Posted by Dinah on September 3, 2005, at 7:03:54 [reposted on September 3, 2005, at 8:59:50 | original URL]
In reply to Re: What IS needed down South.., posted by ClearSkies on September 3, 2005, at 6:07:56
To be absolutely fair, they *did* recently (within the last ten years) SUBSTANTIALLY raise levee levels from where they were previously. They had subsided for years and years before that. The egg rolling difference at Easter was striking. I'd say they at least doubled them.
And they just put in those concrete walls that gave, not too long ago (well within last ten years). Because the nutria were weakening the earth walls around the canal. As it was, I think it was the earth behind the concrete that gave out. Could it be nutria behind the 17th Street Canal breach?
Just imagine what could have happened without those iprovements having been made.
They also *just* put in a pumping station specifically to solve one of the problems. It didn't work at all. I'm not sure why.
I'm very glad that those improvements were made, or we'd have been even worse, I can only imagine. And no doubt there was more that could have been done. I'm not saying there wasn't. Everyone was a bit arrogant in thinking that we were somehow blessed and it wouldn't happen. But a calm reasoned approach to determining the cause of the flooding, the cause of the breaches in the levees will in time reveal where blame should be assigned.
There will be enough blame to go around for everyone, but the fact is that money isn't the solution to everything, and making this political at this point is not what we need.
Even with the truly pitiful response to the aftermath, you can't generalize as to blame. Probably more than anything else, the breakdown in the communication system was what caused problems. The cell phone towers were disabled. I'm guessing that we now know that we need widespread satellite phones among leadership and emergency response teams.
It'd be nice to think that if we just spent enough or did enough, that we could be invulnerable. But it isn't true. As someone was saying the other day, we don't own this earth, we just rent it. When nature decides to mock our feeble efforts, there is a limit to what we can do.
However, the response to the hurricane was horribly lacking, and I think all involved have admitted that. Our leadership appears to have a hard time anticipating likely results. The relatively smooth evacuation this time resulted from a hellish evacuation from Ivan, and improvements made to the system as a result. If it weren't for Ivan, many more people would probably have been left stranded. Even as it was, not everyone could leave. Hopefully, we'll have learned lessons from this one to enable more people to leave next time, sending fleets of fuel trucks to an area expecting a hurricane, for example. Or Greyhound buses to evacuate those who don't have transportation.