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New Orleans disaster predicted in 2001

  1. Aug 31, 2005 #1
    Some friends of mine went to Mardi Gras this year for their first time. I semi-jokingly told them that they should go now before it is underwater.

    Katrina is gone, but the flooding continues. This scenario was not unforeseen, FEMA listed it as one of the top 3 most likely disasters to strike the US. The other two; an earthquake in San Francisco and terrorist attack in New York city. :surprised

    http://www.hurricane.lsu.edu/_in_the_news/houston.htm

    Incidently the money for shoring up the levees was used for homeland security and the Iraq war.

    And where is the Louisiana national guard?

    Oh thats right, in Iraq.

    Gee wasn't this war a great idea?

    I wonder how red Louisiana will be in 2006/2008
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2005 #2
    Though I want to believe you, do you have any links about the levee money?

    EDIT: Never mind, I found one myself. Apparently, they required $11 million for the levees, and for the first time in 37 years, they didn't get what they needed. In the Bush administration's proposed budget, they were going to get a whopping $3 million, though Congress bumped it up to $5.5 million (half of what they needed). Construction actually stopped on the levees for this reason. It's good to know that his priorities are in order.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2005
  4. Aug 31, 2005 #3
    Yeah, it was known that it could happen at any time for a lot longer than 2001.

    I can remember seeing news programs about how New Orleans is slowly sinking and will inevitably end up like Venice, and since it's on the Gulf Coast it's set up for a humanitarian disaster. Just like what happened.

    Last year there was a big hurricane that veered away from NOLA at the last minute, you could tell be the evacuations and the voices of the authorities that they were really, really scared. You could see the same thing this time as Katrina approached. There was a meteorologist on the Weather Channel who's voice was cracking Sunday night as he was reporting that the hurricane would hit NOLA. He obviously knew what was going to happen, and was visibly frightened. I've never seen that in a weatherman before.

    Yeah, those three thousand Louisiana National Guard members in Iraq sure would be helpful right now. Just goes to show you.
     
  5. Aug 31, 2005 #4
    Here's another one.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0831-04.htm
     
  6. Aug 31, 2005 #5
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2005
  7. Aug 31, 2005 #6
  8. Aug 31, 2005 #7
    Before anyone tries to rebut this by saying that the "liberals" who are touting this against the Bush administration said nothing about it when the budget was proposed, remember these two things:

    1. The media did not report about this budget cut on a large scale. The only media that did report about it was the New Orleans local media, which leads me to my second point...
    2. Louisiana's a red state, and no one complained for that reason. Say what you will, but it's hard to find out that a problem exists when the people affected by it don't say anything about it.
     
  9. Aug 31, 2005 #8

    russ_watters

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    Wow, guys, wow. Have you no shame? ~1000 people died, and all you can do is use it as a wrong political cheap-shot? Sick.

    The levee system in NO was built to withstand a direct hit from a cat3 hurricane. What it got was a glancing blow from a cat4. This, $3, 5, or 11 million had nothing whatsoever to do with the disaster. What NO really needed was a different starting design criteria and a couple of billion dollars on a completely new levee system.

    edit2: This money was part of a decades long project to improve the locks on the levee system. HERE is an overview. HERE is an interactive map. Of note, the one levee height listed: 22.4 feet. Not enough.

    edit3: There is more than one project. It may have been THIS one. Its a $740 million project, with a Cat3 design criteria. The first portions were scheduled for completion in 2010, the whole project by 2015.

    edit: More...

    The problem here is the classic engineering compromise: money vs quality. I deal with this every day (twice, today, in fact). Someone, somewhere decided that the 1 in 50 years risk (my estimate) of a direct hit from a cat3 hurricane was all the protection they were willing to pay for when deciding on how tough of a levee system to build. They rolled the dice and lost.

    I read today that officials in the Netherlands expressed surprise that NO's system wasn't built to withstand more: theirs is. The engineering of levees is quite simple: if you expect 20 feet of water outside, build a 25 foot levee - if you expect 40 feet, buld a 50 foot levee. Its just a bell-curve shaped earthen/concrete dam. It would have been a piece of cake to build, but it would have cost more.

    The fact of the matter is that this is a government project and governments (the US is as bad as anyone) don't hold themselves to the same high standards as they hold their citizens. The larger buildings in the city are built to withstand a direct hit from a cat5 hurricane. Someone in government, some decades ago, decided not to build the levees to that standard.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2005
  10. Aug 31, 2005 #9
    Political cheap shot?

    Look. It's the job of the office of the President of the United States to take care of things like this, and Bush done f*cked up.

    I think the only reason you're defending him is because you voted for the guy, and you can't admit you've made a mistake.

    People are dying because this guy is incompetent.

    To quote the snake, "you knew I was a snake."
     
  11. Aug 31, 2005 #10

    russ_watters

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    Jeez, it doesn't stop!! Did you read any of what I just wrote there? Nothing Bush could have done differently would have prevented this. Clearly you don't believe that, so post your evidence/argument and PROVE IT!

    You've gone far beyond irrational here: you're being vindictive, even hateful, at the expense of the victims of this storm.
     
  12. Aug 31, 2005 #11
    Did Bush cause the hurricane? No.

    Could the levee funds he cut have prevented the flooding? Possibly.

    Could the 3,000 Louisiana National Guardsmen in Iraq saved lives if they were where they were supposed to be? Definitely.

    Could the numerous National Guard helicopters and highwater vehicles currently in Iraq have saved lives? Undoubtedly.

    Did Bush f*ck up? Yup.

    And thousands of displaced victims and relief workers, both right and left, agree.

    But hey, at least he cut his vacation from 37 days to 35 days so he could view the damage from Air Force One.

    :rolleyes:
     
  13. Aug 31, 2005 #12
    Some notes-

    "If and when the President decides to step up..." sarcastically said Admiral Timothy Keating, head of Northern Command, on the military readiness to respond to the disaster.

    Both Governor Blanco and Louisiana Mayor Nagin have complained to the media about the lack and poor coordination of the response. Mayor Nagin has made serious complaints to WWL of Louisiana of "too many chefs." Although he hopes they can solve the problem and get things straightend out.

    Jean Meserve, reporting from NOLA, recently recieving notice for her emotional reporting of residents being trapped in their attacks and drowning as people are unable to help them, has stated there's a serious shortage of national gaurdsmen.

    Joe Albaugh, head of FEMA, is a Bush appointee and his former campaign manager. There's serious questions about his qualifications. He's been giving press conferences with conflicting information about what's happening in NOLA (e.g. stating the water was receding while it was rising.) And claiming the impact on the nations economy will be negligable.

    Bush flew back to washington from his 35 day vacation, having spent the night at a luxury resort in San Diego for a fund raiser. Four days after the hurricane hit he gave brief speech, telling the american people that New Orleans is underwater that that it's a bad situation, while frequently slurring and mispronouncing words.

    When asked of what he thought of the speech, a refugee boy from Biloxi told MSNBC reporter, "He ain't President no more. President Bush don't know what he's doing."

    Ironically, the boy's comment was more grammatically correct than Bush's speech.
     
  14. Aug 31, 2005 #13
     
  15. Aug 31, 2005 #14
    Maybe in your blind rage you just skipped over Russ's post completely... In any case, look at it again.
     
  16. Aug 31, 2005 #15
    Or maybe this idea.

    [edit] Why does it always come back to the environment
     
  17. Aug 31, 2005 #16
    hey Russ.

    I heard this week, something I had forgotten. That NO is "sinking" because it doesn't have accumulation in the flood plain every year, as it would if it were allowed to flood. The flooding is prevented because we have a city there, after all.

    Any idea how much it has "sunk" in the past few decades, in other words would the height differential have affected the planning on the levees decades ago?
     
  18. Aug 31, 2005 #17

    russ_watters

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    Sorry, I don't know anything at all about that.
     
  19. Aug 31, 2005 #18

    russ_watters

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    Correct.
    Certainly not. Again, since the first phases are only supposed to be completed in 2010, the only way that extra $10 million would have helped, is if it was used to construct a time machine.
    No.
    Also no.

    TRSCF, Louisiana and the surrounding states have not even called up all the troops they have yet! This country has a very large pool - a "deep bench" as one general I heard on C-Span today put it. They are nowhere near using all the available resources.

    The biggest problem in the relief effort in such situations is, as always, organization and coordination, not the availability of resources. Before these forces can be emplooyed, planning has to be done and that takes time. Time enough for a helicopter crew, for example, to fly in from Texas.

    But you already know that - you said it in one of your posts, then ignored our own point! :uhh:
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2005
  20. Aug 31, 2005 #19

    russ_watters

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    Jeez, thanks - at least I know I didn't just write something no one read. This is nuts.
     
  21. Aug 31, 2005 #20

    russ_watters

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    Ehh, I'm not a big fan. I really prefer the certainty of a massive wall around the city.
     
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