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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Newer Orleans [Aug. 31st, 2005|09:52 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick

Excuse me for perhaps saying something people might find offensive, but I'm legitimately curious:

If the town won't be livable again for months/years, a lot of people won't be coming back, right? And if water damage has ruined most buildings, what "is" New Orleans? The people? The roads/buildings? The community? The location? Well, most of that is now screwed, and won't be the same exactly later, but you do need a place for all these people, and a lot of people love the city....

Might it be better to just not rebuild New Orleans where it is now? Just keep it flooded, don't fix the levees, and instead just rebuild the town up north, out of harm's way.

Name all the roads the same, keeping their same proportions, keep all the same crazy laws, give title/deeds to the same people in the same spots, etc. I mean, they have to do all that anyway, so why not do it in a new spot. Not like they're going to have to relocate people any more than they are now.

Plus the current location provably blows, and global ocean water levels aren't falling anytime soon. Maybe New Orleans should see this as an opportunity to relocate the city. Hell, just look at all the trouble Venice is going through lately. They don't have much time left either.

I propose the name of the rebuilt city be named "Newer Orleans". Or maybe just "no-linns" so tourists will be able to pronounce it correctly.

This post had no structure. The end.

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[User Picture]From: octal
2005-09-01 05:01 am (UTC)
FEMA has discussed this kind of stuff in the context of nuclear strikes or even radiological weapons making areas uninhabitable.

I think if this were a city like Houston, it would be a trivial choice; one patch of dirt is the same as any other.

In NOLA's case, the waterfront location is part of the charm. I think it would be beyond the government's marketing ability to do this. Disney, maybe.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-01 05:02 am (UTC)
That's kinda what I figured. Having never been there, though, I think "one patch of swampland is the same as any other".
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[User Picture]From: herbie
2005-09-01 05:05 am (UTC)
THe sentiment's interesting, but you know that there are a whole lot of reasons why people might object.

For example, a lot of property value has to do not only with relative location within the city, but also with topography of the area, position relative to ports and the ocean.

Also, a lot of the uninhabited areas thereabouts are marshlands, which is why they need the levees in the first place.

But most importantly, in terms of people being willing to do it, until flying large masses of things (like oil) internationally becomes truly cost effective, there will always be value to being right on the shoreline.
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[User Picture]From: way2tired
2005-09-01 05:09 am (UTC)
another option is, with the fact that the "bowl" is currently full of water anyway, why not fill it in, so that the whole of the ground is above sea level.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-01 05:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, why not? Other cities have done it throughout history, some dozens of times.
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[User Picture]From: yourmindshifts
2005-09-01 05:20 am (UTC)
See, some parts won't be worth rebuilding the same way, planners are going to want to make some improvements, then so are the residents, also different contractors are around, and it's just going to all change. :-/ (Too bad I never went to Mardi Gras...)

Remember when they relocated all of Springfield in The Simpsons...'course the homes were intact there...
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[User Picture]From: brentdax
2005-09-01 05:27 am (UTC)
I suspect there's a lot of infrastructure that'll still be usable. The sewers should be fine, and the water and gas mains should only need minor repairs. The streets ought to be alright—many of the highways aren't even submerged. And I'd imagine that there's quite a bit of civil engineering work invested in New Orleans that would have to be repeated for Newer Orleans.

Plus, a lot of the city seems to be fine as well; see what interdictor is saying about that. It's quite possible that the media is being their typical over-exuberant self.

On the other hand, if we did take the Newer Orleans route, New Orleans would make for some fascinating archaeology in a couple millenia.
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[User Picture]From: chiave_trust
2005-09-01 03:39 pm (UTC)
It's quite possible that the media is being their typical over-exuberant self.

Mmm, over-exuberance in the media. Otherwise known as "OMGWTFBBQ!" syndrome. (That, and leaping upon sensationalism - but enough people have made that complaint.)

And fascinating archaeology indeed.
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[User Picture]From: adudeabides
2005-09-01 05:29 am (UTC)
Sentimentality aside, I'm curious how much an undertaking would cost.

And how long it would take.
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[User Picture]From: stephenbooth_uk
2005-09-01 06:10 am (UTC)
It would be interesting to find out, and compare to the cost/time to clean up the existing bowl and improve the flood defenses.

A lot of the pictures we're seeing in the newspapers look more like the sort of thing we're used to seeing from impoversished third world countries than from the wealthiest nation in the world.
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[User Picture]From: sinforosa
2005-09-01 05:48 am (UTC)
I don't thing Venice is a good example to make. Everything there is history, I mean, it was not just built 200 years ago or do. If Venice will ever be flooded it will never be rebuilt, because that won't be possible. Its location is peculiar, you cannot just build it inland and all the ancient buildings? Either they have to find a solution to protect the city now or otherwise if it will be flooded it will stay that way forever....
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[User Picture]From: vespa59
2005-09-01 06:15 am (UTC)
I agree, except for the being near the ocean thing that other people mentioned. Perhaps another solution would be to perfect the underwater metropolis concept. Someone should get started inventing some artificial gills.
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[User Picture]From: jope
2005-09-01 05:40 pm (UTC)

artificial gills

Given how much drinking goes on, I'd say they're already halfway there.
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[User Picture]From: jameth
2005-09-01 06:16 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: joevideo
2005-09-01 06:16 am (UTC)
my thoughts: implode what's there, cart off the trash. don't rebuild it. it will only happen again. as Brad says... move inland, rebuild it as a theme park. it's part of history, and shouldn't exist as it did. and move the Saints to Albuquerque!
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[User Picture]From: flickeringsoul
2005-09-01 01:59 pm (UTC)

Rebuilding with model highlights

Knowing about places like Guam, and the scope of historical super typhoon damage that exists there, makes me think that they are probably going to rebuild New Orleans with engineering model highlights similar to those listed below.

When I used to live on Guam we got hit by Typhoon Pamela. We would also get these bad earthquakes, too where the house would shift off of the foundation and then shift back on the foundation.

Now, as I wrote in my journal, I can't even begin to imagine what kind of disaster Katrina is, but I guess I can only compare the scope of hurricane it was when I was in the storm of Super Typhoon Pamela on Guam on May 21, 1976, etc. when I was a little girl. I looked up the stats on that storm and they were:

Typhoon Pamela
year 1976
peak gust 160 mph
damage ($ millions) 500

Now as I was mentioning, maybe engineers can apply the similar and new "Model Highlights" that they have in places like Guam to places like New Orleans, perhaps. Something will have to be done with the "below sea level" thing, beyond the levees, perhaps. Engineers will have to figure that out in new model highlights.

I realize that New Orleans has been completely damaged and you wonder what is the point to rebuilding if it will happen again. It has been done before. For example, in 1962, gusts estimated near 185 mph destroyed 95% of all homes on the island. And it wasn't just a one time thing. Guam keeps on getting typhoons/super typhoons.

For Example:

Other notable typhoons impacting Guam include:

Peak Gust
Damage ($ millions)

Typhoon Pamela
160 mph

Typhoon Omar
150 mph

Super Typhoon Paka
170 mph

Here are the Model Highlights from Guam. Maybe they will apply some of these to New Orleans when they rebuild.

Model Highlights
Model developed in conjunction with leading local meteorologists and engineers

Stochastic database of 1,458 storms reflecting the distribution of possible typhoon events for Guam and Saipan

Wind speeds in the hazard module validated against historical wind speed data from Omar, Gay, Brian, Pamela, and other typhoons

Building vulnerability curves based on regional building code requirements, local design standards, local engineering experts, and vulnerability data from other countries with similar construction standards

Vulnerability curves validated against insured loss data from Typhoon Omar

Geographic Scope

The islands of Guam and Saipan


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[User Picture]From: j_rod
2005-09-01 06:33 am (UTC)
Sure, they'll rebuild in the same spot. Existing infrastructure is the budget answer, but the "american" answer is 'ain't no damned 'cane gunna keep us out nu-uh!'. The best part about this answer is that we get to see what engineering 8th-wonder-of-the-modern-world marvel the USACE or a private contractor conjures up for us. Screw pumping slurry under Venice, or stabilizing a certain tower in Pisa.... I wanna see another 10 mile long, 15 foot high mammoth seawall....Galvestons elevation was lifted a good 11 feet, why not parts of NOLA?

Just do it in a year this time, not 10. Thanks.
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From: selfmade
2005-09-01 07:46 am (UTC)
Don't you think the land up north is someone's land.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-01 07:50 am (UTC)
Ya think? That'd be crazy.
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[User Picture]From: ijon
2005-09-01 08:46 am (UTC)
And if water damage has ruined most buildings, what "is" New Orleans? The people? The roads/buildings? The community? The location?

ανδρε&sigma γα&rho πολισ
andres gar polis! (Thucydides)
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-01 03:57 pm (UTC)
The people are the city?
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[User Picture]From: idigital
2005-09-01 09:19 am (UTC)
I agree, but no doubt the residents wouldn't.

Perhaps they should rebuild New Orleans as the first "underwater city". Not a flooded city, but a domed enclosure-type-thing like they used to have in dodgy films from the 70s...

It's never going to survive as a "surface city" where it is unless we somehow eject a metrick fuckton of water from the planet, which isn't going to happen.
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[User Picture]From: remark
2005-09-01 01:45 pm (UTC)
Then rebuild the port and lay some railroad tracks. Perhaps a small airport too, for commercial convenience.
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