wingnut767
Posts: 762
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Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:50 pm

"U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled Wednesday that the Corps should be held immune over failures in drainage canals that caused much of the flooding of New Orleans in August 2005. He cited the Flood Control Act of 1928, which protects the federal government from lawsuits when flood control projects like levees break."

'The ruling was another blow to the residents of New Orleans, where loathing for the Corps continues unabated.

"This cost people's lives and property," said Gwen Bierria, 66, who is still living in a government-issued trailer and is among the tens of thousands of people who have filed claims against the federal government for damage from the levee breaches.

"Anybody that calls themselves the Army Corps of Engineers should be embarrassed," she said.'

http://www.cnbc.com/id/22922056/for/cnbc/


It is great to see a Judge who actually follows the laws instead of making his own in a political statement. But later on in the column you find the people who lived 16 to 20 feet below sea level along the Gulf still trying to blame the Gov. How about a novel idea, live above sea level if you live near the ocean or any large form of water. They have known that their city is sinking for how many years and yet they kept on building. For how many years have they talked about the "big one" yet they kept on building and the city and state were unprepared but who do they want to sue. The one with the deepest pockets, the Federal Government.

And the statements below by the judge and the plaintiff's lawyer are pretty funny. They give the defintion of Big Gov

'"The byzantine funding and appropriation methods for this undertaking were in large part a cause of this failure," the judge said, referring to the politics-riddled process Congress has for funding Corps projects.

The Flood Control Act is counterproductive, Duval said, because it negates incentives for good government workmanship and creates an environment where "gross incompetence receives the same treatment as simple mistake."
Yakum purkan min shmaya
 
miamiair
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:44 pm



Quoting Wingnut767 (Thread starter):
For how many years have they talked about the "big one"

Had the same philosophy down here in FLA until Andrew hit. Now people are more prepared; some more than others.

it is absurd, that living in NOLA you might have the big one hit and all goes to hell in a hand basket and it is all the Fed's fault. It is all about risk assessment. You don't want earthquakes; move to FL. Don't want hurricanes; move to AZ. Don't want to get flooded in NOLA if another CAT 5 strom hits; move someplace else.
Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:57 pm

I guess you missed this part....or maybe intentionally left it out:


Duval, however, issued a stinging condemnation of the corps and its actions in building the city's hurricane protection system.

"Here, the court must apply this broad immunity based upon the facts of this case," Duval said. "Often, when the King can do no wrong, his subjects suffer the consequences. Such is the case here."

"This story -- 50 years in the making -- is heart-wrenching," Duval, an appointee of President Clinton, said in his 46-page ruling. "Millions of dollars were squandered in building a levee system with respect to these outfall canals which was known to be inadequate by the corps' own calculations."


You know what? If my house was located next to the 17th Street or London Avenue canals I would have taken part in the lawsuit. And I have no qualms about it. And frankly, I could care less what outsiders would think of that decision. Win or lose, I would have taken part in it, because the levees were designed poorly...and a lot of people are to blame in regards to that...my blame stretches far and wide. I leave no stone unturned in the blame. My family has lived in the area for generations. Am I supposed to be ashamed of that? Nope. And my family nor anyone we know were crying over spilled milk. For reasonable people, you know the inherent risks involved in living in ANY place which are prone to natural disasters. It comes with the territory. Even my uncle, who's house was filled with 10 feet of water, just moved on...salvaged what he could, and built a new house. That's what people do. They move on. And if taking part in a lawsuit which many consider valid gives these people some peace, so be it. I won't judge them. No one should.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:45 pm



Quoting Wingnut767 (Thread starter):
How about a novel idea, live above sea level if you live near the ocean or any large form of water. They have known that their city is sinking for how many years and yet they kept on building.

Tell this to the Dutch.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Queso
Posts: 3109
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:28 pm

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:54 pm



Quoting Wingnut767 (Thread starter):
The ruling was another blow to the residents of New Orleans, where loathing for the Corps continues unabated.

I guess they have no appreciation for all the years the levees held.

Quoting Wingnut767 (Thread starter):
"This cost people's lives and property,"

Only the ones who were stupid enough to be living in a place they knew would flood some day, then were stupid enough to stay there when told to leave.

Quoting Wingnut767 (Thread starter):
Gwen Bierria, 66, who is still living in a government-issued trailer

And be damned glad you got that much!

Quoting Wingnut767 (Thread starter):
It is great to see a Judge who actually follows the laws instead of making his own in a political statement.

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
You know what? If my house was located next to the 17th Street or London Avenue canals I would have taken part in the lawsuit. And I have no qualms about it.

I'd like to think you're a smart enough guy that it never would have been an issue because you never would have chosen to live in that spot.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
And frankly, I could care less what outsiders would think of that decision.

Understandable, but realize that outsiders look at the situation with a sense of logic that is not clouded by the emotion felt by the people in NO who have been through the whole mess.
 
RJdxer
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:03 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
Quoting Wingnut767 (Thread starter):
Gwen Bierria, 66, who is still living in a government-issued trailer

And be damned glad you got that much!

She'll ask for more from FEMA via a lawsuit over formaldehyde in her trailer, which she is for some reason still living in two years later. The whole idea of "temporary housing" must have escapade her.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever. I'm going to Texas!
 
D L X
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Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:14 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
I guess they have no appreciation for all the years the levees held.

When you buy something with a guarantee on it, do you not complain when it fails to meet that guarantee? Do you rejoice and say "hey, it survived all the lesser tasks, so I shouldn't care that it failed to do the taskI bought it to do?"

Quoting Wingnut767 (Thread starter):
It is great to see a Judge who actually follows the laws instead of making his own in a political statement.

 Yeah sure Stop listening to the propaganda.

Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
Only the ones who were stupid enough to be living in a place they knew would flood some day

That's most of the country. And the places that are less likely to flood are subject to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, fires, etc., etc., etc., Are you going to call people who live in hurricane zones, tornado zones, earthquake zones, fire zones, and blizzard zones stupid too?

Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
outsiders look at the situation with a sense of logic that is not clouded by the emotion felt by the people in NO who have been through the whole mess.

Logic? What you're saying is not logic.
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:15 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
I'd like to think you're a smart enough guy that it never would have been an issue because you never would have chosen to live in that spot.

Actually, those areas were only destroyed due to the concrete walls giving way due to poor design. From a residents point of view, a huge concrete wall looks safe enough. No one knew until after testing was done on them after the storm that there were serious design flaws.

Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
Understandable, but realize that outsiders look at the situation with a sense of logic that is not clouded by the emotion felt by the people in NO who have been through the whole mess.

Sense of logic? No, more like commenting on things based on personal opinions from a safe distance, while not actually knowing first hand what went on. I think the people who have volunteered here have a better perspective on things in general.
 
Pope
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:20 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
"Here, the court must apply this broad immunity based upon the facts of this case," Duval said. "Often, when the King can do no wrong, his subjects suffer the consequences. Such is the case here."



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 7):
Actually, those areas were only destroyed due to the concrete walls giving way due to poor design. From a residents point of view, a huge concrete wall looks safe enough. No one knew until after testing was done on them after the storm that there were serious design flaws.

Just one more reason why nobody should rely on the government for their own well-being. The sooner people take person responsibility for their lives the better.

Heck, Katrina taught me a lesson - when the shit hits the fan, it's everyone for themselves. Don't expect the police to be there, don't expect the fire department / medical facilities to be there. You need to be prepared to fend for yourself. After sitting on the fence for a long-time I finally went out and bought my first handgun (a Glock 19) because I could no longer ignore the fact that it was MY RESPONSIBILITY as head of household to insure that MY family was protected if the police couldn't don't it.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
D L X
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:40 pm



Quoting Pope (Reply 8):
Don't expect the police to be there, don't expect the fire department / medical facilities to be there.

That does not sound like society and civilization you are describing, but rather anarchy.
 
Pope
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:55 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 9):
That does not sound like society and civilization you are describing, but rather anarchy.

How would you describe post-Katrina NOLA?
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
fumanchewd
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:09 pm

I understand that people are upset because the levees failed. But that is life, there are natural disasters and no guarantees. Maybe they should sue the NOA for not giving the call for evacuation earlier. Maybe they should sue the ancestors of the people who decided to settle there. Maybe they should sue the French government for initiating and subsidizing a colony that was built in an unsafe area.  Yeah sure

Fires, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes etc are a part of life. People believe they have the right to live to be 80 with no problems nowadays and that's bs. This is life and sometimes things happen.

I wonder who there was to sue in the great San Francisco quake at the turn of last century? Surely it can still be done!
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
MSYtristar
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:23 pm

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 11):
Maybe they should sue the NOA for not giving the call for evacuation earlier. Maybe they should sue the ancestors of the people who decided to settle there. Maybe they should sue the French government for initiating and subsidizing a colony that was built in an unsafe area.

Well, the city advised people to get out about three days before the storm, so the smart ones...which was the majority, less you forget...took the advise. But all of this has been said before.

I won't touch the rest of your comments. I'll just roll my eyes and say to myself "my oh my".  

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 11):
This is life and sometimes things happen.

Exactly. Do you not think the people of New Orleans realize that?

I'd bet good money that you'd be a little more ticked off if your house was flooded not by water overtopping the levee...which would be a natural occurence totally...but rather having your house flooded thanks to poorly built flood walls. But I disgress...to each his own...and sh*t happens. Most people have moved on and are rebuilding in the area...an area with new and improved flood walls and gates.

[Edited 2008-01-31 08:31:21]

[Edited 2008-01-31 08:31:44]

[Edited 2008-01-31 08:32:00]
 
Queso
Posts: 3109
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:38 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 12):
I'd bet good money that you'd be a little more ticked off if your house was flooded not by water overtopping the levee.

You'd lose. I wouldn't be living below sea-level in the first place. Period.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 12):
Most people have moved on and are rebuilding in the area...an area with new and improved flood walls and gates.

It WILL fail again. It's not even a question of "IF". Build it to a certain standard and it'll deteriorate over time, there will be a unforeseen defect or design flaw, or a storm will be more powerful than planned for. Too many things to go wrong and "mother nature" will always win.
 
fumanchewd
Posts: 2878
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 7:43 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:39 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 12):

I'd bet good money that you'd be a little more ticked off if your house was flooded not by water overtopping the levee...

In Chicago we lived in an area that was not in a flood plain. The government puts out maps for people and my parents made sure that it was not in a flood plain when they bought the house. Well, one year we had an enormous amount of rainfall and the Des Plaines River flooded our home. We moved on and did not even think of suing the people in charge making the map or placing our home at the bottom of a small hill.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 12):
Most people have moved on and are rebuilding in the area...an area with new and improved flood walls and gates.

Great. Some obviously have not moved on though.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:49 pm

Quoting Queso (Reply 13):
You'd lose. I wouldn't be living below sea-level in the first place. Period

All things being equal, if you were, you'd probably be.

Quoting Queso (Reply 13):
It WILL fail again

Sure. Nature runs its course. No one can control it. But that's not the argument here. California WILL have Earthquakes again. Towns in Kansas WILL be destroyed by Tornados again. South Florida WILL have another Andrew at some point. The South Pacific WILL have another Tsunami again. The examples go on and on.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 14):
We moved on and did not even think of suing the people in charge making the map or placing our home at the bottom of a small hill.

Well, even though I sympathize with you, I don't think you can say these situations are equal in scope or circumstance.

[Edited 2008-01-31 08:52:43]
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:50 pm



Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 14):
Great. Some obviously have not moved on though.

No. You can't expect everyone will.
 
fumanchewd
Posts: 2878
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 7:43 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:04 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 15):
Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 14):
We moved on and did not even think of suing the people in charge making the map or placing our home at the bottom of a small hill.

Well, even though I sympathize with you, I don't think you can say these situations are equal in scope or circumstance.

Agreed. But I don't think that you can say that the Army Corps expected the surge that came. In either circumstance, shit happens. Its funny, we never really felt bad about the situation. My parents treated it like some kind of adventure.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
MSYtristar
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:06 pm



Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 17):
But I don't think that you can say that the Army Corps expected the surge that came

Probably not from a CAT2 storm, I agree. But I do think they could have been more forthcoming with certain pieces of info.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 17):
shit happens

Yep.
 
mia
Posts: 813
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:20 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
Am I supposed to be ashamed of that? Nope.

I think MSYt said it best when he mentioned 'outsiders' perceptions of the city and its people. As a new New Orleans resident, I am still an outsider for the locals, but I am damn well aware of the shit that goes down here and the people.

I want you to take a drive through the Lower 9th Ward. After you do that, tell me its the people's fault, that they should get over themselves and "move on". As a matter of fact, many have moved on; but to where?

I would have sued AND I would appeal that dismissal any way I could.
"Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen."
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:26 pm



Quoting MIA (Reply 19):
I would appeal that dismissal any way I could.

First off, welcome to New Orleans  thumbsup  Secondly, it's not a dead issue. It will be appealed, and while this specific case probably will not get reversed, it should at least raise awareness to the fact that federal agencies, like every other agency, should be held liable for their actions.

Quoting Queso (Reply 13):
It WILL fail again. It's not even a question of "IF". Build it to a certain standard and it'll deteriorate over time, there will be a unforeseen defect or design flaw, or a storm will be more powerful than planned for. Too many things to go wrong and "mother nature" will always win.

Logical argument there.....then again, that's true for those living atop the San Andreas Fault in California (which I did growing up), it's true for those who live in Tornado Alley (I believe MAF is included there), it's true for those who live in the shadows of the Sacramento Valley levees, it's true for those who choose to build a $2 million house at the base of a mountain that catches fire every four years. None of us can say we live in a 100% safe-at-all-times area.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 17):
I don't think that you can say that the Army Corps expected the surge that came.

While storm surge was the major issue along the Mississippi gulf coast and the MRGO, it was a secondary issue with the 17th Street, Orleans Avenue, and London Avenue Canal levees. The ability of the levees to properly hold back water already in the canal (as they had done up until Katrina), as well as contain water that was being pumped back towards the Lake Pontchartrain was what was compromised.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
D L X
Posts: 11631
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:07 pm



Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 14):
We moved on and did not even think of suing the people in charge making the map or placing our home at the bottom of a small hill.

Sounds like you didn't lose much.

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 20):
None of us can say we live in a 100% safe-at-all-times area.

Quoted for truth.

Queso, where do you live? What state?
 
Queso
Posts: 3109
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:28 pm

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:27 pm



Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 20):
it's true for those who live in Tornado Alley (I believe MAF is included there),



Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 20):
None of us can say we live in a 100% safe-at-all-times area.

Yep, that is true. But none of the examples you mentioned depend upon the existence of a man-made barrier to separate naturally occurring elements always working to return to their normal state from the infrastructure of a large city and billions of dollars of assets. The more complicated and grand the scale, the more spectacular, dangerous, and devestating is it's failure. Unlike earthquakes or tornadoes, you are not engineering against the possibility of a catastrophic, naturally occuring, high-energy disastrous single event, NOLA is an attempt to engineer against the constant pressure of the sea trying to crash in where it naturally belongs. And in NOLA's case you not only have to overcome that obstacle, you must also engineer for larger events which will inevitably happen.

It's just not worth it. The same activities that can be performed at the site where NOLA currently sits can also be performed a short distance away without having to dump huge amounts into infrastructure that will end up at the bottom of what will inevitably be reclaimed again by the Gulf of Mexico.
 
wingnut767
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:50 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:30 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 22):
Yep, that is true. But none of the examples you mentioned depend upon the existence of a man-made barrier to separate naturally occurring elements always working to return to their normal state from the infrastructure of a large city and billions of dollars of assets. The more complicated and grand the scale, the more spectacular, dangerous, and devestating is it's failure. Unlike earthquakes or tornadoes, you are not engineering against the possibility of a catastrophic, naturally occuring, high-energy disastrous single event, NOLA is an attempt to engineer against the constant pressure of the sea trying to crash in where it naturally belongs. And in NOLA's case you not only have to overcome that obstacle, you must also engineer for larger events which will inevitably happen.

Exactly Queso. Then they want federal tax dollars to bail them out.
Yakum purkan min shmaya
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:50 pm



Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 23):
Exactly Queso. Then they want federal tax dollars to bail them out.

You clearly have your mind made up, so it's pointless in trying to argue with you; however, you seem to think that the entire city is begging for the feds to bail them out. I sort of feel sorry for you for thinking that way.

Quoting Queso (Reply 22):
It's just not worth it.

Well, I guess it is overall, as the place is being rebuilt. You should come down for a visit...you'd be impressed at the progress. I know I sure am.
 
Queso
Posts: 3109
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:28 pm

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:58 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 24):
You should come down for a visit...you'd be impressed at the progress. I know I sure am.

Please, don't misunderstand me. The spirit and hard work of some of the people of NOLA is admirable and I really am impressed by it, even from afar. But I really hate to see all that sweat, hard work, money, and ::gulp:: culture eventually go down the drain (pardon the pun). An expotentially greater amount of work could have been put into another, more suitable, location for a city because the huge amount of money spent in rebuilding the levees and pumps and walls could have gone into community buildings, sidewalks and schools. See where I'm going with this?
 
D L X
Posts: 11631
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:00 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 22):
Unlike earthquakes or tornadoes, you are not engineering against the possibility of a catastrophic, naturally occuring, high-energy disastrous single event,

I'll grant you that about tornadoes, but we certainly engineer against the possibility of catastrophic failures in the case of earthquakes. The only difference is that we don't try to stop the earthquake, but rather minimize its impact by engineering. And what happens when a bigass quake comes and knocks down a bridge or a whole freeway? We rebuild it every time.

Quoting Queso (Reply 22):
The same activities that can be performed at the site where NOLA currently sits can also be performed a short distance away without having to dump huge amounts into infrastructure

I don't know if that's true that other nearby sites would be more beneficial than the current site, but for the sake of argument, let's say you're right. Now, if you move the site at this point, wouldn't you be abandoning the huge amounts of infrastructure that is already in place? (Let alone the tremendous culturally significant areas.)

NOLA wasn't always below sea level - it has sunk, and it has sunk in large part because of the poor decisions of government. Who should be accountable?
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:06 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 25):
Please, don't misunderstand me. The spirit and hard work of some of the people of NOLA is admirable and I really am impressed by it, even from afar. But I really hate to see all that sweat, hard work, money, and ::gulp:: culture eventually go down the drain (pardon the pun). An expotentially greater amount of work could have been put into another, more suitable, location for a city because the huge amount of money spent in rebuilding the levees and pumps and walls could have gone into community buildings, sidewalks and schools. See where I'm going with this?

No, I'm not misunderstanding you. I have heard this argument, believe me. I think the thing is, there is a great deal of uncertainty in regards to what will happen in the future. Yes, the city is slowly sinking. Yes, the city is (mostly) below sea level. But my thinking is, if the country does what it can to protect the city, at the very least, they gave it a shot, and didn't give up. The Netherlands didn't give up. I would not propose abandoning any city in the U.S just because of its location. It's still home to a lot of people. And a lot of people want to see this country do what it can to help protect one of its own. If the new rebuilding and levee improvements give the city another 100 years of life...you know what, that's a worthy investment in my view. The country will not run out of money in its effort to rebuild New Orleans.
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:08 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 22):
Unlike earthquakes or tornadoes, you are not engineering against the possibility of a catastrophic, naturally occuring, high-energy disastrous single event

I'll grant you that at as regards to tornadoes. Regarding the other events I mentioned, aren't you engineering against the catastrophic damage that would occur from such an event located in areas where that type of activity is to be expected repeatedly? As an example, with all these grand architectural and structural building requirements that are in place in California, I'll be most interested not only in what damage is done to those structures, but also in the legal aftermath, of the next 8.0 quake.

Quoting Queso (Reply 22):
The same activities that can be performed at the site where NOLA currently sits can also be performed a short distance away without having to dump huge amounts into infrastructure that will end up at the bottom of what will inevitably be reclaimed again by the Gulf of Mexico.

Picking up and moving the US's second busiest port, not to mention 1.3 million + people, is a lot easier said than done.

Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 23):
Then they want federal tax dollars to bail them out.

Federal dollars created the system, my friend  wink  If anything, I'm guilty solely of placing blind faith in a federal government designed, funded, and constructed system...to that I plead 100% guilty.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Queso
Posts: 3109
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:15 pm

Tom and MSYtristar, I'm not unsympathetic to the people of NOLA. I'm really just nit-picking here and you guys are answering my points fantastically.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 27):
The Netherlands didn't give up.

The Netherlands does not have to frequently withstand Cat 4 and Cat 5 hurricanes.

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 28):
Picking up and moving the US's second busiest port, not to mention 1.3 million + people, is a lot easier said than done.

Not moving, "migrating". As some new piece of infrastructure is needed, build it in a location that is safe, rather than below sea-level. Same goes with housing developments.
 
wingnut767
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:50 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:48 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
guess you missed this part....or maybe intentionally left it out:


Duval, however, issued a stinging condemnation of the corps and its actions in building the city's hurricane protection system.

"Here, the court must apply this broad immunity based upon the facts of this case," Duval said. "Often, when the King can do no wrong, his subjects suffer the consequences. Such is the case here."

"This story -- 50 years in the making -- is heart-wrenching," Duval, an appointee of President Clinton, said in his 46-page ruling. "Millions of dollars were squandered in building a levee system with respect to these outfall canals which was known to be inadequate by the corps' own calculations."

No I did not leave it out intentionaly. I do not care what this Clinton political hack thinks about. I do not care nor should anybody what he or any judge thinks personaly about anything. Did he interpet the law instead of making a political decision, yes. If he could of got away with a political decision and rewriting the law from the bench I have no doubt he would of. Poitics and persoanl feelings need to be left out of the Judiciary.

Quoting D L X (Reply 26):
NOLA wasn't always below sea level - it has sunk, and it has sunk in large part because of the poor decisions of government. Who should be accountable?

The people dumb enough to live there and then to go back after it has happened once.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 24):
Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 23):
Exactly Queso. Then they want federal tax dollars to bail them out.

You clearly have your mind made up, so it's pointless in trying to argue with you; however, you seem to think that the entire city is begging for the feds to bail them out. I sort of feel sorry for you for thinking that way.

Awww you are so sensitive. Thinking what way. That we should not waste any more money on a sinking hole in the mud. And perhaps letting the Mississippi go back to its original course and back to feeding the Delta and wetlands as it was intended to do..

Quoting Pope (Reply 8):
Just one more reason why nobody should rely on the government for their own well-being. The sooner people take person responsibility for their lives the better.

And they want Healthcare to be run by these same people who took care of the levees.

Quoting Queso (Reply 29):
Not moving, "migrating". As some new piece of infrastructure is needed, build it in a location that is safe, rather than below sea-level. Same goes with housing developments.

If all the levees broke what parts would be under water and are there areas that will not sink? Move to better areasw but not back into the bowl and just trry to spend more money and pray that a Cat 5 never makes a direct hit.
Yakum purkan min shmaya
 
fumanchewd
Posts: 2878
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:54 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 21):

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 14):
We moved on and did not even think of suing the people in charge making the map or placing our home at the bottom of a small hill.

Sounds like you didn't lose much.

What? What do you know about it?

Natural disasters are natural disasters. People die and someone always has to be at fault? That's spineless.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
D L X
Posts: 11631
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:05 pm



Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 28):
As an example, with all these grand architectural and structural building requirements that are in place in California, I'll be most interested not only in what damage is done to those structures, but also in the legal aftermath, of the next 8.0 quake.

Tom, I don't think you'll have to wait that long. Let's see what happens in the coming months concerning the fires in California. (Now, I think it will be less than NOLA simply because the areas that burned are wealthier and the damage smaller, but expect lawsuits nonetheless.)

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 31):
What? What do you know about it?

I know that the average joe wouldn't lose everything and just shrug it off. Please do correct me if I'm wrong.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 31):
Natural disasters are natural disasters. People die and someone always has to be at fault?

The levee failing was not a natural disaster. It should have withstood the forces that were placed on it, as promised.
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:13 pm

Quoting Queso (Reply 29):
The Netherlands does not have to frequently withstand Cat 4 and Cat 5 hurricanes.

I realize that. I was speaking from a geographical standpoint mostly. Besides, everyone knows the chances of NOLA being hit directly by a 4 or a 5 are no greater than anywhere else from Brownsville to Miami to Charleston. If you live anywhere on the Gulf or Atlantic coast, you roll the dice every single year...as do people in other parts of the country who deal with other disasters.

[Edited 2008-01-31 14:17:34]
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:31 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 29):
Tom and MSYtristar, I'm not unsympathetic to the people of NOLA. I'm really just nit-picking here and you guys are answering my points fantastically.

We appreciate that, and if I hadn't lived here those 21 years, my thoughts would probably be a lot closer in line with yours. And we are fully aware that this town has many, many issues to deal with, not too many of which are easily defensible  wink  .

Quoting Queso (Reply 29):
Same goes with housing developments.

As far as new housing developments go, there's pretty much no more room. The areas inside the New Orleans 'bowl' have been fully developed, by and large.

An interesting aside here, when we bought our house in 2001, I was bound by residency requirements on where we could live. We bought a 15-year old suburban house (in a somewhat elevated area that doesn't appear on the 100-year flood map) on a 60'x100' lot for $194,000. A guy who worked for a consulting firm contracted to us, at the same time, bought a brand new 4-bedroom house on a one-acre site on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain, somewhat above sea level but not much, for...you guessed it...$194,000.

Quoting Queso (Reply 29):
Netherlands does not have to frequently withstand Cat 4 and Cat 5 hurricanes.

My turn to be nit-picky  wink  Katrina was a Cat 3 when she made landfall. Last 4 or 5 in these parts was Betsy in 1965. I'd have to go back and see what Andrew was when he came through in 1991. When Katrina came past here, the highest winds reported here at the airport (and I'd have to get the exact figure from a book that's at the house) were on the order of 65-70 mph. And the airport is perhaps 8 miles from the closest levee failure. Most people thought we'd made it through the storm OK...then the levee failure reports started coming in.

Quoting Queso (Reply 29):
Not moving, "migrating".

In a sense that's already happening.....though the migration is more north across the lake, than it is west-northwest up the Mississippi River. The question will be when and if the remaining population becomes so small so that it can't support the existing infrastructure.

Quoting D L X (Reply 33):
Let's see what happens in the coming months concerning the fires in California.

My stepmom still lives in the house I grew up in in Claremont, a house that came within roughly 200 feet of being torched in the Padua fire of (what was it?) 2003 or 2004. And my brother and his family have a house outside San Diego near a fire-prone area. I get the feeling sometimes that I probably rest easier at night than they do during our respective 'active' weather seasons. If nothing more, we usually get more advance warning of our respective natural events.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
767Lover
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:14 pm

What I want to know, in regards to this Flood Control Act of 1928, is how can I be assured that my tax dollars will be spent on competent work rather than some lazy crew "getting by" with the least effort?
 
cfalk
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:29 pm

I'm still waiting for any of these plaintiffs to produce an order from the Federal Government ordering them to live in NO, buy a house there below sea level, and not have it properly insured.

And to those who say "You couldn't get flood insurance in New Orleans", my response would be, "That should have been a hint!"
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:06 am



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 35):
What I want to know, in regards to this Flood Control Act of 1928, is how can I be assured that my tax dollars will be spent on competent work rather than some lazy crew "getting by" with the least effort?

Well, I guess you'll have to have faith that it is. From what I have seen, people are doing an amazing job in this aspect, and I have not really heard of any instance where a crew has been caught with defrauding the public. There are watchdog groups in place, for what it's worth.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 36):
And to those who say "You couldn't get flood insurance in New Orleans", my response would be, "That should have been a hint!"

No one would say that. Most of the people who could afford it had it.

Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 30):
The people dumb enough to live there and then to go back after it has happened once.

Sorry pal. Throughout the course of human history, people have been known to rebuild following a disaster. This is not a phenomena which is unique to New Orleans. And for what it's worth, none of the people I know who rebuilt are dumb. But it takes an open mind to see what people don't want to see.

Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 30):
Poitics and persoanl feelings need to be left out of the Judiciary.

And you would be correct. And I for one have never said that I disagree with the ruling, but you better believe I understand where the people here are coming from. Again, it's hard for an outsider to comprehend, so why pretend to have an interest? If you're worried about your money getting wasted on New Orleans' recovery, you might as well move to Canada, because it's happening my man.  Smile And it's a glorious sight to behold.

Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 30):
Awww you are so sensitive

 Yeah sure Ok...you win pal...whatever you say.
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:16 am

Queso, as a point of note, in checking a book reference here at the house, Katrina's top sustained winds at the airport were about 65 mph. At the 17th Street, Orleans and London Avenue canals, top winds were about 75 mph. By comparison, when it came ashore on the Mississippi gulf coast, winds were at 110 mph.

Tom at MSY (on the CrackBerry)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
CaptOveur
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:27 pm



Quoting Wingnut767 (Thread starter):
who is still living in a government-issued trailer

This is the most irritating part of the whole thing. It is how long since the hurricane and we are all still paying for her to live somewhere? It sounds to me like the government is now operating a federally funded homeless shelter. If you didn't have a home before the hurricane, why should we all pay for you to have one now?

Get a job, get housing assistance, get something... but above all get out of a FEMA trailer.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
miamiair
Posts: 4249
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:37 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):



Quoting MIA (Reply 19):



Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 20):

Just for curiosity's sake, what are homeowners and flood insurance rates in NOLA?

After the 05 hurrican season in FLA left much of the homeowners insurance providers in shambles, some rates have shot up while the coverages have dropped and the exclusions are becomeing extensive. What is going on there?
Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
Queso
Posts: 3109
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:52 pm



Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 38):
in checking a book reference here at the house

Thanks, Tom. So at the point it hit the coast it was about a Cat2 or so and barely even Cat1 winds in NO proper. It really makes me wonder what would happen to the "new and improved" levee system that's in place now. Has anybody made any assurances as to what type of storm they would be able to endure? The way I see it (from 1000 miles away) the people in NO are still sitting ducks and it's only a matter of time before a Cat4 or Cat5 hit. How do you people living there now feel; do you have a warm, fuzzy feeling about the levee system now or is the pucker factor still pretty high?
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:08 pm

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 39):
This is the most irritating part of the whole thing. It is how long since the hurricane and we are all still paying for her to live somewhere? It sounds to me like the government is now operating a federally funded homeless shelter. If you didn't have a home before the hurricane, why should we all pay for you to have one now?

Get a job, get housing assistance, get something... but above all get out of a FEMA trailer.

FYI...the majority of the trailers are GONE. Only in the most devastated areas where people are still rebuilding their homes can you still see some. They have been steadily decreasing for at least a year. What do you think is going on down in New Orleans? I'm really curious. And don't start with the whole "people who have FEMA trailers are losers" theme...my best friend lived in one for about a year until he got his house repaired.

[Edited 2008-02-01 06:12:49]
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:21 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 41):
Thanks, Tom. So at the point it hit the coast it was about a Cat2 or so and barely even Cat1 winds in NO proper. It really makes me wonder what would happen to the "new and improved" levee system that's in place now. Has anybody made any assurances as to what type of storm they would be able to endure? The way I see it (from 1000 miles away) the people in NO are still sitting ducks and it's only a matter of time before a Cat4 or Cat5 hit. How do you people living there now feel; do you have a warm, fuzzy feeling about the levee system now or is the pucker factor still pretty high?

I can take a stab at some of this until Tom joins the party...

Last I heard, CAT3 protection is now in place on the entire levee system surrounding N.O proper, and work is on going on CAT5 protection...some areas have been completed, some have not.

The funny thing is the levee system held as planned during K. All of the shots you saw on the news of water flooding the streets occured due to the failure of the 17th street, London Avenue, and Industrial Canal flood walls being breached.

Anyway, I personally have faith that the levees can hold a 3, especially with the improvements made over the last couple of years. If a 4 or a 5 came close and I would be out of there, because that level of protection won't be complete for a while yet.
 
Pope
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:06 pm



Quoting Miamiair (Reply 40):
Just for curiosity's sake, what are homeowners and flood insurance rates in NOLA?

Flood insurance rates are uniform across the country depending on the flood zone classification of the property. Therefore a house in Miami in a flood plain is charged exactly the same rate as one in NOLA, NY or TN with the same flood rating and elevation.

That's part of the problem the premium isn't an actuarial correct value but instead subsidized by averaging the risk across the country. Furthermore, someone who isn't in a flood plain but buy flood insurance (just to be safe) is penalized because they pay a far greater premium than the actuarial risk in order to subsidize those who are in a risky location.

Why does the government penalize people who want to be prepared and reward those who take great risk?
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:06 pm



Quoting Miamiair (Reply 40):
what are homeowners and flood insurance rates in NOLA?

I can tell you what mine is...but it won't be completely representative, because I'm a little bit higher elevation-wise (if you can call 5-10 feet higher). My homeowners is roughly $4,100/year, my flood is about $340/year. I would have switched homeowners last year, but there's a funky state law that says that for the first three years of an insurance policy, the insurance company can screw the homeowner to no end with regards to limits, pulling the policy, basically all the fine print, etc, etc. After three years, they're locked in.

And just in case people wonder why we don't move to another house, we're between a rock and a hard place.....my kids love their school, to me their happiness overrides everything else. My wife likes the location, and that everything we need (market, school, doctors, etc) is close by. Also, I've got 9 years left at MSY before I make 30 years here, which means a FULL retirement, and despite the downside of City of New Orleans government, the retirement from the City is damn nice. So we keep a list of valuables, pictures, documents, etc (a lot of which stays packed in plastic boxes year round), and in case we have to evacuate a hurricane all the stuff we can't live without or replace comes with us. Everything else is replaceable. Once I retire, we won't be residents of NOLA anymore.....my first choice will be Arizona (we'd move there now if we could).

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 43):
I can take a stab at some of this until Tom joins the party...

Everything Steve says in reply 43 is correct...not much I can add to it, except to say that the fact that we don't hesitate to evacuate when necessary shows that we don't completely trust the levee system, at least not any more  wink 

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
fumanchewd
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:34 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 32):
Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 31):
What? What do you know about it?

I know that the average joe wouldn't lose everything and just shrug it off. Please do correct me if I'm wrong.

Yes you are. I understand that material things are nice to have, but they do not make me who I am. I have lost everything several times and I am the better for it.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:03 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 7):
Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
I'd like to think you're a smart enough guy that it never would have been an issue because you never would have chosen to live in that spot.

Actually, those areas were only destroyed due to the concrete walls giving way due to poor design. From a residents point of view, a huge concrete wall looks safe enough. No one knew until after testing was done on them after the storm that there were serious design flaws.

I lived in NOLA from 1977-81. I worked right on the Industrial Canal. No one I know put any faith whatsoever in those flimsy concrete flood walls.

I know that it is popular to bash the Corps, but the reality is, the blame is shared throughout New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Gulf region.

Quote:
The original project design, known as the barrier plan, included a series of levees along the lakefront, concrete floodwalls along the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, and control structures, including barriers and flood control gates located at the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass areas. These structures were intended to prevent storm surges from entering Lake Pontchartrain and overflowing the levees along the lakefront. The original lakefront levees were planned to be from 9.3 feet to 13.5 feet high depending on the topography of the area directly in front of the levees. This project plan was selected over another alternative, known as the high-level plan, which excluded the barriers and flood control gates at the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass complexes and instead employed higher levees ranging from 16 feet to 18.5 feet high along the lakefront to prevent storm surges from inundating the protected areas. In the 1960s, the barrier plan was favored because it was believed to be less expensive and quicker to construct. As explained later in my statement, this decision was reversed in the mid-1980s......During the first 17 years of construction on the barrier plan, the Corps continued to face project delays and cost increases due to design changescaused by technical issues, environmental concerns, legal challenges, and local opposition to various aspects of the project. For example, foundation problems were encountered during construction of levees and floodwalls which increased construction time; delays were also encountered in obtaining rights-of-ways from local interests who did not agree with all portions of the plan. By 1981, cost estimates had grown to $757 million for the barrier plan, not including the cost of any needed work along the drainage canals, and project completion had slipped to 2008. At that time, about $171 million had been made available to the project and the project was considered about 50 percent complete, mostly for the lakefront levees which were at least partially constructed in all areas and capable of providing some flood protection although from a smaller hurricane than that envisioned in the plan. More importantly during the 1970s, some features of the barrier plan were facing significant opposition from environmentalists and local groups who were concerned about environmental damages to the lake as well as inadequate protection from some aspects of the project. The threat of litigation by environmentalists delayed the project and local opposition to building the control complexes at Rigolets and Chef Menteur had the potential to seriously reduce the overall protection provided by the project. This opposition culminated in a December 1977 court decision that enjoined the Corps from constructing the barrier complexes, and 3Save Our Wetlands v. Rush, Civ. A. No. 75-3710 (E.D. La. Dec. 30, 1977). Page 5GAO-06-244T
certain other parts of the project until a revised environmental impact statement was prepared and accepted. After the court order, the Corps decided to change course and completed a project reevaluation report and prepared a draft revised Environmental Impact Statement in the mid-1980s that recommended abandoning the barrier plan and shifting to the high-level plan originally considered in the early 1960s. Local sponsors executed new agreements to assure their share of the non-federal contribution to the revised project. The level of protection provided to New Orleans was not expected to change because the high-level designwas expected to provide the same level of protection as the original barrier design.



If you want to read more, go to http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache...+orleans&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=17&gl=us

Bottom line? Whatever blame the Corps should bear, the interests that stopped them from building their original design need to step up to the plate.

I hope whatever snail darter or other species that was protected by the lawsuit agains the Corps was worth it.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
Queso
Posts: 3109
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:28 pm

RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:21 pm



Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 45):
Everything Steve says in reply 43 is correct...not much I can add to it, except to say that the fact that we don't hesitate to evacuate when necessary shows that we don't completely trust the levee system, at least not any more

I think that's just being smart and prudent. Mose people step out of the way of a speeding car when they see it coming, too! Thanks for the replies, guys.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed

Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:27 pm

I don't know about you guys in New Orleans, but I've got friends living in Almere, Netherlands. My friend told me that his house was built about 6 metres below sea level on a patch of claimed land (used to be the Zuiderzee). If the dikes ever break during a storm surge, the only place that will be dry of his house will be the attic. On the other hand, the Dutch have been claiming land from below sea level since centuries (most of the windmills you can see in the Netherlands used to drive pumps to pump water from the drainage canals across the dikes into the North Sea). The last catastrophic flood happened in 1953, since then a system of flood gates and dams was built across the estuaries of the Schelde and Rhine (in 1953 a storm pressed the water into the river mouths like into a funnel, causing severe flooding and several dead upstream). These floodgates are normally open to let the water flow out from the rivers into the North Sea and to allow shipping, but will be closed during severe storms.
A similar flood gate has been built across the Thames estuary in England.


On the other hand I have no sympathy for people who build or buy houses in the valleys of the Rhine, Danube or Elbe rivers in Germany in stretches, which are known since centuries to be flooded twice a year. If I live there (maybe because I like the nice view), then I have to build accordingly, e.g. by waterproffing the ground floor and basement, so that, while I can't prevent the water from rising, I can at least clean the place out easily after a flood. Usually there is enough warning that people can bring their valuables and furniture upstairs to a dry place. It is usually the dirty water, which wrecks a place and requires a major renovation afterwards, e.g. wall paper and woden floors.

Jan

[Edited 2008-02-01 10:29:14]
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi

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