Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Life on The Edge

A lot of people in New Orleans and elsewhere are on the edge. My trailer is literally on the edge. One block north families live relatively normal lives with a few signs of the disaster. One block south nobody lives, and there are few signs of activity, let alone recovery.

I am also on the edge of my neighborhood and the edge of the flood zone.

On my own block there are two houses under repair (counting mine) four houses for sale, two demolitions and two in indeterminate condition. I hope the demolitions are a good sign. I hope it means that they are going to rebuild. I am hopefully waiting for the foundation work to start.

My own neighborhood escaped the worst flooding but I live on the perimeter of the neighborhood and everyone on my block flooded. On my block there are two houses being worked on, one house mostly sitting, four houses for sale and two houses were torn down in the last few weeks. What is going back on those two lots, if anything, I haven't a clue. I would welcome a McMansion, It would help our spirits and our property values. One block behind my house everything looks pretty normal one block in front to it everything looks devastated.

The flood maps are equally interesting. Our flood zone has a requirement that new construction be located three feet above the highest adjacent grade, my lot is at plus three feet, the slab is one foot higher than the lot. Across the street in they are in a different flood zone. It is approximately three to four feet lower than my lot. That flood zone requires an elevation of minus one foot. They are also required to build three feet above the highest adjacent grade. New construction on my side of the street will be approximately four feet higher than new construction on the other side.

That makes absolutely no sense. Why can't we set a single flood elevation for the entire city?

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