A recent University of New Orleans survey found concern about levee safety was dropping, replaced by crime, incompetent leadership and corruption. For the foreseeable future, New Orleans will be surrounded by levees unable to protect against another storm like Katrina. When the Army Corps of Engineers finishes $14.8 billion in post-Katrina work, the city will have what are defined as 100-year levees. Under that standard, experts say that every house being rebuilt in New Orleans has a 26 percent chance of flooding 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.
Allow me to translate this for you. Money has been flowing in like flood water to the New Orleans area to throw at “solutions” to the flooding ravages of Katrina. There has been typical Louisiana leadership stupidity, contractor graft and corruption, engineering guffaws, and people who actually believe that their “Chocolate City” is going to be protected when the next one hits. Congratulations to New Orleans. You’ve actually proved the old political adage that people invariable get the government that they deserve.
This isn’t a black versus white thing. This isn’t about throwing more money at old solutions that we know do not work. This isn’t about Bush or FEMA or a stupid governor or mayor. It’s about Mother Nature and the fact that people have chosen to build a city where they know that storms and floods will converge. It’s about a city built below sea level and next to a temperamental lake that is held back with a few scoops of gravel and some concrete. It’s about a group of people that keep putting others in charge that have no capacity to solve problems.
There are a few things that I can guarantee: There will be more tropical storms that affect New Orleans. The levees and flood walls will fail. The President will be blamed for whatever ills befall the city. Criminals and politicians will prosper.