By now you know that engineers had long predicted the cataclysmic flooding that struck New Orleans. But what you might not realize is that Katrina-a category-4 cyclone when it made landfall in Louisiana on August 29-was not the worst-case scenario. That would be a direct hit from a category-5 hurricane, which would send a storm surge over the city's levees and submerge New Orleans in minutes. Anyone who had ignored evacuation orders would drown.
New Orleans needs more protection than levees alone can offer. But in Louisiana, a comprehensive flood-control program had been repeatedly rebuffed-by environmentalists who fretted over the effects on ecosystems, by fishermen who feared for their livelihood, by engineers dead- locked over competing proposals, and by administra- tors who dismissed the plans as too expensive.
Katrina changed everything. All ideas-no matter how costly or far-fetched-are back on the table. In the end, officials might opt for a Band-Aid approach. They shouldn't. Relying solely on patched-up old levees is like asking the U.S. Border Patrol to fend off a full-scale military invasion.
Shielding New Orleans will require an arsenal of technologies that work collectively. We consulted experts from around the world to identify five innovative solutions that together could provide a category-5-strength de- fense. Although such a system would entail a ground-up reengineering of New Orleans and much of its nearby coastline, the payoff is a city more defensible against nature's wrath than any other. Here's our vision for safeguarding the city.
I like the idea of the floating homes. It is cool but very very expensive. Still it guarantees nothing... It will be like living in boat :)
Jen @ http://www.goldshares.org
It will be like living in a boat only when there is a huge storm. Still I would prefer to watch the storm on the news, not to experience it.
Mira - http://www.whitenteeth.net/
These 5 ideas are all fine, but there is no mention of the obvious best option.
Jack up the houses to above flood level and fill in with hydraulic dredged sand and silt from the Mississippi or other close by fill material.
This could be done a section at a time next to the levees and would strengthen the levees until all of the city is above flood level.
It is the only option that makes sense to me.
I built levees for a living for 35 years and I understand the power of rivers. To think of all of those people living below sea level with ever increasing chance of hurricanes is a little too much of a gamble. The other increasing risk is the Mississippi river where the bottom of the river is higher than the surrounding land. That needs to be changed also. We think nothing of giving billions to support the oil industry which makes the most profit. Some also think that corporate farming needs supports. Why not use these unnecessary funds for something like raising New Orleans. Makes no sense to you? Neither should the above mentioned folly of supporting industries which need no help from taxpayers. N.O. either get up or get out.