Posted Tuesday, November 1, 2011 9:48 AM | Contributed by Jeff
More than six years after Hurricane Katrina, the Six Flags amusement park is still vacant and the city is looking for someone to buy it. Monday was the deadline to bid on the land.
Read more and see video from WDSU/New Orleans.
Guess no one is as stupid as Six Flags was to buy a park located IN what is essentially the Gulf of Mexico.
That's pretty much my take on it as well. Six Flags was willing to completely let it go (after saving its Swiss component). No one else wants it. I get the general impression that way too many people too way too many risks in developing parts of that city, justifying it with blind faith in the Army Corps of Engineers. That clearly didn't end well.
There are simply too many facts pointing against the future of New Orleans. The city is sinking, at an alarming rate. Unlike the Magnum joke, this one is actually true. The channel islands and wetlands that served as a breakwater against storms are vanishing. Then throw in rising ocean levels and the possibility of more severe hurricane seasons, and it'd be a fool's mission to try to make a significant investment in that locale--not if you're looking at the big picture, in terms of decades out.
^ Weren't those same arguments made when discussing repopulating the entire city?
Yes, and they were just as right then.
Not to mention that the loss of those natural barriers is also being accelerated by the continued influence we try to force upon the River via the levees and other control measures. Mother nature will eventually have its way, we are just delaying (and multiplying the magnitude of future damage) the inevitable right now. There's a very good chance that the Mississippi would already partly be flowing into the Atchafalaya River by now were it not for all the artificial controls. The artificial controls are first and foremost there to support New Orleans' economic position and the shipping locales down the delta, safety is their secondary and a forced purpose.
Ensign Smith said:
Yes, and they were just as right then.
Except I do recall a lot of people who suggested it would be a waste of time and resources to totally rebuild the city were dismissed as racists.
True, but that was largely in the context of how ineffective the feds were in responding to the disaster. I think in a more objective context, years later, you don't get as much of that.
Some of them may very well have been racists, for all I know. It doesn't change the fact that those arguments were correct.
Where's Kanye when we need him?
In all seriousness, I agree with the Ensign. From my perspective, investing in New Orleans is equivalent to investing in forested regions that are prone to fires (which destroy celebrity homes as we watch in a mix between disdain and sadness).
It's a wonderful, beautiful city, and anyone who has visited there walks away with a realization of how unique it is; but in the long-run, it is not a sustainable environment. That doesn't make you racist, it makes you logical.
Not to mention that the loss of those natural barriers is also being accelerated by the continued influence we try to force upon the River via the levees and other control measures.
Actually the main problem with the city is that it is sinking, and still is, due to the fact that it's a city. Cities have almost entirely hardscaped impervious surfaces that prevent water from being absorbed into the ground. Over the course of decades, this causes the natural amount of groundwater to decrease, as most stormwater is drained into the river (which in turn causes flooding). The loss of this groundwater has caused soil compaction (and physical sinking), making it even more impervious in the short term. Rising seawaters aside (and the jury is out on how much and how fast they will rise), it is not impossible to account for these changes at the city scale through *better* levees and also redesigning the city so that it can "float" better on its soil. That said, it would probably be prohibitively expensive, as most ecologically commonsense solutions are for problems of this nature. I also however find it even less likely this city will be abandoned in the forseeable future.
+1 for Billy. :)
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