This is coolbert: If and when the city of New Orleans is rebuilt, build housing for the general public so that it is able to withstand hurricanes that may occur in the future. As they obviously will. A suggestion would be to consider tract housing of concrete homes. Concrete everything. Floor, walls, ceiling. Roofs can be made from traditional wooden gabling and planking with normal shingles. That part of the home can be easily replaced. This type of housing can be made mass produced and at a cheap cost if tens of thousands are made. Have the best architects in the country create all sorts of designs that will work well for low income housing. Build to modern standards and do it well from the start.

This is coolbert. It is almost exactly 100 years now since a disaster of such magnitude has hit a major American city as has befallen New Orleans.

The last time was in 1906, the great San Francisco earthquake.

And before that, the great Chicago fire of 1872 leveled that city. At the time Chicago's populace was about 300,000 persons.

The city of Chicago WAS rebuilt.

The rebuilding of Chicago is considered to be a great windfall for the ENTIRE world. With the city wiped clean, skyscrapers were built, the first ever, on a mass basis. This was almost providential. Without Chicago having been destroyed, a whole new structural engineering concept could not have tried on such a scale. A whole slew of world-famous architects came out of Chicago of that period. Revolutionized the whole nature of the city as we know it now.

Such devastation allows for rebuilding on a massive scale incorporating NEW concepts, designs, ideas. What could only be done on a hit and miss basis and small development can now be done of "Biblical" proportions.

Will this happen with New Orleans?? Time will only tell.

This is coolbert: See my blog, click here, dated 2 September 2005 for an entry that details the situation in NO. How Homeland Security can determine a whole lot of "lessons learned" from this disaster.

This is coolbert: If and when NO is rebuilt, someone is going to suggest to build the levees [dikes] that protect the city to be build higher than before. Much higher than before. And to provide pumps of greater number and greater capacity to pump water if a flood DOES occur again.

A problem with building dikes higher and higher. Perhaps some expert that reads this can address the problem from an engineering standpoint.

If you build a dike say 20 % higher, you just cannot build the base of the dike 20 % higher and say that is enough. If the dike is build 33 % higher, you must also widen the base, but you must widen the base to say 50 % or greater to have sound construction of the dike and have it hold. More and more land is required at the base to construct a dike that is structurally sound.

And if the dikes for the Mississippi are heightened also, this causes a further problem downstream. That greater weight of water contained by the heightened dike only causes the river to run faster with a greater quantity of water of water being pushed along. Erosion and flooding downstream are exacerbated many times worse.

Keep in mind too that the Mississippi river WANTS to change it's course. This change of course is a naturally occurring process for the Mississippi. Such a change occurs about once every thousand years or so. The Mississippi wants to change it's course NOW, but is being held back by a dam. This dam is in such peril that the depth of the water at the base of the dam has to be checked five times DAILY to see if the river is cutting a course UNDER the dam!!! If the Mississippi changes course, NO will be left high and dry!! Except for fetid swamps surrounding NO, the place will no longer have the river!!

This is coolbert: If the authorities rebuild NO, let them do this also. Plan to have a more diverse population. DO NOT allow the city of NO to become about 90 % black as it was prior to the flood. The income of those folks was WAY BELOW the national average. It is said that the average wage earner in NO made about $12,000 per year!!??

It is absurd to think that these folks will be able to recreate a thriving community. You will just go back to where it was before. This you do not want.

I am sure that there are all sorts of ways that racial diversity that would "mirror" American can be had. It takes will and an ability to push through what needs to be pushed through. Legality may have to swept aside in some manner. This too can be done.

This is coolbert: Most, if not all of those homes in NO that have been flooded are probably going to be unsafe to inhabit again without risk. NOT ONLY damage to the wooden structure of what appears to me to mostly "shacks" [a lot of folks might take umbrage at the use of the word "shack", but please, that does what they appear to be to me!!]. And in addition, soaking, prolonged, from water that is severely contaminated does not help the situation either.

It will probably not be worth while to just rehab or patch up those homes. Most will probably have to be bulldozed and a total rebuilding process begun.

I think that there is a law that says in case of flooding, if the cost to rehab the home is greater than 50 % of the evaluation of the home itself, rehab cannot be done. The home must be torn down and it IS LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO REBUILD SUCH A PREVIOUSLY FLOODED STRUCTURE. There is sound reasoning behind this. But will in all likelihood raise a lot of hackles in a lot of quarters.

If total demolition and rebuilding is done, let it be done right. Build new homes to MODERN standards. This will not be cheap. Rebuild in a sound manner and take you time and think the process through, if it is done!

And if rebuilding is done, I see a big problem with the many indigent and poverty stricken folks of NO to ever pay for those new homes. In all likelihood, they HAD NO home owners insurance to begin with. And the value of the old homes probably did not even come close to what a new home would cost. Many of those refugees will probably NOT be able to ever live in NO again.

If I had my druthers, and I do not, I would NOT rebuild New Orleans where it currently is. Would rebuild in a better location. They are showing the city mostly on the north side of the Mississippi river. North of the river is almost all below sea level. South of the river it is not much better, from what the maps show. And all around where the city is seems to be swampland.

Come on now!! Please, use some thought when thinking reconstruction!!

This is coolbert: New Orleans!!! What can one say at this point??

Well, here is my first impression about rebuilding.


Don't rebuild in the same spot. Where else to rebuild?? I dunno!! But NOT ON THE SAME SPOT. Or if you do rebuild, do not have the same population living there. That city could get hit again and you would have the same problem all over again. That is just not acceptable.

Since the tax dollars of ALL the citizens are going have to pay for rebuilding in some fashion, ALL the tax payers should get a say in the matter of rebuilding.

More later.