Below Sea Level

Who the hell builds a city below sea-level anyway?

And it sinks 3 feet lower every century.

That’s my crass thought for the day.

Along with lack of pity for the folks that stayed to ‘weather the storm’. Third Category Five hurricane in American history and they’re gonna tough it out. 






14 responses to “Below Sea Level”

  1. Mizez Slocombe Avatar

    Andy, I suggest you direct your anger at the President, who could have ordered a massive military airlift of the people who were stranded in New Orleans due to lack of transportation or lack of funds.

  2. KipEsquire Avatar

    “Who the hell builds a city below sea-level anyway?”

    The Dutch. And they seem pretty good at it. 🙂

  3. Andy Avatar

    I really have a hard time believing that there are people who couldn’t get out of the city given that there were days of warnings.

  4. Mizez Slocombe Avatar

    There were a day, maybe a day and a half of warnings. 1 million getting out is a small miracle in my book.

    Also add the infirm to the list of people who couldn’t get out.

  5. Andy Avatar

    Yeah – I was looking for a list of other cities below sea level. It just seems like #1 on the list of “Let’s build a new city” would be: “Not easily flooded.”

  6. Beastmomma Avatar

    As a former resident of New Orleans, I would like to point out the New Orleans has one of the largest homeless populations in the United States. It also has low literacy and education rate. There is also lots of distrust of authority figures, particularly white men which make up the majority of the NOLA police force. All of this contribute to the following factors: people not having a means of hearing about the warnings from a source they trust in time to do anything about it AND not having a driver’s liscence or their own transportation to get out of the city in time. Yes, there are those who had all the resources to leave and did not. I am not speaking about them; I am talking about those for whom such a decision was not really theirs to make.

    Regarding building a city below sea level, New Orleans came to the United States through the Louisiana purchase. Before then it had occupation by Spain and France, the influences of both these cultures is seen in the city today. I believe that when the city was being built and fought for and about, the value of New Orleans was that it was a port and easily accesible to ships. Even though the economy changed to be less dependent on ship trade, New Orleans remained and remains an important port. The city got built around it. There were enough resoureces there to make it worth building. The flood factor was something that people thought they could manage.

  7. Beastmomma Avatar

    I also wanted to add that there are very few cities that are actually planned in the United States and elsewhere. I think that they come up because that is where populations are concentrated. I think that the system that was devised for dealing with floods is a disaster. It is clear that there needs to be a better system for handling flooding and for evacuation.

    The city is also very poor and has a history of corruption which makes it hard to organize a mass transit evacuation.

  8. Andy Avatar

    Let me amend. Folks that could have gotten out but stayed there I think are crazy.

  9. bill Avatar

    the people who stayed are crazy and most likely stayed so they can start all this insane looting! why? i can understand stealing the food to survive, besides the food will all go bad anyway, so i say take it. but why steal other things, its not like they have a home to keep the stuff! where will they keep their 10 new pairs of stolen nike shoes?

  10. sam Avatar

    “The President” was too busy playing golf. And the people he would’ve needed to send in to evacuate the city are kind of indisposed at the moment.

  11. Gigamatt Avatar

    Ugh. Having seen firsthand the devestation flooding can bring (Shadyside, Ohio, 1990, when i was in high school — yes, small scale), having heard the stories of lost loved ones and destroyed homes, there’s no way in hell you could ever get me to live in a flood plain ever EVER again, and not to seem unsympathetic, because that would make me crazy, too, but to think “It’ll never happen to me” or “It’ll never happen in my lifetime” is just tempting fate if you live in one of those places.

    This is brought to my mind even more in the last year as spring floodwaters threatened to wipe out half of our University as well as half of my neighborhood. (narrowly averted by 1/4″ of rain). Now I’m constantly thinking “is this street high enough? what about this ravine? is the topography such that flash flooding could never happen?”

    A bit paranoid, possibly.

    I still can’t fathom why my parents moved to Florida from a hilltop in Ohio. They’ve already experienced 2 hurricanes where their neighbors and friends even 2-3 houses away lost everything last fall, and still, they stay. I think it’s insane. And my dad tries to get me to move down there… to which I respond “No thanks, I like having a house to come home to.”

  12. qtballbstr Avatar

    One unfortunate reality in this tragedy is that a lot of the people who couldn’t leave are/were the poorest. New Orleans has twice the % of people living below the poverty level than any other city.

    The other sad reality is that this ‘country’ is defined more and more by REacting instead of PROacting.
    Maybe all the TV watching where commercials break your train of thought every 10 minutes made us incapable of thinking further than today.

  13. CAto Avatar

    You have to understand that a lot of people don’t have transportation, money, or had elderly people they had to care for because of medical reasons. If most of these people had money and transportation i think they would have gotten out of there, and there will always be people that think they sit the storm out. I’m from Louisiana and if I did’nt have any money to evacuate, I would be out there the same way they are, because these times are GET IT HOW YOU LIVE! Right now it’s all about making it.

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