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Hurricane Gustav - A standard disaster in the making

To revisit all of the work done by our former editor Paul, a New Orleans resident, who detailed the failures and follies that lead to the man-made destruction of the city during Hurricane Katrina, would be to open can of worms I don't want to revisit tonight. Suffice it to say that man (specifically the Army Corp of Engineers) failed New Orleans with levees that had key failures at storm levels the were supposedly built to handle.

There is debate as to how well the levee system that has been under construction ever since will protect New Orleans, the system is scheduled to be complete until sometime in the next decade. The Corp says 220 miles of levees have been rebuilt, but it only takes a few key failures to turn certain parishes into bowls of soup.

The good news (or so it appears at this moment) is that the levee system may not face a direct hit test on Monday. There will certainly be surge and maybe over-topping, but barring another total collapses of a critical levee, the city might ride out the next 48 hours with just standard hurricane flooding and damage.

To the east of New Orleans small towns like Houma stand a very good chance of being wiped off the map tomorrow. This should come as no surprise to them as LSU scientists had been making presentations to all of these towns showing what would have happened to them if Hurricane Rita had landed in their area. The results weren't pretty. You can actually go see the presentations here.

Right now that appears to be exactly what is going to happen tomorrow. Anyone crazy enough not to have evacuated from those areas stands a very good chance of being either totally stranded or dead by this time tomorrow. Depending on what happens in New Orleans you may or may not even hear about the devastation in these parishes as the fixation on New Orleans has already paralyzed the media and you won't be able to reach any of these parishes except by air.


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Comments (8)

"the system is scheduled to... (Below threshold)

"the system is scheduled to be complete "


"Depending on what happens ... (Below threshold)

"Depending on what happens in New Orleans you may or may not even hear about the devastation in these parishes as the fixation on New Orleans has already paralyzed the media..."

Um ... yeah, just like in 2005, when the press virtually ignored surrounding cities like Covington, Hammond, Metarie, Kenner, etc., not to mention the utter devastation across the river in southern Mississippi. Or now, the way they have ignored the massive flooding in Florida occurring in the wake of Hurricane Fay, in favor of sensationalizing what might happen in NOLA. If Republicans didn't do it (or can't be blamed for it) it isn't news. **Sigh.**

It is also certainly good t... (Below threshold)

It is also certainly good that residents of New Orleans took very seriously calls to leave the city this time compared to last time which created some needless deaths and searches. Federal and state emergency help also seems right in place early as well, so few disaster relief distribution problems should exist this time around under the new FEMA director who replaced the former one who even lost his job running Arabian horse shows.

If New Orleans suffers another amount of huge damage as a city, you would think that this city would pretty much cease to exist in the future as a major Southern city. I can't imagine that many residents would choose to stay that could afford to leave if given the opportunity if it only becomes a nearly yearly target for major storm damage. At some point insurance companies just can't afford to insure property in such a storm zone.

Or maybe the storm will sub... (Below threshold)
John S:

Or maybe the storm will subside to a Category 2 and miss the city by 250 miles. Maybe it's time to abandon the parts of New Orleans that are below sea level. Doesn't matter. I expect no damage but still a bout of $7 gallon gas.

I am a part of Houston's Em... (Below threshold)

I am a part of Houston's Emergency Disaster Team for healthcare. One thing I know for absolutely sure is that it is the LOCAL agencies (Mayor and County Commissioner) and State (Governeor) who order, direct and provide for evacuation. FEMA, is basically an after disaster event organization. Only hurricanes give you time to prepare.

If there were tornadoes in the mid West or earthquakes in California, should we hold FEMA responsible for not being there ten minutes after it happens?

Paul Hooson, you again proved you know not what you speak. FEMA was prepared for this storm, but still was on the sidelines waiting to be called in by the Governor. If you knew what Federalism is, you would understand that.

Anyway, except for the cheap swipe by a resident liberal troll, good post. ww

Mike: we still have people ... (Below threshold)

Mike: we still have people on the west side of town using canoes to get around after Fay. But they're not playing victim, so no one cares.

Reasons why we have to rebu... (Below threshold)

Reasons why we have to rebuild the Craptastic City of New Orleans:
1. New Orleans is a vital port city.
2. The legal system there still has a very heavy French influence. The attorney's there need to know the special legal system to function.
3. Gulf of Mexico Oil requires an additional port, besides Houston; which is already at capacity.
4. Grain from the Midwest must be shipped to the Port of New Orleans to get to the rest of the World.

The economic benefits of rebuilding the city of New Orleans are a vital part of this country.

NOLA is a filthy, corupt and silly town.....but it serves it's purpose.

Remember when they had all ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Remember when they had all that flooding in Iowa and the midwest this year?

Remember how some people said that you wouldn't hear much about it in the future, as the Iowans, et al, weren't the type to play the victim and would just rebuild and move on?

Remember that?

Wonder if we'll be seeing 'Extweem Home Makeover' or 'This Old House' or other groups 'giving back' to Iowa 'relief efforts' three years from now, like in some places.






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