Drove my chevy to the levy, but the levy wasn’t there

Several of the levies and pumps that are responsible for keeping New Orleans out from under the sea are broken beyond the scope of easy repair. Some of the proposed solutions include air-lifting huge concrete blocks, sinking a barge in place, weighted cargo containers, etc. Based on the amount of water that is traveling throught the area where the levy used to be, it’s a huge problem to try to stop it now.

My question is this: why? Why bother trying to repair the levy? The city is already demolished. There are a lot of lives in jeopardy as we speak. Spend time and effort evacuating and housing the people displaced by the hurricane. Then abandon the city.

Seriously. I really think that it would probably cost less in the long run to abandon the city and relocate it somewhere where the ocean doesn’t lay claim. It’s not exactly something that could have been done proactively, since everyone had huge investments into where the city used to be. Now that we’re all going to be paying to rebuild it through donations, federal aid, and insurance premiums, we might as well have a little say in not repeating the mistakes of the past, no?

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18 Comments.

  1. Very good point sir. I do not currently have much of a rebuttle, but I have thought it would be somewhat logical to just “rebuild” inland (somewhere it doesn’t require pumps to keep the city from flooding. But perhaps that’s just the midwesterner in me talking.

    One thing your comment does remind me of is when the city of Springfeild (Simpsons) was overrun by trash and they simply picked up and moved the city a few miles away. This is way more serious, but I can’t help but smirk at the image of a “Homer” jumping from one truck to the other to get to Moe’s.

  2. It probably was my midwesterner talking when I wrote this post. I was thinking about it more over lunch, and a simpler way to get my point across, and perhaps less offensive would be to point out that when the city was built, there was far less understanding of the weather patterns in the area, and it was far more important for the city to be accessible by boat. In these modern times that we live in (har har), perhaps it would be wiser to relocate inland.

  3. Part of the problem is that the Mississippi river likes to wander. It changes its course all the time. For the last (many) years the Army Corps of Engineers have tried to control it, and the extent of the flooding is, in small part, the fault of the natural patterns being changed.

    That being said, the alternative was regular floodings over the last 50 years, so… it’s not ALL bad.

    Your plan has some merit, in that we’d be able to let the river go a little bit, and the water flow patterns in the area would be more natural.

    Also, the odds of another hurricane hitting this spot any time soon are pretty bad… I’m halfway of a mind to say “drain it and rebuild on the spot”, because statistically, you know, lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice.

  4. They should put a large asteroid in geostationary orbit and hang the entire city a mile above the ground.

  5. One of the issues w/the “drain it and rebuild…” theory is the overhead that is required to do so. Sure there are pumps and dams or levys or some other means of “keeping the water out” in place but right now they are under water and underpowered. Logistically it might be just as simple, and less costly to rebuild inland.

    *NOTE: The previous statments are from a purely theoretical basis. No calculations or cost estimations were performed to back up what is being said.

  6. oh, by the way… the geostaionary asteroid is a good idea… though I’d hate to have bad brakes driving back from the city…

  7. Wouldn’t it be simply to adjust the moon into geostationary orbit, since it’s close already? (:

  8. The moon is too big, and therefore would have to be too far away. Actually, it already is too far away, what, 300,000 miles or so? All I want to do is balance a city, not float an entire continent….

  9. Oho! Pardon me for being absurd, mac! 😛

  10. Well draining the place isn’t impossible to do. Just look at the Netherlands.

    However the question becomes…. are enough people willing to save the place?

  11. Bryan, I disagree. It’s not a matter of enough people, it’s a matter of the right people. Federal aid money, federal tax money, charity (domestic and foreign). All those monies are going to be spent independant of the people who gave the funds.

    Thus, the decision is simply a matter of the proper high-ranking individuals being willing to rebuild.

  12. Well I was assuming that of something of that magnitude would to a certain extent be dictated by the people expressing their opinions to the city council.

  13. Since I don’t have anything worthwhile to contribute to this discussion — I think the word you’re looking for is geosynchronous. I don’t think that geostationary is a word. I could be wrong, and I’m too lazy to do anything (like check the dictionary) other than make this post.

  14. Jacob: While geosynchronous is slightly more correct (since geostationary in its most correct sense refers to an orbit over the equator) the two words are essentially synonyms. (I looked them up to verify this, since I was fairly certain that geostationary was a word, but not 100%)

  15. So, if they do decide to move all 500,000 people to a new city, whose land do they take? Of course, assuming they don’t approve the geosynchronous asteroid. What if they just dig up some mountains and put them in the hole, instead of trying to build mountains all around the hole to block the water?

  16. My “move the city inland” theory assumes that the cost of buying land for the city at prices that make people more than willing to sell is dwarfed by the relative cost of rebuilding the city, the levies, etc.

  17. I agree with blackman and a few other statements in this article, wouldn’t it make more sense to rebuild inland where pumps are not needed so there is a much less risk of flooding then this people who have been displaced can be built new homes and only the memories will remain. the people will be saved, well whats left of them.

  18. Get a grip!!!!!

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