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« Regulatory Capture of the FDIC | Main | A Katrina Diaspora Story »



Probably true.

And consider the possibility that:
1. large areas of the city will be considered damaged beyond economicallly justifiable repair and will have to be razed. This will leave a large housing defecit and present a huge waste disposal problem. Trainloads of wrecked buildings will have to be put somewhere.
2. Low lying areas may have to be zoned for non-residential use
as insurable construction may never be possible (i.e., no 1200sf
frame houses on 25ft piles.
3. The population of the city may not be able to return for lack of adequate housing. The tourism and particularly the convention business depends on efficient services and large numbers of people able to live nearby to provide all the services hotels, restaurants and conventions require.
4. Landmark structures such as the Superdome and the Morial Convention Center may have to be destroyed and replacements built because of the stigma of death and squalor now associated with these venues. Attracting convention business--if in fact New Orleans expects this to be part of the future of the city--may require a completely new group of venues to support large gatherings free of the history of the flood and disorder.
5. Towns outside the city--particularly Kenner and Slidell-- that supported the middle class of greater New Orleans will have to be substantially rebuilt before a skilled workforce will be available to work in the economy.

Dave Tufte

All of this is good. Here's my additions - point by point.

1) I don't think trainloads is feasible. Most of it will need to be buried on site.
2) I wonder if financiers will even permit building without appropriate upgrades?
4) Wow. I hadn't thought about thtat one.
5) I think this one is doable. I'm just not sure if there is a point, given numbers 1-4.

Randy Gordon

Actually, Isn't burying waste on site a good thing?

Look, If you completely eliminate hazardous waste, you are still left with 30 MILLION cubic yards of debris (

Lets assume when they rebuild new Orleans, they want to move the whole city up about 7 yards (i.e. about ten feet above Lake Ponchatrain).

That means that they have the ability, at no extra cost, of creating a base of roughly 10 million square feet of city that doesn't need to worry about flooding.

That number could be increased significantly if waste disposal in other parts of the nation are redirected to new Orleans, also with the benefit of releasing other waste disposal sites for hazardous waste use.

If you use those ten million feet to create a barrier levee between city and the missisippi/gulf regions, you could potenially free up a considerably larger area for city building.

As a matter of fact, create the whole thing as a gigantic dam, and you could not only generate enough electricity to pay for the whole thing plus a hefty profit, but also water plants and even hydrogen generation for factories and transportation fuels.

Dave Tufte

Oops - there's a math mistake.

Thirty million cubic yards would make a pile 7 yards deep, and just over 4 million square yards in area. But each square yard is 9 square feet, so (after rounding) we end up with about 38.5 million square feet (rather than 10 million).

The problem is that this is about 900 acres - less than the size of New Orleans City Park.

Here's another calculation for you. Suppose they build new levees that are 40 feet high, with an angle of repose of 45 degrees. That is a triangle with an 80 foot base, and an area of 1600 sq. feet. Each linear yard of levee this tall will take 1600 cubic yards of fill. There are 1,760 yards in a mile, and about 150 miles of levees, so we are talking about 422 million cubic yards of fill. Another way of thinking about it is that all the debris would build a (brand new levee) just over 10 feet high.

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