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  #11  
Old 12-28-2005, 04:34 AM
lehighguy lehighguy is offline
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Default Re: update: new orleans

I think we are finally going to get to see Kelo in action, and it won't be pretty.
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  #12  
Old 12-28-2005, 12:10 PM
SheetWise SheetWise is offline
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Default Re: update: new orleans

[ QUOTE ]
The busloads from the public housing projects also formed the voter base of many of our elected officials. Those officials would like to see their voter base return.


[/ QUOTE ]
Reason enough to thwart their plans.
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  #13  
Old 12-28-2005, 05:30 PM
BluffTHIS! BluffTHIS! is offline
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Default Re: update: new orleans

I think many of you in this thread are ignoring what should be the main point here, and that is in what fashion should NO be rebuilt, especially if it involves our federal tax dollars.

Two ways:

1) Rebuild/allow owners to rebuild, as it was;
2) Only allowing rebuilding in areas that are not flood prone which will result in a smaller city.

And I think that pvn's obviously accurate assessment argues for #2, along with the fact that NO should not be shown favoritism in easing federal flood rebuilding/insurance guidelines when areas following the flooding of the Mississippi in many states in 1993 were not, i.e they were forced to elevate or move. We as tax payers should not have to pay for a rebuilding just as before with the possibility of having to do so again any time. This is the same as requiring more stringent building codes in hurricane/earthquake prone areas.
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  #14  
Old 12-28-2005, 09:35 PM
LittleOldLady LittleOldLady is offline
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Default Re: update: new orleans

[ QUOTE ]
I think many of you in this thread are ignoring what should be the main point here, and that is in what fashion should NO be rebuilt, especially if it involves our federal tax dollars.

Two ways:

1) Rebuild/allow owners to rebuild, as it was;
2) Only allowing rebuilding in areas that are not flood prone which will result in a smaller city.

And I think that pvn's obviously accurate assessment argues for #2, along with the fact that NO should not be shown favoritism in easing federal flood rebuilding/insurance guidelines when areas following the flooding of the Mississippi in many states in 1993 were not, i.e they were forced to elevate or move. We as tax payers should not have to pay for a rebuilding just as before with the possibility of having to do so again any time. This is the same as requiring more stringent building codes in hurricane/earthquake prone areas.

[/ QUOTE ]

ALL of New Orleans is flood-prone if the levee/flood protection systems fail. The areas along the river did not flood, not because they are so high--they aren't, but because the levees along the river did not breach. Under other circumstances they could have. The areas immediately along the lakefront (north of Robert E. Lee/Leon C. Simon) did not flood, but if the seawall had failed (and it could have), then they would have been washed away. OTOH, NONE of New Orleans would be flood-prone with proper flood controls in place.

The Netherlands is my second home, so to speak. Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam is about 30 feet below sea level, and no one worries about flooding, nor does anyone counsel abandoning Amsterdam. After the great flood of 1953 the Dutch resolved to do a proper job of flood control, and so today they do not need to worry about the North Sea inundating their (very) low-lying areas ever again. And while the Netherlands does not get hurricanes, it is subject to gale-force and even hurricane-force winds nearly every day all winter long. Storm surges from the North Sea constantly beat along the shores of the coastal provinces (like Zeeland). ALso the great rivers (the Rhine, the Scheldt, the Maas, and the Waal) which bisect the Netherlands are prone to flooding, and the areas along the riverbanks have flood protection that works.

The high ground in New Orleans is only about 6-8 ft above sea level, the low ground only about 6-8 feet below. My house is no more than a foot below sea level, but it is adjacent to the breach in the London Avenue Canal floodwall, and the water at my house reached just about 10 ft--which is deep enough to flood every single property in New Orleans, depending on where the flood walls/levees do or do not fail. Further if the sea walls that surround the south shore of the lake fail (and they could under the right circumstances), there will be twenty feet or more of water in the city--and every area would be "flood-prone" so to speak.

So the question is not whether New Orleans should shrink to the so-called high ground along the river, but whether there should be a New Orleans at all. New Orleans was a cultural gem unique in all of North America. If the rest of the country wants to have New Orleans back again, then certain steps need to be taken--including rebuilding the eroded coastline (which will do very positive things for the country besides protecting New Orleans) and installing the kinds of flood protection structures the Dutch have (and they have offered to help in this regard). If this is done, the city can be safely rebuilt (and the new structures should be built to tougher codes) and, we can hope that the unique culture will flourish once again. New Orleanians really can't live happily anywhere else--80% of New Orleanians were born there, a higher percentage than any other city in the country. If it is at all feasible, New Orleanians will come back to their homes.

If the coastline is not rebuilt and if good flood control structures are not put in place, then no part of the city is safe from flooding, and the country has basically decided that it can do without New Orleans. All we will have then are the port and the pipeline. Port Fouchon (the country's only oil supertanker port), the Columbia pipeline, and the Gulf Coast refineries were Bush's first concern. (I will never forget his first reaction to news of the flooding--assurances that the pipeline and refineries would be taken care of and the nation's oil supply not jeopardized--this at a time when thousands of people were in mortal jeopardy on the roofs of their houses, people for whom he spared not a word.)

So, New Orleans or no New Orleans--not a shrunken New Orleans which is still prone to catastrophic flooding.
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  #15  
Old 12-28-2005, 11:46 PM
tylerdurden tylerdurden is offline
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Default Re: update: new orleans

[ QUOTE ]
Is there any indication that the incompetence of the local leadership has eroded their political base? Is there an impeachment process, and has it been threatened? As an outsider I'd assume that the wealthier residents remaining would force the leadership to start pandering to their demands.

[/ QUOTE ]

There's pandering and there is plenty of "base erosion". There are elections coming up in february, and there's lots of discussion as to whether they should be postponed because of the widespread diaspora on the one hand, and the need to clean house as soon as possible on the other (another related question I haven't seen addressed is how you differentiate between people that have temporarily relocated and plan on coming back vs. people that have permanently relocated and don't want to come back (but still might have an interest in voting)).
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2005, 12:03 AM
tylerdurden tylerdurden is offline
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Default Re: update: new orleans

[ QUOTE ]
I think, however, that the city will be redeveloped. Various plans have been floated, all of which have as the end result people losing their property which will then be made available cheaply to well-connected developers.

[/ QUOTE ]

Of course. Plunderers have been licking their chops since the first reports of levee breaches.

[ QUOTE ]
First some "housing activists" came up with the idea of usufruct in which the owner retains title to the property but the city repairs it and rents it out to whomever for however long, at the end of which time the property owner must buy back his own property or lose title to it.

[/ QUOTE ]

Wow. I haven't heard this yet. Very, very clever, in an evil genius sort of way.

[ QUOTE ]
Other ideas include allowing the free market to determine what gets rebuilt where. After a period of time (both one year and three years have been mentioned), the powers that be will determine which neighborhoods have come back enough to be viable (the powers that be get to decide what constitutes enough). Those neighborhoods will be supported with services. Those deemed not to have come back enough will be abandoned and the property seized (even the property that has been repaired).

[/ QUOTE ]

This is the "free market" idea?

[ QUOTE ]
This latter idea comes from the likes of the big developer Joe Canizaro who, no doubt, already has his eye on what he wants when the land is seized and sold cheap.

[/ QUOTE ]

FWIW, and not really pertinent to this conversation, I happened to drive by Canizaro's house last week. His house definitely had flooding (judging from the other houses on Northline), but he's already had everything completely restored.

[ QUOTE ]
Under these circumstances, whether an owner does or doesn't repair his property, he runs a real risk of losing it. I own what was once a nice 11-room, 2400 sq ft house one block from the London Avenue Canal smackdab in the middle of the two breaches. I am not putting a cent into my property under the current circumstances, thereby causing a problem for any of my neighbors who do want to rebuild. Given the location of my neighborhood, I can see Canizaro or someone like him getting control of the whole subdivision cheap and redeveloping it as high-rise condos and retail space aimed at the university personnel and the people who work at the tech center, since neither of those entities suffered major damage.

[/ QUOTE ]

You're basically in the same boat as my father-in-law. His house is on Leon C. Simon west of the London Ave. canal, right where it merges with Robert E. Lee. Technically, his house is 2 feet above sea level, but he got about 3 feet of water in the house. Federal flood insurance isn't enough to cover his structural damage plus contents, since it's capped (his total payout is pretty close to enough to cover restoration of the structure, so he's basically out for the value of the contents). He had been planning on total renovation. Now that he's finished gutting the downstairs down to the studs, he's decided to not do anything and just move out of town. He hasn't yet decided if he's going to sell the house now as-is, or wait and see what happens. On top of that, he's probably going to relocate his law practice from downtown to the northshore.

He is, like you, concerned about how his actions are going to affect his neighbors. He's got a lot of freedom to do what he wants since he owns the house free and clear, but people with mortgages are in a tough spot.

His sister-in-law lives about two blocks behind him (closer to the lake) and she had some water in the yard, but not in the house. She may ultimately be in worse shape (if land values bottom out), since she won't get *any* insurance settlement.
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2005, 01:19 PM
BluffTHIS! BluffTHIS! is offline
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Default Re: update: new orleans

[ QUOTE ]
So, New Orleans or no New Orleans--not a shrunken New Orleans which is still prone to catastrophic flooding.

[/ QUOTE ]

no NO it is then IMO. Because I'm not willing to pay big federal tax bucks for the idea of a "cultural gem".
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