Thursday, August 28, 2008

When you just can't get enough swimming practice

There's always New Orleans:
NEW ORLEANS - Signs are emerging that history is repeating itself in the Big Easy, still healing from Katrina: People have forgotten a lesson from four decades ago and believe once again that the federal government is constructing a levee system they can prosper behind.
... A recent University of New Orleans survey of residents found concern about levee safety was dropping off the list of top worries, replaced by crime, incompetent leadership and corruption.

This sense of security, though, may be dangerously naive.

For the foreseeable future, New Orleans will be protected by levees unable to protect against another storm like Katrina.

When and if the Army Corps of Engineers finishes $14.8 billion in post-Katrina work, the city will have limited protection — what are defined as 100-year levees.

This does not mean they'd stand up to storms for a century. Under the 100-year standard, in fact, experts say that every house being rebuilt in New Orleans has a 26 percent chance of being flooded again over a 30-year mortgage; and every child born in New Orleans would have nearly a 60 percent chance of seeing a major flood in his or her life.

"It's not exactly great protection," said John Barry, the author of "Rising Tide," a book New Orleans college students read to learn about the corps' efforts to tame the Mississippi.

Article here. When the next monster hurricane hits, you know these brainiacs who choose to live below sea level will blame the government, egged on by politicians like Mayor Ray "Chocolate City" Nagin.

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