It can't be fixed....

I mentioned this a few days ago and this morning it was told on Meet The Press that the soil composition of southern Louisiana is such that it will continuously keep sinking.
Fixing the dikes, filling the voids, etc., to the tune of $14bil right now will only serve as a bandaid on the 7000 year old GEOLOGICAL progression that is occuring and assisted Katrina in delivering her deadly message.
The gov't has known this for years but chose to ignore it.
The soil is a fine silt, mixed with water, that keeps compacting further and further, it cannot be stabilized. This type of soil is prevalent on the barrier islands I design houses on and the only thing that works is to sink pilings down to the hardpan that will support what is built above grade. On these sites, all that is built on grade is determined to be a lost leader, it will go first in the even of a tidal surge. Everything that is important is structurally secured at a height of no less than 10' above sea level.
How do you build a whole city, 1/2 a state, 10' above sea level?
If all of the living are relocated from this disaster, why should they go back?
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Don wrote:

<<snipped>>
The argument that New Orleans be left without repair and that its inhabitants be relocated elsewhere permanently is the most UN-AMERICAN argument I can dream of.
I say so because your argument implies two things. 1: we are not nearly as great a nation as we were 130 years ago, when the people of Chicago rebuilt their city after horrible devastation and 20 years later hosted the World's Fair. 2: we have officially lost our status as the most technologically advanced nation on earth. If Japan can build islands for airports, and we can't even fix an old set of levees around a city, what does that say to you about your nation?
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Adam Weiss wrote:

This is crazy and I hope my tone is ok.
Using the 1900 Galveston restoration model and raising N.O's to +30' sea level is rather difficult from the propery ownership point, even though straightforward engineering wise.
But the legal difficulties are horrendous.
After that great expenditure is a *shanty* town to be erected on it? After-all the impoverished still own that real-estate.
What if someone does not want to have dirt poured on their property? Do we go around them?
Regards Ken
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Ken S. Tucker wrote:

they did in Galveston. The huge expense of doing so and the smothering of private property just isn't feasable.
Most are talking about repairing and improving levees that are already there, and cleaning up the city. A much less expensive approach than filling in the entire city, and undoubtedly less expensive overall than building new suburbs and housing in Texas, Arkansas, and other parts of Louisiana to absorb the population of what used to be New Orleans.
<<snipped>>
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Don wrote:

If the levees were repaired and upgraded, and if I got a job offer there, yes, I would feel perfectly comfortable living in New Orleans. They have some pretty awesome jazz bars there, and for the most part the good parts of town only got a foot or two of water in them.
I feel comfortable living in Southwest Houston, even though there's a BP plant a few miles from here that seems to blow up or catch fire twice a year.
I felt comfortable living in upstate New York, and before that Maine, despite the ever-constant risk of major ice storms.
Lots of people feel comfortable living in parts of California prone to earthquakes.
No matter where you build, there are going to be risks of natural disaster. Of all people, as a resident of hurricane-prone Florida you should know that, Don.

Insurers still cover super-tall skyscrapers. 9-11 has shown us how vulnerable those are. Interesting, alot of people said "people will never again live or work in skyscrapers" after 9-11.
Houston Texas is prone to flooding, for the reason that water doesn't drain from the city as fast as is accumulates during a strong rain. And although they are picky about selling flood insurance policies, insurers still cover the houses here.

Holland is a nation built largely below sea level. It is also a socialist European nation, with all of the huge government incompetency and bureaucracy that implies. By your logic, Holland should have ceased to exist after the 1953 floods, and its people should be living in diaspora.

*sigh* There's a difference between learning lessons, and throwing up your hands in despair.
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Don wrote:

<<snipped>>
There you have it folks. The real reason Don says "New Orleans can't be rebuilt." It'd cost money to do so - and unless Don says 'spend money on this' - money shouldn't be spent on anything.
To which I say: our government spends money all the time. We pay for $1 billion bombers. We spent $12.2 billion so that rich Bostonians wouldn't have to sit in traffic.
It's not about spending more money. It's about choosing wisely what we spend money on. Choosing life saving levees for New Orleans instead of the new I-69 freeway they planned to pour money into for example.

And that's precisely why I say your point of view is Un-American. Real Americans with pride in their country and people learn lessons and press on. You give up because you don't know the difference.

So have I, don. Unless you don't call tropical storm Allison and the widespread flooding of Houston (causing $5 billion in damage) a disaster. Unless you don't call a storm that dumped 24" of snow overnight and knocked out power to 500,000 people in upstate New York when I was living there (including my house, where it was out for 8 days) a disaster.
But the disasters you and I lived through pale in comparison to what happened to New Orleans and Mississippi. And you're saying it's not worth fixing the damage done to that city, as though the fine city of New Orleans were some beat up old Chevvy on its last legs and with a blown transmission.

IOW: if it'd cost money to fix it, and if you're not the one for whom its being fixed, then don't fix it. Give up.
I say - no. America cannot claim to be a great nation if it doesn't band together, work hard, overcome adversity, and develop and impliment technologies to make future calamities less likely. And as I said before, it's not about pushing taxes ever higher. It's about prioritizing life-saving and important domestic infrastructure over luxurious new tunnels for commuters in Boston.

So really, Don, your argument isn't anything other than the old-hat 'government can't do anything right' stance you've had for years. *Yawn* I was hoping you had a good reason for refusing to rebuild New Orleans - something other than "I don't want to give my government money for anything, helping New Orleans rebuild included."
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Don wrote:

Or you'll what?
You wrongly assume that I suggest increasing taxes ad-infinitum. But my point is about making the right choices with tax dollars already collected.
I would have hoped you'd pick up on it.
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Adam Weiss wrote:

Who decided what the "right" choices are? Some would argue that federally funded abortions are the right choice, others would argue that they're not the right choice. Some would argue that a federally funded highway in West Virginia is the right choice and others would argue that the right choice is a federally funded highway in Missouri.
You're arguing that the right choice is to spend money on NOLA. Some will argue that spending money on NOLA is simply wasting the money.
Again, who's to decide what is the "right" choice. I no longer trust the elected officials at any governmental level to make the right choice with money. They've proved over the course of the last 100 years that they are incapable of making the right choice. They've proved it by making choices that are not theirs to make.
So, yeah, sure, say "make the right choices with tax dollars already collected." If you believe that the "right" choice will ever be made, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you...
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Don wrote:

(Un)fortunately, the only fact is today's Government.
Anything else is nothing but speculation.
Notan
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Right, it's a delta, an alluvial marsh/floodplain, and needs to be continually refreshed with soil from the Mississippi. Problem is that the Mississippi hasn't been able to flow normally for many years, so there has been no fresh soil depositions.
As the runoff sits, it compacts, and that's why it sinks.
As it sinks, and water replaces land (because of the lack of soil replenishment), the buffer between the Gulf, and more inland areas, becomes constantly smaller.
This is not a natural process. You mentioned in a separate post about letting the land go back to nature and be replaced by water - but the land is being replaced by water precisely because the current; processes (or rather lack thereof) are not natural.

Not only the gov.t, tho'. Residents. "Developers". Historical preservationists. People who just like to visit. And so on.
Same problem is had by Venice.

Right, it can only be replenished - which can't happen because of all the flood control measures taken on the Mississippi. Canals, levees, concrete (like the LA River - looks more like an open sewer or drainage ditch, but that concrete trough is actually where the LA River would run - well, when there was enough rain and/or snow in the mountains). The entire Mississippi Valley is basically a flood plain. But the soil is good for farming, so people take their chances.
Water is relentless. Just look at the Grand Canyon. Sooner or later, it has its way. Humans tend to forget about preparing for that eventuality, because in their egotism, they delude themselves into believing they can actually control the water.

Yup.

I don't know how, because I'm not an engineer :( , but I'm sure it *could* be done - albeit at a *tremendous* cost and over a very long period of time.
Can old buildings be saved? I'm sure the technology exists, but it's a matter of money. How many resources do you take away from other necessities? People want their homes back, which is certainly understandable, since few can just pick up and move elsewhere. But what is the price? What will be given up by, or taken from, others, to achieve that? That's the question.

If all that's going to be done is rebuild the system that was already failing to begin with, it doesn't make much sense. To survive form more than a short time, the city will have to be restructured.
Given that sea levels are rising, this will become an issue for all coastal cities.
Maybe they will become what the "sci fi nerds" envisioned long ago - clear interconnected lenticular domes, streamlined against both wind and wave, interconnected by tubes ;)
In any event, I personally think that the form of the Coastal City will eventually have to be completely re-thought. Which won't happen until the very last moment possible, because people are all hung up on bickering and war and economics and so on.
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A fact is a fact. Tokyo built that airport; the N.O. levees went kvetched- about-but-never-repaired for many years.
People with some hope of power-gain will try to spin that fact to their own advantage. In the end, whatever the so-called "reasons" (i.e. excuses), America is a shell of what it used to be.
The fact, regarldess of excuses, is thatflash has become more important than substance; appearance superior to character. People no longer elect Leaders - they elect Parents, someone, *anyone*, who will relieve them of the "burden" of individual responsibility and individual thought and individual competence. Whitewash is more valued than human honesty - people don't want to have to decide between two or more imperfect, very *human* candidates - they want slick, shiny talking mannequins who have never sinned because they either have been kept isolated from humanity, or because they are plastic inside as well as out and therefore feel no urges.
Unfortunately, sometimes one has to expereince the depths before one can comprehend and appreciate the heights - but that's a philosophical concept for an age long past. This is the age of the sound-bite, of poreless skin, of silicon implants and surgical perfection. Things like character and personality are secondary, if they're even at all relevant. Things like "honor" and "integrity" are impediments to The Most Holy of Goals, namely, accumulating as much material wealth as possible.
New Orleans is a symptom of a vast ennui that goes far deeper than any current gov.t officeholders. They are, after all, just people, like any of us, and are products of the same spreading shallowness. And it's got nothing to do with going to church...
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