May 14, 2011

Corps of Engineers to Flood Productive Farmland to Save Fetid Cesspool

Here's an idea: Let's build a city below sea level—a city that keeps sinking lower every minute, at that—and surround it on three sides by one of the mightiest rivers in the world, a massive lake, and the Gulf of Mexico. Then we'll fill it with a heart-rending mix of poverty and corruption, and then make it most famous for wanton debauchery, inhumanity, and greed.

Then, when we've created about the most depraved place possible in a goelogically untenable position, we'll use the political influence of that hole in the swamp to make sure people and property that are productive are destroyed by the whims of those with a stake in the corruption.

That about sums it up.

Of course, one could note that if the Corps hadn't created the current system of levees and canals, nature itself would have been able to distribute the flood waters as God intended to make fertile cropland and a home for man and beast alike. Modern man, unfortunately, finds the idea of letting the Mississippi act the way a river is supposed to act in its own delta to be far too uncivilized, even as they destroy the delta itself and all who reside there in the process.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 14, 2011 03:23 PM

If this were a world we were colonizing, a la Star Trek, there would be whole countries which would be off limits. Bangladesh, for instance, or the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the situation is getting worse rather than better. Most governments consider it their duty to completely divorce foolish actions from consequences. This is one case, even though it goes back centuries. To be complete, the government did buy in perpetuity the right to flood the land back in the 1950s or so.

Posted by: Tregonsee at May 14, 2011 04:10 PM

err.. tis swampland and what "farms" there are in the spillway are crawfish. Not any cropland and they are not supposed to run cattle in there.

Posted by: JP at May 14, 2011 04:12 PM

Move New Orleans up into a corner of Detroit = plenty of room and no flooding

Posted by: Mitch Rapp at May 14, 2011 09:12 PM

when we've created about the most depraved place possible in a goelogically untenable position,

We're not talking about Washington DC. We're talking about New Orleans.

Regarding which, it's a right bad idea to be talkin' about things ye seem to ken nothin' aboot. New Orleans is more than the French Quarter and the Bowl. There's been a city there for four hundred years, mostly because as bad a place as it is for a city, it's the best available, and there had to be a city somewhere along that stretch of river.

Today it's one of the busiest ports in the United States. It's one of the primary entry points for foreign petroleum -- read up on the "Louisiana Offshore Oil Port" if you don't believe me. There are huge arrays of factories and processing plants all up and down the Mississippi above New Orleans, all feeding off the goods that come down the river and up from the ocean. All would become useless if the river changes its course.

Oh sure, we could build new factories along the lower Atchafalaya ... but would you care to take a guess as to how much that would cost?

Posted by: wolfwalker at May 14, 2011 10:45 PM

also it was not built below sea level. it has sunk, and the original portion (the french Quarter) is Still above sea level
N.O is a sh!t hole, but N.O. isn't the only thing they need to relieve flooding of by opening the spillway..Cairo and Memphis will see a bit of releaf by this too.

Posted by: JP at May 14, 2011 11:15 PM

If the USACE weren't doing anything, the Atchafalaya would have captured the Mississippi long since, leaving NO high and dry.

This is a political issue, and it involves trying to prevent nature doing what it's been doing forever. Besides, any city the re-elects that asshole Nagin after Katrina deserves far worse than this. To hell with them.

Posted by: Steve Skubinna at May 15, 2011 04:09 AM

I believe the government officials involved meet the definition of pResident Obama's word, "CorpseMen, but Da' Won does not want you messing with that Democrat money and vote machine down in the bayou, not to mention dissing his bro Ragin' Nagin, the floating-bus king. /

IMHO, government should finish what Katrina started: scrape away the man-made barriers and let nature supervise where man may abide. Downside is more of what cities like Houston and Atlanta got with Katrina refugees: crime and a giant-sucking sound at the welfare office. America is littered with populated areas that are at high risk of being impacted by natural-please-don't-call-them-acts-of-God-events. Many of these events are predictable: extreme winters to the north, hurricanes to the south, tornadoes in the midwest and south, floods along rivers.... Making all pay for the sins of the few who insist on building and living in such areas is a not compassionate or sensible, it is tyranny of the many by the few. If you live in a danger zone, move or assume the risk all by yourself: quit pushing your way into my pocket for the consequences of your "freedom to live where you want" and calling it "sharing the burden" or "compassion". I'm encouraged to see public rescue units like the Coast Guard present bills for services rendered to people who choose to exercise the freedom to challenge nature in dangerous environments. The same should be done with permanent residents of DZs, be they business or person. Rewarding the repetition of failed practices gets us more of the same: more coastal development, more inexperience adventurers, more risk-takers. Nip it in the wallet.

Posted by: twolaneflash at May 15, 2011 12:18 PM

Flooding the Morganza is necessary not just to save New Orleans from flooding, but to save New Orleans and Baton Rouge as going concerns. If the Corps loses the Old River Control Structure (a danger if they didn't flood the Morganza), there's a good chance the Mississippi completely changes its course to go through the Atchafalaya to get to the sea.

If that happens, Baton Rouge and New Orleans lose their drinking water supply and the Port of New Orleans becomes a swamp. Plus, the Mississippi, in its new digs, likely isn't going to be navigable without huge effort.

Posted by: Claude! at May 15, 2011 08:57 PM