Re: Feds to Rebuild New Orleans Levees
I should stay out of this, since I'm really too close to the situation, but I want to make sure you are aware of some of the stuff we're hearing locally.
First: We're hearing "this is a good first step, and we have to start somewhere." But this plan does little more than bring us to where we were supposed to be before.
Second: The existing levees were either poorly designed or not constructed to engineers specifications, depending on who you believe. There's a lot of testing going on to determine why the levees failed. The storm surge in this area was closer to that associated with a cat 1 or 2 rather than a 4 storm. The eye did not pass over New Orleans.
Third: Nash Roberts ... who was considered a hurricane/weather god around here for years and was highly respected by the NHS for his abilities to forecast storm tracks ... about the time of Camille (1969). He said it would be nearly impossible for a cat 5 hurricane to hit New Orleans. He showed how if the storm came from this way, it would bounce that way, and the other way, it would bounce another way. But that was 35 years and a lot of coastal erosion ago.
Fourth: They say this is for "levees" but this plan also involves the pumping system which protects the city from heavy rainfall, which we get every spring. So, this isn't just for hurricane protection.
The number I'm hearing for cat 5 hurricane protection is around $34 billion, but I'm doing that from memory. Can't find my source. And would take 10 years. At least. Because coastal restoration/wetlands protection is a key component.