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9 Weeks to Pump Out New Orleans?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the katrina's-aftermath dept.

News 2153

Cr0w T. Trollbot asks: "It looks like New Orleans is going through something very close to the worst case scenario right now. This somewhat prescient study, written well before the hurricane, describes some of the challenges (engineering and otherwise) facing New Orleans. 'In this hypothetical storm scenario, it is estimated that it would take nine weeks to pump the water out of the city, and only then could assessments begin to determine what buildings were habitable or salvageable. Sewer, water, and the extensive forced drainage pumping systems would be damaged. National authorities would be scrambling to build tent cities to house the hundreds of thousands of refugees unable to return to their homes and without other relocation options.' The hypothetical is looking awful close to reality right now. What can be done about draining and rebuilding New Orleans in light of the massive flooding, and what can be done to prevent and/or lessen such disasters in the future?"

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Water City (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#13440997)

I know this sounds crazy, but given its bowl shape terrain, instead of pumping out the water and rebuild, why don't they rebuild over the water?

Otherwise, try asking Dutch how they have been living with large parts of Netherlands below sea level.

Re:Water City (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441027)

Install Bigger Pumps

Re:Water City (2, Funny)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441176)

That's sub-section 1 of the larger plan: Throw Money At It.

Re:Water City (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441047)

Perhaps because the Netherlands doesn't happen to be right next to one of the warmest bodies of water on the planet? (Hint: warm water == hurricanes and other large tropical storms)

Whether or not we like it, the Gulf Coast is a very important economic asset. There is really no safe place on it (although, N.O. is obviously not a very smart idea). The first 200 or so miles of the Gulf Coast is just sediment deposited by the Mighty Mississippi. It's all very flat, swampy, and subject to flooding.

Re:Water City (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441060)

Or, better yet, don't live there at all.

It's asking for trouble. And I'm from the Gulf Coast, so I think I have room to talk. Already I hear officials talking about having to make the levees even taller to make it work. Well, then you just need a bigger hurricane to make them fail and make an even bigger disaster.

Re:Water City (5, Informative)

FireballX301 (766274) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441065)

New Orleans has been living the way the Dutch have, through a system of pumps and levees.

The Dutch don't get hurricanes.

A couple of factors against simply rebuilding over the water are excessive cost and safety issues, historical purposes, and once the water drains away everything will be on stilts, since the sea level there fluctuates depending on the outflow of the Mississippi and the tides.

And the mosquitoes. Mosquitoes suck.

Re:Water City (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441158)

The Dutch don't get hurricanes.

Not hurricanes, but North Atlantic storms can still be pretty intense. There was a catastrophic failure of the dykes back in the early 1900's, IIRC.

-jcr

Re:Water City (5, Informative)

ben_white (639603) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441066)

What makes more sense, is what was done in Gavelston after it was wiped off the face of the map in 1900 by a hurricane. They dredged the surrounding inland waterways and raised the entire island by some 17 feet. In areas of New Orleans that require existing structures be razed could have this done.

cheers, ben

Re:Water City (2, Insightful)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441137)

Not a bad idea. Looks like a fair amount is going to get rebuilt, so it does seem like an opportunity to make it safer. Although there would be some interesting challenges dealing with the existing below-ground infrastructure.

Another thought I had is rebuilding the new buildings so that the first floors are parking only, designed specifically to take flooding without major damage. Also, no more building houses below see level, put them somewhere else. Some of this will undoubtedly be self-correcting, as the insurance companies are probably going to up their premiums significantly for anyone who insists on rebuilding in the area.

Re:Water City (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441198)

Also, no more building houses below see level, put them somewhere else.

Umm.. About 80% of New Orleans is below sea level, apparently.

-jcr

Re:Water City (5, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441089)

The Dutch have the advantage of being on the northwest coast of a continent in the northern hemisphere, where hurricanes move from southeast to northwest. While hurricanes do sometimes turn northward (remember the one last year that ended up near Iceland?), the Netherlands generally don't have to deal with storms of this ferocity.

Re:Water City (5, Informative)

Freexe (717562) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441093)

The wall around the Netherlands is longer than the Great Wall of China and is thought to have cost 1.5 trillon dollers to build.

(Source: The Guardian Newspaper, Monday 29th August)

Re:Water City (2, Interesting)

quark101 (865412) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441108)

The reason that they can't just build over the water is a more complicated than you make it seem. First, completely building over everything would cost significatnly more in both time and money than just pumping out the city. Secondly, If you just build over the water, then you will have a city built upon an inherintly unstable foundation i.e. A large cavern underground. Would you want to be in an office building that is built over a city sized hole in the ground? Finally, I think that many of the people in the city itself would highly object, simply because of all the history that would be destroyed by doing that to the city.

As for the Dutch, they also build levees and dikes, but they have a little bit more experience with this problem than does New Orleans. And yes, the Dutch have been flooded multiple times in the past, many times from big storms, just like this one.

Re:Water City (5, Funny)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441117)

If they don't want to rebuild *above* sea level, they can just rename it Atlantis and sell tours.

Re:Water City (1)

0olong (876791) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441153)

As a Dutchie I think part of New Orleans' problem lies in still using pomps from 1928 [gatewayno.com] . I also recommend building (higher) dikes. It's not rocket science really...

Re:Water City (5, Funny)

DiveX (322721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441201)

Why not rebuild over the water? Well, it has been tried before.

"When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get."

King of Swamp Castle

I wonder... (3, Interesting)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441000)

...how many foreign countries are sending aid to the US now?

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441034)

Have the United States of America asked for this aid ? Do you need it ? I guess many countries would help if some help is needed. But as always, help would take some time to get there.

Re:I wonder... (3, Insightful)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441042)

are we requesting it?

Re:I wonder... (1)

DoddyUK (884783) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441045)

Bearing in mind the *special* relationship Bush has with Blair, I wouldn't be surprised if Britain forks out a few quid.

Re:I wonder... (1)

utnow (808790) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441160)

we don't want their squids! gross little creatures... and Canada can keep the looney-bins! the US is crazy enough as it is! :D

Re:I wonder... (5, Interesting)

phatwuss (619909) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441067)

Much to Mullah Robertson's dismay, the infidel Hugo Chavez has pledged aid in the form of food and fuel. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050829/pl_afp/usweat hervenezuelaoil [yahoo.com]

Re:I wonder... (2, Interesting)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441204)

Hmm, that is pretty nice of him/them. I hope Venezuela follows through and delivers. If so, I think the Bush administration should _really_ reconsider "their" position on him/Venezuela. We as Americans may not totally agree with their government policies, however that doesn't mean we cannot get along and help one another, we are pretty clost to them.

Re:I wonder... (0)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441129)

If Bill Gates' den collapses, do the residents of Redmond take up a collection?

I heard .. (1)

gulfan (524955) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441206)

... Iraq was sending out a large ammount of aid in the form of oil.

Misread... (4, Funny)

Psychor (603391) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441006)

Did anyone else misread that headline and think the networks had started a "Pimp my City" show?

Re:Misread... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441074)

Is that a new GTA game? Or a reality show? I get the two confused sometimes.

The future.... (2, Insightful)

methangel (191461) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441008)

A) Don't live by a freaking ocean. Oceans have hurricanes.

B) Don't live in a city that is 8 feet below sea level. Flooding WILL occur.

Problem solved.

Re:The future.... (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441043)

Better not live anywhere that has any natural disaster at all.

Ever.

Re:The future.... (3, Insightful)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441085)

The US government through FEMA gives these dopes the money to rebuild in the flood zones. End the subsidies, and restore the environment.

Re:The future.... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441164)

Where I live we have a region known as "Tornado Alley". Every few years some homes get ripped to shreds and some people get sucked into the air and dismembered ... but they still build there. Matter of fact, the amount of urban sprawl that is spreading to that area is astounding: not that many years ago it was cornfields and grain silos, with some livestock mixed in. Now it's pretty well-developed: lots of houses, malls, swimming pools. More targets, is how I look at it.

Re:The future.... (1)

jemenake (595948) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441141)

A) Don't live by a freaking ocean. Oceans have hurricanes. B) Don't live in a city that is 8 feet below sea level. Flooding WILL occur.
I mostly concur. Now, out here on the west coast, we don't get storms that do serious damage to our coastline... but New Orleans.... come ON! Go on Google Earth and look at it. It's like that whole place is built on sedement deposited from the Mississippi river. As soon as a sedement deposit breaks the surface of the water, they go build something on it. Note to self: Don't Do That!

Re:The future.... (1)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441163)

C) Or anyplace subject to earthquakes.
D) Or anyplace subject to volcanic activity.
E) Or anyplace subject to tornadoes.

Hmm... where does that leave?

Re:The future.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441200)

Davis, California

often touted as one of the safest places to live in the United States

Re:The future.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441205)

A) Don't live by a freaking ocean. Oceans have hurricanes.

Maybe I have some money and don't want to live around a bunch of red-state morons? If only you studied a little harder methangel, maybe you wouln't have to live in a cornfield?

Sinking (3, Funny)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441011)

My memory is muddy, what's this river that I'm in, New Orleans is sinking man and I don't wanna swim!

Re:Sinking (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441192)


oh yeah... [wikipedia.org]

cities on floodplains? (5, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441014)

"what can be done to prevent and/or lessen such disasters in the future?"

Well what I do in Civ3 is to disallow building cities on floodplains and swamps. Helps heaps.

Re:cities on floodplains? (4, Insightful)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441097)

At the very least, stop taxing everyone else to subsidize flood insurance for people who insist on building in flood-prone areas.

If they want insurance, let them pay the real cost of it. If they don't, let them take the risk themselves.

Of course, we'd probably have to transition such a system into place by instead of banning existing structures from getting the current subsidized insurance, simply telling everyone who got flooded out that if they insist on rebuilding in their flood-susceptible location, they're going to have to do it without flood insurance. Otherwise, they can turn their property over for parkland and take it's pre-flood value to go rebuild somewhere else.

I know that a lot of not as wealthy people also live in flood-prone areas, but can't the taxpayers stop paying for rebuilding millionaires beach and river-front property over and over again in the same locations?

one word: (5, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441015)

SPONGES.

Really, just a massive airdrop of sponges over the city, et voila, your problem, she is solved!

Leave it alone (0)

WatertonMan (550706) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441017)

Exactly why people live in a city below sea level with the ocean on one side, a lake on the other, and a swamp on the other in a major hurricane area makes no sense to me. It is a city that has sentimental value but little practical value. I'll predict that no one will insure any buildings in New Orleans. People ought to condemn as many buildings as possible and let people move.

Re:Leave it alone (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441144)

There is a biiig port in that area, so I wouldn't say "little practical value"

Re:Leave it alone (3, Insightful)

RGRistroph (86936) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441173)

You forgot the Mississippi river on the 4th side. That is often at a higher level than any of the other three (always higher than the sea, which not a direct neighbor yet -- needs a few more storms for that).

As for insurance, the US gov has bailed out every insurance company that hit bad times insuring Florida or Texas or California property, so why not ? It's a win-win situation -- nothing happens, you get the premiums, something happens, the Gov pays for you.

I predict people will move right back in, rebuild with easy gov-backed credit, and repeat all these mistakes again while our national deficit balloons.

Um... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441022)

It just doesnt seem smart to rebuild a city that's below sea level in a hurricane vulnerable area...

I LIVE in New Orleans (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441025)

I Live in New Orleans and I was just planning on staying at Taco's house. This membership is good for something, right?

WTF? (-1, Troll)

MattyDK23 (819057) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441028)

And this article is related to technology news...how?

I have sympathy for the citizens, for sure, but...if I want news on New Orleans, I'll read a paper.

Re:WTF? (1)

locke_00 (781795) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441090)

It's an engineer's field day. News for Engineers = News for Nerds.

Re:WTF? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441116)

Well, it'll be a series of massive enginering projects: cleanup, design buildings and infrastructure to withstand another such storm, and implement (i.e. build) the design.

That techie enough for ya?

Possible solution (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441032)

Before submitting a story to slashdot linking to a site on your personal server, refit the server with water cooling and use New Orleans as your reservoir.

Donate (3, Informative)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441035)

Salvation Army Online Donation [salvationarmy.org] - Money goes directly to help with Katrina relief.

Too much (0, Troll)

bobsacks (784382) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441037)

I think there is too much whining and complaining and fretting over this. It's not like this hasn't happened before and it's not like it isn't going to happen again. If my house got destroyed every ten years or so, I would move. It would have to be cheaper than rebuilding and starting over from scratch every few years.

Re:Too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441115)

You THINK it would be much cheaper, but then if you look at the cost of land there, the cost of building there, and how you are going to replace your 70k/yr refinery job in a "safe" area, and it just makes more sense to stay.

Re:Too much (1)

bobsacks (784382) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441162)

Is land really cheap down there or something?

What can be done about it? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441040)

In the long term? Drive your car less. Drive a smaller car. Fly less. Turn off your lights when you're not in the room. Turn off your computer at night. Throw away less stuff. We all know why this is happening to us.

Re:What can be done about it? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441068)

We all know why this is happening to us.

Yeah. It's called weather.

Re:What can be done about it? (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441076)


We all know why this is happening to us.

Yep, because terrorists hate our freedom.

Re:What can be done about it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441154)

yeah! nuke the gay pagan hurricane terrorists!

Re:What can be done about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441197)

Better yet, kill yourself!!! You'll conserve a lot more resources that way, and leave more resources for the people in the third world that are breeding like rabbits! Let's face in... cutting every person's energy consumption in half isn't going to accomplish much when the population doubles, is it?

airmchair quarterbacking (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441048)

What can be done about draining and rebuilding New Orleans in light of the massive flooding, and what can be done to prevent and/or lessen such disasters in the future?"

there are professional who do that sort of thing. And they don't hang around posting on slashdot.

Please (0, Flamebait)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441049)

Won't somebody make a contribution to the stupidity relief fund?

My .02 (2, Interesting)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441050)

Well New Orleans is too big too just simply give it up and move on. I figure they'll have to just start pumping out water one problem neighborhood at a time. It might take months or years to fully recover but it has to be done. The cost of leaving all that alone is far worse.

Long term: I think a massive public works project will come out of this. Something along the lines of the Netherlands Delta Works Project [wikipedia.org] . Only on a much more massive scale. Something along the lines of a massively huge dike between New Orleans and the ocean. Either that or find a way to drop enough dirt under New Orleans to raise it about 100 feet. Either that or maybe the United States will actually address and attempt to fix global warming with this hurricane blow?

Re:My .02 (1)

coopaq (601975) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441128)

a massively huge dike between New Orleans and the ocean.

In Louisiana on the beach is where Rosie... oh nevermind.

Re:My .02 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441171)

Yeah. There were never any hurricanes before global warming.

Prevent? (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441051)

Only way to really prevent something like this is to not build densely in high-risk areas in the first place.

Of course, the very features that makes for high risk - river deltas, earthquake areas, active volcanism - tend to produce really desireable areas to live in.

Where is Gene Roddenberry? (1)

ejbvanc (558014) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441053)

I say we build the WeatherNet from Star Trek... I mean we already have the technology to teleport [slashdot.org] and we have tricorders (PDAs).

Global Warming = stronger hurricanes, so.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441058)

what to do, well, stopping global warming would help.

'God hates trailer parks' (1)

Lexor (724874) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441059)

It's not that God hates trailer parks, it's more that trailer parks are usually built in disaster zones.

Then there's the banks of the Mississippi...

And now there's New Orleans.

Makes me wonder if future generations will build communities around rotted nuclear fission plants because of the 'warm glow' ...

Bigger Pumps? (1)

macwhizkid (864124) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441061)

Why does it take specifically 9 weeks to pump the water out? More specifically, why can't more pumping capacity (in the form of more powerful pumps, additional pumps, larger pipelines, etc.) be added?

This is a pointed quote right now. (1, Insightful)

Helpadingoatemybaby (629248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441073)

Check out the date on this quote:

"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us." -- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.

Re:This is a pointed quote right now. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441139)

Blaming it on Bush is a joke. The levees haven't been properly funded for decades.

How about moving off the flood plain? (1, Insightful)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441079)

Does it bother anyone else that our tax dollars will be used to pay for people who didn't have insurance?

Umm...dont rebuild it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441087)

Rebuild somewhere else. Hows that for a solution? Dont build a city below grade and in the path of hurricanes! Duh!

How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441106)


you stop being the worlds largest polluter
and at least try to do something to cut back

you see Bushes "Kyoto would have wrecked our economy" isnt quite working out to be the cheap option, perhaps "Kyoto would have wrecked my personal economy." would of been a more appropriate statement

thats why no other countries are rushing forward to help you in this disaster, they are just saying "oh thats a terrible shame, hope it all works out for you"

Friends help friends, but the friendship is a two way street that Amnerica is going down the wrong way

Linux can save New Orleans... (0, Offtopic)

katpurz (721210) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441109)


No, really it can't... hahahaha sorry

open source ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441112)

Now may be a great time to spread the word about what FOSS has to offer people. Think about it, all these refugees' computers were ruined in the disaster. Perhaps having kiosks running Linux set up in the tent cities so that people can get in touch with relatives via email and chat would show people how sturdy a system we've built.

Retards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441118)

Thats what they get for building the city in such a shitty place.

Martial Law: Shoot All Looters! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441132)

It is now legal to shoot looters in order to protect life and property.

Wild subhuman Negroes are on an uncontrolled rampage. Now is the time to take advantage of the law and shoot to kill. Kill all looters; it is your civic duty!

Do not aim for the limbs. First choice should be a clean head shot, else a clear shot to the upper torso may suffice. The intention is not to scare the Negroes. The intention is to eliminate the problem once and for all.

Shoot the monkeys and save our city!

Get rid of terrorsits (1)

maxogden (844677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441133)

Everyone knows terrorists from around the world trained thousands of dolphins, sent them to the gulf of mexico, and had them start swimming in a massive circular motion, thus creating Katrina. To prevent this from happening in the future, we just have to go into North Korea and Iran and bomb them into submission. Once we're done with that, we can remove their dictator and put in a puppet government.

Double Levee (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441134)

They should be looking at a double Levee design so a single failure point won't become catastrophic. Much like modern ship design you have a inner and outer containment system with partitioned spaces. Have water flooding stormsewer systems drive pumps to pump down levees.

__________________________
_____|______|______|_____|

Re:Double Levee (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441167)

The article said there were two points of failure. Whether in a single levee or double it didn't say.

Re:Double Levee (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441199)

The problem is that a small breach quickly becomes a large breach as the water rushes in. With a double levee the watter wouldn't rush in and the breach could be repaired. As it stands they are screwed short of parking a battleship in front of the hole.

What to do about it? (0, Redundant)

imbaczek (690596) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441146)

Nothing. Go build a city somewhere where it won't just sink. Really, it'll be better in the long run.

New Orleans is sinking every year... (1)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441151)

What can be done about draining and rebuilding New Orleans in light of the massive flooding, and what can be done to prevent and/or lessen such disasters in the future?

That's a good question considering that New Orleans, already below sea level, is sinking at a rate of about a meter (three feet) per century. Three feet per century doesn't sound like much, but the city is expected to be under water by the year 2100.

rename it to DisneySea: New Orleans (0, Flamebait)

kumachan (618013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441159)

Just make the whole place a water filled fun adventure!

Keep the national guard at home (2, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441161)

"... what can be done to prevent and/or lessen such disasters in the future?"

How about keeping the national guard at home so that we have a trained and able bodied army of people available to actually do the work? Right now I've heard that there's anywhere from 3K-6K Louisiana national guard troops following the story from Iraq.

Give thanks again to the GWB administration's inability to govern.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441165)

Don't you just love how everyone says "Our prayers are with them."? What about all the atheists in New Orleans, eh?

*goes to pray to his atheistic god*

Build it up, or build somewhere else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441168)

Seriously, don't build things under sea level unless you are living in waterproof domes. I don't think the rest of the U.S. should have to spend tens of billions of dollars every time a monster hurricane comes by just so you can live where fish should swim

Kind of obvious... (1)

But Who's Counting (703446) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441170)

What can be done? Easy! a) don't build metropolitan areas in geographically stupid locations, and b) quit destroying the Lousiana wetlands, which would have acted as natural buffers against just this sort of disaster. Problem is, nobody actually wants to hear those answers. Ah, well.

Easy enough (1)

blueadept1 (844312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441172)

"...what can be done to prevent and/or lessen such disasters in the future?"

Um. Don't build your city on a flood plain?

Move New Orleans (5, Insightful)

Colonel Panic (15235) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441181)

Maybe they should seriously consider moving the whole city to someplace more stable (not below sea-level and not sinking).
Yeah, that'll be very expensive, but if they don't do seriously consider the moving option now, they'll probably have to consider it some time in the next 50 years anyway. Given the location and parameters (below sea-level and below Mississippi level much of the time) it's amazing that NL has lasted this long. Perhaps we should consider NL to be the first victim of Global Warming (which produces stronger hurricanes and higher ocean levels).

"Tourists don't notice the difference" (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441183)

"We thought New Orleans had always been this crappy."

"That's not looting, it's local color!"

"Home of pirates, drunks, and whores!"

My pussy is bleeding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441188)

It weeps for the future.

I don't want to sound insensitive, but... (1)

dividedsky319 (907852) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441189)

...is it really smart to pump out, and rebuild right where everything is?

I mean, there's really nothing they can do to guarantee this doesn't happen again. I doubt they're going to be able to make it so the city isn't still below sea level...

I know there's really no other option, but... this is bound to happen again at some point in the future.

Remember the floods in the midwest in 1993? (1)

linuxtelephony (141049) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441193)

There was at least one city the relocated after the flood. Yup, I said CITY.

The only way to stop this from happening again is to rebuild on higher ground. If they rebuild where they are, it will be a matter of when it happens again, not if.

Same thing applies to a lot of people around the coast, intentionally building in flood planes (and I'm not talking about 500 year flood plains, I'm talking less than 100). Not to mention, in many cases the construction itself makes the problem worse.

Perhaps, New Orleans should look to Venice for a solution.

Don't miss this Popular Mechanics article (5, Informative)

H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441196)

Popular Mechanics also did a piece [popularmechanics.com] on the disaster that was just waiting to happen in New Orleans. Check it out. [popularmechanics.com]

Why not stick a big floating sign on top that says (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13441202)

Why not stick a big floating sign on top that says:

We told you so!
That's what you GET for building your city BELOW SEA LEVEL!
You've known it for years but you keep building there anyway.
DUMB ASSES!

Send your AOL CD's to New Orleans... (3, Funny)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 9 years ago | (#13441203)

... together with back-issues of National Geographic. That should avoid the problem in the future by raising the grade level by 5-7 meters.

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