Drowning New Orleans - Is it worth restoring in total?

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Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
October 2001. That reminds me of Jeremiah preaching to the hard hearing Judahites before Nebby came down from Babylon.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
The city of New Orleans is vital to the nation's economy. It is a major shipping port, petroleum industry center, industrial center, etc. Just wait until no coal can be unloaded this winter and see what happens to electricity. Or, when goods cannot be cheaply shipped to the Midwest via the river because the port of NO is down. Then you will not see such a cavalier attitude about not rebuilding NO.

I know that many on this board see NO as just a big brothel, drug infested, sin swamp. It wasn't. I know the city very well. It has its seemy parts, as do all cities. But, the vast majority of the city is/was a pleasant place. Many, many good folks lost all their earthly belongings.
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Well, it seems unless the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acts soon, and does some dredging work to divert the flow of the Mississippi to a more western outlet-- the protective barrier islands and delta will eventually disappear by the end of the century and there will be nothing to shelter the city from a storm surge and the city filling up once again, and by that time dredging and pumping may prove futile... The delta has been eroding steadily for some time as the result of past interventions and erection of levees, and cutting a western channel will divert sediment down the old water route and preserve the delta and barrier islands a little longer. Even if New Orleans were gone, it doesn't mean an end to the port at its Gulf entrance, and a trans-Mississippi seaborne route in the Gulf-Atlantic.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
Given my post above, eventually New Orleans, if rebuilt will be high and dry from the Mississippi anyway. That river will one day flow down the Atchafalya basin. They've been dredging and wing damming for years to keep it near NO. You can't beat a river forever.
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by LawrenceU
Given my post above, eventually New Orleans, if rebuilt will be high and dry from the Mississippi anyway. That river will one day flow down the Atchafalya basin. They've been dredging and wing damming for years to keep it near NO. You can't beat a river forever.

That's why it seems practical to work with mother nature rather than try and fight it-- which to the best of my knowledge is what they're presently doing -- fighting it. The present system of levees tends to leave the wetlands somewhat malnourished and less bountiful than they would otherwise be-- by diverting silt far down the delta and out to sea rather than giving the river a broader plain to flow over. I just know that stuff from reading-- you probably know more about Louisiana's topography than I. The river is going to start flowing westward across the Atchafalaya one day as you say-- maybe not quite in our lifetimes. That would probably be the natural course, but for the manmade levees that have been erected.

All of the Mississippi's changes over the years are manifest by the bizzarre state borders and oxbow lakes all up and down the river... It's the Nile of the New World, and no doubt an important economic artery in the United States.
 
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