Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Research Paper:
New Orleans Should Not Be Rebuilt
Throughout history, humans have learned the hard way that living in some parts of the world is risky because of any number of factors, such as living near an active volcano such as Pompeii or earthquake- or flood-prone regions such as along the Yangtze where millions of lives have been lost over the centuries. In some cases, the geographic attributes of such regions are so compelling that people have ignored these dangers and rebuilt their cities time and again, only to have them ravaged by the destructive forces of nature. In other cases, though, the decision was made to simply abandon the affected area in favor of more hospitable living areas where Mother Nature was more amenable to human occupation and the chances of yet another disaster were far less. Today, the City of New Orleans is faced with this same type of decision as local, regional, and federal officials seek to identify ways to avoid a recurrence of the high-profile Hurricane Katrina and its heart-wrenching aftermath, but this hurricane is only one of the latest in a long series of weather-related events that have destroyed New Orleans over and over. This paper reviews the relevant literature to show that the decision should be made to abandon the existing city environs in favor of a more suitable location further inland at the earliest opportunity. A summary of the research and important findings in support of this thesis are presented in the conclusion.
Review and Discussion
Founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste le Mayne and named for a regent of France (New Orleans history 2011), New Orleans has a long history of battling the elements for its survival. Indeed, this history has been fraught with the same types of disastrous events, with only the extent of the devastation and the dates being different from the most recent events such as Hurricane Katrina. In this regard, Colton (2005) provides a useful description of the devastation caused by one such weather-related event on the citizens of New Orleans: "The high water destroyed several bridges, interrupted business throughout the city, contributed to health problems, disrupted the lives of thousands, and caused extensive property damage throughout the city" (Colten 2005, 28).
Although this quotation appears to accurately describe the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in eerie ways (and it does), in reality, it is actually a description of the Sauve Crevasse disaster that occurred in 1849 (Johnson 2006). In fact, following the onslaught of a hurricane just a year after the establishment of the city, the construction of a massive system of earthen levees began in 1723 and, judging them inadequate, they were further reinforced by engineers in 1724 to protect the city which was already noted for the frequency of hurricanes (Clark 1970, 4). Described by Johnson as "one of many environmental events in the history of New Orleans that have either blown away or waterlogged part of the city," the Sauve Crevasse was the handwriting on the wall for all to see, but the warning signs were ignored to the peril of the citizens of New Orleans. As Colten puts it, "On 3 May 1849, a weakened portion of the levee on the Sauve Plantation 17 miles above New Orleans was breached, creating a 30-foot-wide gap. Water poured southward into the city, approaching the French Quarter by 17 May. The devastation was massive" (2005, 26-27).
If this was an isolated event, the Sauve Crevasse disaster could be written off as an anomalous event, but the historical record shows that this disaster was just the beginning of a long list of similar events that would destroy or cause massive destruction to the City of New Orleans over the years. In fact, hurricanes have ravaged the New Orleans area time and again over the years (Ludlum 1963, 55). In this regard, McCarragher (2011) reports that, "Louisiana was hit by 49 of the 273 hurricanes that made landfall on the American Atlantic Coast between 1851 and 2004. On average, one major storm crosses within 100 nautical miles of New Orleans every decade" (1).
The devastation that is caused by these weather-related events is due in large part to the siting of the city in the first place. For example, according to Dunlap, Johnson and Morse, "Starting in the 19th century, but especially in the 20th century, most neighborhoods of New Orleans were built below sea level in what were marshes (or bayous)" (981). The inevitable outcome of these misguided building patterns should have been apparent, but the historical record shows that the people of New Orleans are either unwilling or unable to admit defeat to the elements. For example, Johnson (2006b) emphasizes that the above-described Sauve Crevasse "incident is one of many that have periodically left water in streets and homes. For people living in New Orleans these events serve as historical benchmarks: 'Where were you during Hurricane Betsy? The flood of April 1983? The flood of May 1995?'" (139). Likewise, McCarragher suggests that, "New Orleans history offers its own perspective, including the four most destructive storms of the twentieth century: the Hurricane of 1947, Betsy, Camille, and Georges" (3). In fact, these hurricanes also exacted an enormous toll on New Orleans and its people, but they did not receive the same high-profile media coverage as Hurricane Katrina and have therefore been largely forgotten by the rest of Americans despite their severe impact (McCarragher 3). In this regard, McCarragher concludes that, "The people affected never forgot Camille, but the nation as a whole allowed the memory of the destruction, the importance of efficient preparation, and the cohesive recovery methods fade into the background" (4).
Admittedly, many places around the world experience harsh weather-related events that cause enormous human suffering, and it is reasonable to suggest that virtually every human habitat has experienced its fair share of such highly destructive events over the millennia. There are some spectacular success stories as well such as the large amounts of land reclaimed from the Zuiderzee in The Netherlands. Nevertheless, in some cases it just makes good business sense to cut the losses and move on rather than continuing to rebuild an increasingly expensive infrastructure that is doomed from the outset for a number of reasons, including the region's propensity to flooding because of its low elevation that is actually below sea level in many parts of the city. According to Johnson (2006b), "In the early days, New Orleans was principally concerned with flooding from the Mississippi River. Levees were constructed to hold back the water, but they could not be built strongly and extensively enough to contain all of the water all of the time, with the result that the city continued to experience periodic flood events" (140). Unlike the diligent Dutch, though, many of the citizens of New Orleans have earned a reputation for a devil-may-care attitude concerning the environmental threats that are arrayed against them that may at least be partially deserved and which may account for history repeating itself time and again. In this regard, Johnson emphasizes that, "New Orleanians historically have worried about their environmental circumstances, but not too much. In the city that 'care forgot' and in which 'let the good times roll' is an unofficial motto, it is easy to slip into a state of complacency about environmental hazards" (2006b, 140).
Such complacency, though, is clearly unwarranted even in a city where jazz, good food and good times are watchwords. After all, much of New Orleans remains highly vulnerable to devastation simply because of its lack of elevation. Notwithstanding the city's colorful history and the important part it has played in American history, the City of New Orleans is a veritable sitting duck waiting to be shot in the head once again by Mother Nature. For instance, Johnson (2006a) reports that, "New Orleans has every reason to fear the Big One. Much of the city lies below sea level and is surrounded by hurricane-protection levees" (326). In fact, with the highest points in the city being around just 15 feet above sea level, cemeteries in New Orleans are replete with above-ground mausoleums because of the low terrain, and the only terrain within the city itself that is actually above sea level are the levees alongside the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain that have been used to reclaim land and keep the ocean at bay over the years (Johnson 2006b, 326). The combination of factors creates an untenable situation for the City of New Orleans today. As Colten and Welch point out, "Very few places face the risk of experiencing the chaos and damage of a hurricane as much as New Orleans" (2003, 1).
Although hurricanes are a perennial threat for several months of the year, New Orleans is also confronted with constant weather-related threats. For example, Johnson notes that the city receives as much as 60 inches of rainfall a year and an elaborate -- and expensive -- system of pumps and canals are used to…[continue]
"Why New Orleans Should Not Be Rebuilt" (2011, November 20) Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/why-new-orleans-should-not-be-rebuilt-47706
"Why New Orleans Should Not Be Rebuilt" 20 November 2011. Web.21 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/why-new-orleans-should-not-be-rebuilt-47706>
"Why New Orleans Should Not Be Rebuilt", 20 November 2011, Accessed.21 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/why-new-orleans-should-not-be-rebuilt-47706
" The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently at work in the city on a project to increase the height of the levees and construct floodgates, at a cost of over $12 billion. This work will be able to protect from a "100-year" storm as they are called -- dangerous but not severe -- with a 1-in-100 chance of hitting in any given year. It is estimated it will take
Hurricane Katrina When former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial remarked "The New Orleans we all through we knew is dead," he was speaking about not only 2005 natural mega-storm Hurricane Katrina, but the events and effect the disaster would have on the City of New Orleans that even today still reverberate. The events surrounding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina offer a winsome and remarkable case study regarding the continuing social divide
" The lawsuit states that the "defendants knowing paid out far less than policy holders deserved to repair flooded homes and property [Officials throughout NFIP] deliberately and fraudulently used low-balling, high pressure tactics to get people to accept pennies on the dollar of what they are entitled to. (Seid, 2005) In an article entitled "Multiple Failures Caused Relief Crisis - The Breakdown of the Relief Operation in New Orleans was the
psychological impact of Katrina & Lusitania Hurricane Katrina which took place in the year 2005 is said to be one of the worst storm disaster that took place in the history of the United States. It led to loss of many lives, and it was unavoidable. The winds both from Louisiana to Alabama caused the level of water to arise at about 80% of the New Orleans and neighborhoods. The
Creoles Professionals involved in therapy and counseling with members of the Creole culture of New Orleans and southern Louisiana should be aware of the history and traditions of this group that make it distinctive from all others in the United States, and indeed from the French-speaking Cajun communities in the same region. In Louisiana, Creoles are not simply the white descendants of the early French and Spanish colonists, although in the
273). And Vela-Gude's article offers several of the main points of this paper's research; the services must be ready, and the counselors must be thoroughly informed and knowledgeable about the cultural implications as well as the academic realities facing those Latino students (2009). Racism Against Latinos This paper alludes to the high number of Latinos in California and Texas, but according to the Southern Poverty Law Center's research, the South is home
VII. CONCLUSION Hurricane Katrina has been used extensively as an example regarding emergency response and its four phases because it is one of the natural disasters that could not have been prevented, but could have been mitigated, prepared, responded to and recovered from much more efficiently than it was. Because the four phases of emergency management were not carried out properly, we must live with the tragedies that happened as a