Friday, January 05, 2007

Will they ever STOP?

Reading my headline service I saw this;

New Orleans repeats mistakes as it rebuilds


I read the article and it just causes me to shake my head. They quote a guy from California as saying we shouldn't rebuild. Doesn't he know California is going to fall into the Pacific one day soon?

3 comments:

Renegade Seismology said...

Bob Bea (the guy in California) lived in the Ninth Ward when he worked for Shell and got flooded out by Betsy back in 1965. And raised houses (like my friend Nancye's on Lowerline) are smart in New Orleans, not houses on flat slabs - like my cousin's former house in Lakeview and my parent's house in Metairie.

Mominem, what New Orleans needs is some good leadership - at the city, state and federal level. Someone who can convince people to come back and rebuild smarter. Yes, there is alot of unique architecture in New Orleans, but the soul of city is it's people, n'est pas?

Sophmom said...

Did you read Dambala's post at American Zombie about holding back the sea? What was missing were the maps showing the PNW and the CA coast, all of FL and the incredibly developed Atlantic coastline.

I believe that the only hope is in citizen action.

mominem said...

No one is immune to being wrong, misquoted or taken out of context. Raising houses in not the only or in many cases the best solution.

Some areas with slab on grade homes did not flood. Some areas with predominately raised homes (The Lower 9th Ward) did flood to the (raised) ceiling.

The current FEMA advisory elevations are 3-6 feet below the actual flooding in many flooded areas.

Most new construction I see going on, in full compliance with FEMA regulations, is a modified slab on grade with the house located on raised fill. This type of construction has disadvantages over a more traditional raised platform, especially in areas where there might be flowing water (like near levees).

In my case my existing slab meets the FEMA regulations under some interpretations of the definitions. Even the most stringent interpretation of the FEMA advisory elevations would have allowed 2 feet of water in my house and would have made little difference in the flood damage.

The expense or raising existing structures or even new ones makes even less sense in areas which did not flood. That will impeded relocation to those areas by reducing the economic incentive.