Monday, August 27, 2012

Lesson not learned from Katrina

Hard to believe it's been 7 years. With Isaac I've been reading about the changes to New Orleans since Katrina and scanning Google Earth. The good news is New Orleans is not Detroit. There is a lot of new housing stock and people are moving back. Now the bad news:
According to a study by the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council, Levees and floodwalls surrounding New Orleans—no matter how large or sturdy—cannot provide absolute protection against overtopping or failure in extreme events. Levees and floodwalls should be viewed as a way to reduce risks from hurricanes and storm surges, not as measures that completely eliminate risk. For structures in hazardous areas and residents who do not relocate, the committee recommended major floodproofing measures—such as elevating the first floor of buildings to at least the 100-year flood level.
Looking around at Google Earth I see hundreds (thousands?) of brand-new houses, below sea level, built on slabs.

Example 1.
Example 2.
Example 3.

Like all of us I'm hoping that Isaac doesn't breach the levees. But it will happen again during out lifetime. It's like the powers that be forgot what happened in 2005 and during Betsy in 1965.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan
He seems competent and qualified. I expect we'll be told that he eats babies by the end of today.