse
  • by http (589131)
    I and I say Babylon must be leave behind, Jah willing.

    She were the body of iniquity, indolence, and wantonness. You recall it had an ekename, babbo? It was "The Big Easy". If really another Babylon be what they want, can they not prove it by starting from nothing?








    PS. (sorry, HTML doesn't do voice effects or accents any better than I do!)




    PPS. This was originally intended as just a no vote, but something came over me...

  • What kind of geek ARE you, anyways.

    The question is never "should we build it". If you ask that question, the answer might be no, which would immediately remove the possibility that you would get to the second question, which is:

    "How can we build it anyways, but spend a lot of time and money finding cool and technologically interesting ways to work around the serious issues that stand in the way?"

    And since I'm all for anything cool and technically interesting, I can't wait to see the proposals come up. Did
  • 1. NO will NOT be rebuilt the same way, we'd be stupid to do so.

    2. Levees are a 19th century technology, we have MUCH better forms of flood control now. Levees will be necessary for instalation of that technology- but there's no need for them to be permanent.

    3. NO is in the location that it is for sound ECONOMIC reasons unrelated to the engineering problems; in short it's the main eastern port of entry for the Midwest United States. Anything your company or farm exports, anything you buy retail in th
    • 3. NO is in the location that it is for sound ECONOMIC reasons unrelated to the engineering problems; in short it's the main eastern port of entry for the Midwest United States. Anything your company or farm exports, anything you buy retail in the Midwest and even some parts of the east coast, came through NO at one point.

      I beg to differ.http://www.duluthport.com/seawayfactsus.htm l [duluthport.com]

      Now true, coal and ore and grain account for 99.5% of the duluth seaport's shipping capabilities.. and most of that is exports,
      • No. 18 nationally in total cargo volume (2002)

        While I agree on the exports- on the imports it's different.

        but hey, Duluth is 2200 miles inland, and has no right to expand it's seaway channels.. so they have no opportunity to control there fate in terms of expanded trade. but the fact is nearly 2 billion dollars worth of trade go through that port every year, so no NOLA is Not the Only route of export/import for the midwest.

        Not the only one true- just the most important one for large ships that can't
  • Well, they raised Galveston 17' [1900storm.com] after that hurricane razed the town. Some people are even referring this as the Galveston of this generation [roanoke.com]
    • I grew up in Houston, which is very near Galveston. Someof the things they did to harden Galveston are really smart, and can / should be applied in NO.

      Some of the other stuff, less so.

      If you look at two of the Levies that broke, you will notice that they are *not* levies. They are actually walls. If you bulldoze those houses and rebuild thos walls into actual levees, you really harden the city. You still have the whole "bowl" issue, but higher rim really would help turn it into a 100 year flood zone.
  • The cons of rebuilding are so obvious that I'm going to just focus on the pros here.

    * From what I've heard from various sources, pretty much all wood-frame residential buildings in the flood zone will be destroyed. However, NO has a good many very old stone or part-stone houses that will probably survive without much structural damage.

    * Not all of the city flooded; the areas that did not flood would have suffered "only" category 4 hurricane damage. Better yet, the high housing density apparently protected m
    • And we should probably check with the Dutch and the Brits about how to build defenses against storm/tidal surges.

      Also redo things so that if one levee breaches it doesn't flood a huge area.
    • The fact that the Germans rebuilt Dresden and dozens of other shattered cities after WW2 shows that it is feasible to rebuild destroyed cities. (I'm guessing the level of infrastructure damage to NOLA is similar to that of Dresden.) Germany was not a rich country circa 1950, but we are a very rich nation today

      A friend of mine was in Dresden for business about 6 weeks ago and said there were still parts of the city that have not been rebuilt since the Allied bombings...bombed and burned out buildings untou

  • If you're opposed to rebuilding NO exactly as it was before Katrina, you must hate the poor [slashdot.org] who lost their homes!

    They knew hurricanes were a certainty before Katrina, and now people want to rebuild in the same spot knowing that cat 4/5 hurricanes will happen again? And they want me to help them pay for their death traps with my tax money?

    Can someone explain this to me, write slow and use small words. Because I don't get it.

    If you weigh your options and decide that living in NO is worth the elevated risks

    • Hah. Right, people have it coming when they live in a disaster area.

      Ass.
      • Right, people have it coming when they live in a disaster area.

        Well, I disagree with that, but you're free to have your opinion. Crazy as it might be.

        • Well, I disagree with that, but you're free to have your opinion. Crazy as it might be.

          So everyone who can possibly be hit by a hurricane has it coming? Everyone who can get a tornado? Everyone who can get flooded? Everyone who can be effected by a volcano? Everyone in an earthquake zone?

          You do realize this covers a fair number of the major cities in the US, a good sized hunk of industry, and most of the major ports?
          • The government undertook a huge study to find a place that was not subject to earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, flooding and the like. We should just pack up everyone and move them there. [yuccamountain.org]

            Then we'll be safe.
            • The government undertook a huge study to find a place that was not subject to earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, flooding and the like. We should just pack up everyone and move them there.


              YES!! LOL!!! Does it get hot there? I hate the heat!

          • Are you even reading my posts? I strongly doubt it at this point, you seem to be too occupied with ranting and emotionally charged rhetoric. Take a deep breath, calm down, and try to pay attention, this post will only take a minute or so to read.

            So everyone who can possibly be hit by a hurricane has it coming? So everyone who can possibly be hit by a hurricane has it coming? Everyone who can get a tornado? Everyone who can get flooded? Everyone who can be effected by a volcano? Everyone in an earthquake zo

            • Ok, where do you live then?

              If your area gets hit by a natural disaster I'll be sure to advocate that not a red cent of Federal money gets spent on any sort of recovery or rebuilding.

              After all you deserve what you get for living where you do no matter where that might be.
              • After all you deserve what you get for living where you do no matter where that might be.

                That's a pretty horrible attitude you know. One that I definitely don't share. But hey, it's your opinion to have. Just like "They had it coming" is buffer-overflowed's. I don't stand for those ideas and I think it's a despicable position.

                You really don't read my posts do you? I told you were I live just a few days ago when you last showed how caring, compassionate, and progressive you are with the same promise of no

                • That's a pretty horrible attitude you know. One that I definitely don't share. But hey, it's your opinion to have. Just like "They had it coming" is buffer-overflowed's. I don't stand for those ideas and I think it's a despicable position.

                  I suspect that to anyone who had their home destroyed by Katrina telling them that we shouldn't give them any Federal aid for rebuilding sounds exactly like "you deserve what you get for living there". Even telling them they will only get the money if they move somewhere w
                  • I suspect that to anyone who had their home destroyed by Katrina telling them that we shouldn't give them any Federal aid for rebuilding sounds exactly like "you deserve what you get for living there". Even telling them they will only get the money if they move somewhere with a lower hurricane threat is pretty much the same thing.

                    Right, you "suspect" it sounds like "you deserve what you get"... It couldn't possibly just be you and buffer-overflowed attributing things to me that I never said could it? I nev

                • The word that got you into trouble was "responsibility." That's a "they had it coming" attitude. Which I mocked via sarcasm.

                  Oh and I gave very last red cent I had to various charities. Literally, every last red cent. Checking account balance: $0. You still have cash in your checking account, go out to see a movie lately or anything?

                  And if I don't know you IRL, you won't get a penny of my money. Too many people like to go about fleecing cash after a disaster.
                  • The word that got you into trouble was "responsibility." That's a "they had it coming" attitude. Which I mocked via sarcasm.

                    Right right, how silly of me. People fundamentally taking responsibility for themselves and their safety. What a crazy idea! I dunno what I was thinking there.

                    Oh and I gave very last red cent I had to various charities. Literally, every last red cent.

                    Good for you, do you want an award or something? If not, why mention that here? It's not a dick-measuring contest.

                    Go out to see a mov

    • They knew hurricanes were a certainty before Katrina, and now people want to rebuild in the same spot knowing that cat 4/5 hurricanes will happen again? And they want me to help them pay for their death traps with my tax money?

      Big port + petrochemical industry + on key road, rail, and pipeline routes means you have a city there pretty much no matter what. People will move there for the work if nothing else.

      If you weigh your options and decide that living in NO is worth the elevated risks of hurricanes and f
      • Otherwise you pretty much have to tell everyone near the coast from Brownsville, TX to Cape Cod, MA to move or be screwed.

        You don't get it do you?

        I'm not telling anyone what to do, I just don't want to be forced to support what I think is a poor decision.

        I think that the benefits of living in Florida or NO, aren't worth the risks, other people may come to other decisions, that's fine. I don't want to pay for the consequences of that decision and I don't want to assist them in placing themselves in an ob

        • Again if the New York Area was devastated by some event or another, I doubt there would be any question about rebuilding it.

          For that matter a lot of people live were they do because the company that hired them had a job there or they were born there, etc.
    • I'm not going to get politcal here (gj FK!)

      If you're opposed to rebuilding NO exactly as it was before Katrina, you must hate the poor who lost their homes!

      Are you saying that those who wish to rebuild exactly like it was, we then hate the poor? WTF? I don't think many people are advocating building a crappy, ancient levee system or not building up a stronger sea wall. Again without being political... There was a study done that recommended fortifying the levee systems that had the funding cut out. I'

      • Ah sarcasm, how often you are missed or misunderstood.

        Here's the thing. I refuse to support rebuilding NO because it's a piss poor location for residential areas. This objection causes crazy people to go on lengthy rants about how I must hate the poor or how if disaster ever strikes me they'll be sure to remember it...

        So hating the poor was a sarcastic remark as FK seems to share some of my concerns about rebuilding.

        If an act of God dumped an ocean on top of me, you're right. I would expect my local gov

  • I think they will rebuild it where it lies. I'm guessing they will make some serious changes though.

    They need to beef up the seawall for the storm surge, 20 feet should be enough. They certainly need to build levees around the city, not those cement retaining wall things. The port should be built up, and possibly some wave barriers built out to cripple large waves, like they have in Galveston.

  • ..but I find it amuzing. Am I the only one of the posters here that will say NO first and foremost means historic value? I mean aside from Blues, Jazz and Elvis, New Orleans was one of the first cities in the south and has a few truely historical buildings. Something you don`t easily find in the US.

    I mean, sure, plant it somewhere else or forget about it alltogether if you don`t care, but it is a bit a simplistic solution imfo. For reference, almost all of The Netherlands is below sealevel, and still si
  • There's no reason we need any sort of concensus on this. If some people want to rebuild NO, let them plan it, let them fund it, let them live there.

    America does not need leadership.

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