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Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 11:03 AM   #1
 
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Rebuilding New Orleans

I know this is a touchy subject, but shouldn't people be talking about the possibility of not rebuilding every single house and business in the New Orleans flood zone?

There are lots of residents who don't plan to return. What if it were cheaper for the government to pay off non-returning residents, or to have a program for relocating to nearby, above-sea level areas?

What if we had a crystal ball, and knew that on Sept 1, 2007 a category 5 hurricane would make a direct hit on New Orleans -- would we follow the same course we're following now?

I guess that logistically, the path of least resistance is to just rebuild, but shouldn't there be some discussion of alternatives?




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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 11:34 AM   #2
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I know this is a touchy subject, but shouldn't people be talking about the possibility of not rebuilding every single house and business in the New Orleans flood zone?
Hey, it's just government money. It isn't like it's hurting anyone. It's a victimless crime.

/sarcasm
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 11:40 AM   #3
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

I suspect that many people will not be fully re-imbursed by the gov't for their losses.

Also, I might ask you to point out where exactly the above sea level real estate is in any part of New Orleans.

However your point is valid, Should the gov't reimburse people for living in disaster prone/geologically unsafe areas.

In my neck of the woods, people can get subsidized fire insurance to build homes in wooded areas that periodically get brush fires comming through. The fire comes through, homes burn up, insurance pays them off, and more homes get built. Is that smart ? Guess who is subsidizing their insurance.
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 11:40 AM   #4
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

How about Gulfport and Biloxi? They were devestated just like N.O. The only difference is that they are above sea level so the flood waters drained away on their own. Those cities will be rebuilt and they will be destroyed again sometime in the future.

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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Well, NO is at the mouth of the Mississippi river and has an existing port infrastructure, so I can' t imagine that not being used. People have to work there, so they'll live there. Those people need groceries, hardware and entertainment.... Then there's the tourism and history. This is America. With a disaster area we either rebuild it better or turn it into a monument.

I definitely see the logic of questioning the move, but I have no illusions anybody will heed it.

grumpy, Gulfport and Biloxi took the hardest part of a strong cat 4 hurricane. Anyplace hit by that along the gulf or east coasts will be levelled. NO caught the backwind side and was mostly okay until the levee broke, which is where the below-sea-level worry comes in. NO is easier to cripple than the rest of the coast because of that.

Disclaimer: I don't know what I'm talking about.
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 01:53 PM   #6
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
I suspect that many people will not be fully re-imbursed by the gov't for their losses.
I agree - you're most likely correct. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. However, once it happens... why do we let it happen again? Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Quote:
Also, I might ask you to point out where exactly the above sea level real estate is in any part of New Orleans.
There is a good map at the "Greater New Orleans Community Data Center." The lighter the color, the higher the elevation. The French Quarter is above sea level, and is located north of the river at the "bend" closest to the "Industrial Canal"

smaller Gif of Elevation

Larger PDF
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 02:21 PM   #7
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Just because you are above sea level doesn't mean that you won't be flooded.* There is a COE map that details flood zones, I have seen several in the same "100 year" zone.

What is happening across ALL urban areas is the loss of natural drainage as the ratio of hard surfaces increase.* Runoff is concentrated in drainage areas faster.

You don't want to get me started ranting about old combined storm and sewarage systems.
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 02:32 PM   #8
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
Just because you are above sea level doesn't mean that you won't be flooded.
Of course, this is true. I did not mean to imply otherwise.

However, I think living above sea level is a good starting point.

(Except in death valley, perhaps, which is below sea level, but has many mountains between it and the Pacific.)
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 02:50 PM   #9
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
I suspect that many people will not be fully re-imbursed by the gov't for their losses.
I believe the cap for flood coverage is $250k
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 03:52 PM   #10
 
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Did you see the article on the news in which residents not covered for flood insurance are hiring a lawyer to argue that it wasn't a flood, it was a "Hurricane caused storm surge?"
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 04:14 PM   #11
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Did you see the article on the news in which residents not covered for flood insurance are hiring a lawyer to argue that it wasn't a flood, it was a "Hurricane caused storm surge?"
Sounds fair. I recall a neighbor being denied a flood claim because his water damage was a result of rising water. I'm not sure how that's not flooding, and it was a direct result of a severe storm.

I was also told they wouldn't cover my car that was smashed by his tree from the same storm. I don't recall the reason, but I was 16 and probably got pushed around due to ignorance. Actually I think it was one of those "you didn't warn him his tree was a danger to your car" things, IIRC.
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 04:26 PM   #12
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
I believe the cap for flood coverage is $250k
Years ago my husband proposed that a client build a beach home as a series of pods connected only by wind screens for just that reason. *The client was stunned when they discovered that flood insurance is per structure. *That home still sits on the end of Salishan Spit after 30 years, I can see each of the pods in a USGS map of the area. *

Humm, is a Tsunami flood or earthquake damage?



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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 05:55 PM   #13
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I know this is a touchy subject, but shouldn't people be talking about the possibility of not rebuilding every single house and business in the New Orleans flood zone?
In 1946 the lowest 30 feet of Hilo was wiped slick by a tsunami. Afterward the traumatized (surviving) citizenry (not yet Brewer's "Murricans" but with the same dad-gum hardy pioneer spirit) quickly bonded together and rebuilt the waterfront. No dumb ol' tsunami was gonna push them around!

In 1960 the lowest 30 feet of Hilo was wiped slick by a tsunami.

Today the lowest 30 feet of Hilo is a nice waterfront park. On of the closest & lowest buildings to that park is the Pacific Tsunami Museum... which is built around the building's former bank vault.
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 06:31 PM   #14
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
Sounds fair. I recall a neighbor being denied a flood claim because his water damage was a result of rising water. I'm not sure how that's not flooding, and it was a direct result of a severe storm.

I was also told they wouldn't cover my car that was smashed by his tree from the same storm. I don't recall the reason, but I was 16 and probably got pushed around due to ignorance. Actually I think it was one of those "you didn't warn him his tree was a danger to your car" things, IIRC.
The last time we had a flood here was June, 2002. I didn't get my 1991
Mazda Miata out in time. Total loss. I was satisfied with the check from the
insurance company. It was about what I paid and I drove it for 2 years.
Anyway, this week I received a form to participate in a class action suit
against the company that valued "total losses" for the insurance
companies. It's a lot of paperwork, but I have to send it in. I have until
March, 2006 to submit it.

JG
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 06:41 PM   #15
 
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

The old joke:

Claims Adjuster: You should have gotten "flood OR fire" insurance.
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 07:27 PM   #16
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Anyway, this week I received a form to participate in a class action suit

Well, class action lawsuits are usually for the benefits of the lawyers. You'll get a free oil change or a coffee cup with the Mazda logo on it. The lawyers will get millions.
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 07:46 PM   #17
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
Anyway, this week I received a form to participate in a class action suit

Well, class action lawsuits are usually for the benefits of the lawyers. You'll get a free oil change or a coffee cup with the Mazda logo on it. The lawyers will get millions.
Yeah I know, but I gotta fill it out because you can just never tell.
It's why people buy lottery tickets. Thye know they won't win, but they might

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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 07:49 PM   #18
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
Well, class action lawsuits are usually for the benefits of the lawyers. You'll get a free oil change or a coffee cup with the Mazda logo on it. The lawyers will get millions.
"Usually" is correct, because there are exceptions. My brother got a letter much like JG and decided to complete all the paperwork and send it in. He thought "what the heck, I've got nothing to lose".

He heard nothing for more than a year, then got a letter saying they had won the suit and the amount each participant would receive was in the process of being approved by the court. He was expecting a new key chain or something like you described above, but was pleasantly surprised (note the understatement here) to get a check for $225,000.

NOTE: It was a personal injury claim, not property damage as in JG's case.


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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 07:59 PM   #19
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

I did a class action for unfair labor practices this summer, check's are still in the mail, but I'm supposed to get about $3,500. Better than a sharp poke in the eye.
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans
Old 09-19-2005, 08:01 PM   #20
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Re: Rebuilding New Orleans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
I did a class action for unfair labor practices this summer, check's are still in the mail, but I'm supposed to get about $3,500.* Better than a sharp poke in the eye.
I think you could get more in a settlement for the poke in the eye.
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