Thursday, April 5, 2007

Interesting articles to read

Our Crumbling Foundation

The levees are failing!!! Oh yeah, and it's not in Louisiana...

City's evacuation plan still in disarray (video)

Lest we forget, here's a list of Nagin's Campaign Contributors

The Iraq War, by the numbers.

Eddie Jordan's Bodyguard Arrested. This one just sort of slipped through the cracks.

These are the guys behind Sanjaya or whatever his name is still being on American Idol. I hate Idol, but I really admire what they're doing. It's subversion at its finest. These people don't seem to be too happy about it, though.

Update- A great Op Ed about the rebuilding "plan." Tip of the hat to Adrastos.


Puddinhead said...

How bizarre to me that highly educated and engaged people in our city can buy into the "flood-prone" versus "safe" argument regarding our neighborhoods. I understand the unique problems that New Orleans East, parts of the Ninth Ward, and outside of the City proper, St. Bernard face regarding MRGO/ICWW levees, and if these are the "flood-prone" areas they are referring to in the Op-Ed piece, I can understand that residents might be due a "You're taking your chances for awhile" from the authorities as they rebuild. But as for that part of the City inside the "Ark"--that between Jefferson and the Industrial Canal and River to Lake--we pretty much have to either assume we get at least functional protection, or completely bail. Katrina is not what we've been fearing, of course. As the term "Federal Flood" points out, Katrina put stresses on the system protecting the "Ark" that the system was supposedly designed to withstand. Katrina was nowhere near the still-looming threat that prompted Walter Maestri and others to bring reporters and a surveyor's rod to the curb in front of the Pontalba Buildings to demonstrate how the flood waters would reach the second floor apartments. In such a scenario, where the protection system does not simply fail under a threat it was designed to handle but instead is overwhelmed by a surge much greater than it's design limits...tell me--which parts of the City are "flood-prone", and which are "safe"?

We can of course take either of two courses. We can exert as much pressure and show as much vigilence as is necessary to ensure that when the Task Force Hope complete their efforts to restore hurricane protection, it is to what it was authorized to be, rather than to what it actually was prior to Katrina...and continue pressure afterward for upgraded protection and accelerated efforts on wetland restoration. Or alternatively we can just look at the problem that less-than-catastrophic storm surges(not the "total city submerging" direct hits) present and say "Hey, we can't build flood protection that doesn't crumble--we're just Americans, after all" and go back inside and watch The Sopranos....

Clay said...

There's your easy answer on the flood prone question.

I think there is a real determination there. Short term, it makes a BIG difference where you live. Remember, the pumping capacity at all of the major outfall canals is greatly diminished, virtually guaranteeing some flooding in parts of the city. It probably won't be much more than street flooding, but you never know. Long term, we're all screwed without massive coastal restoration.

Long term, the Corps is incapable (at least in its current form) of protecting New Orleans. Period. Our best hope is they can patch things together well enough for the East Levee District to get up to speed. In the meantime, the residents should endeavor to live on the highest ground possible and live in elevated structures (NO SLAB FOUNDATIONS!)