Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Will the Levees Hold?

Katrina aerial view
Broken levees caused mass destruction in 2005. Photo courtesy of FEMA

As we approach the seven year anniversary of the devastation Hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans, Louisiana and the surrounding areas, we are faced with another hurricane, Isaac.  This week all eyes should be on the Republican National Convention being held in Tampa, Florida. But Mother Nature has decided to upstage the RNC event once again.  

Will the levees hold? More than 14 billion dollars has been spent to protect New Orleans.  The outdated, time worn system now has 133 miles of levee walls. The levees are deeper, stronger and higher than ever before. According to the US Coast Guard, the pylons are up to 200 feet deep at some points.  But is it enough?
Katrina made landfall on the morning of  August 29, 2005 as a Category 3 hurricane.  The current predictions are that Isaac will make landfall as a Category 2. The best estimates are that 2000 people lost their lives in the hurricanes destruction.  Both the federal and local government seem better prepared and definitely more responsive than what was seen before, during and after Katrina.

[President] Obama said at “my direction” the Federal Emergency Management Agency has had teams on the ground for over a week to prepare for potential damage. [President] Obama said he has signed a Louisiana disaster declaration, which allows the federal government to provide additional resources to the state. He said the government has already positioned supplies in Florida and Alabama, and has sent response teams to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
 President Obama speaking on Isaac said, "Now is not the time to tempt fate". The city of New Orleans has a dedicated website for Hurricane Preparedness, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, has chosen not to attend the Republican National Convention, and stay in his state to attend to the needs at home.  Although Jindal has been very vocal about his perception that President Obama spends federal dollars excessively, he has asked the President for additional funding to cover costs incurred in preparation of Isaac. I guess its not excessive if its something that benefits you....
All eyes are on New Orleans and the surrounding areas. It is my prayer that with seven years of preparation, New Orleans is ready and the levees will hold.
What do you think?

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