Saturday, July 01, 2006

Levees

Levees are important to folks who live by rivers that are prone to flood. Many communities in Louisiana are protected by huge mounds of dirt that keep floodwaters at bay. Those same mounds of dirt obstruct the view of the river, and some people like the view.

This past week has seen flooding in Pennsylvania. Some towns were spared, some flooded. The Oyster points to this article where the money quote reveals quite a bit about the perspective of the citizens:
We CHOSE not to have levee protection built.

According to today's newspaper it would have cost between $20 and $30 million to include West Pittston in the levee raising project. How stupid of a decision was that? I dont know all the details of that decision. I do remember people saying they didnt want levees blocking their view off the riverfront. WTF? How pretty is that river front view when its in your living room I wonder? Mike said "screw 'em all". He will never go help those stupid rich bastards sandbag again. It's their own fault.

Then you have some areas of the Valley that were not considered for levee building because it was not feasible. So they flood time and time again. And continue to rebuild. With no levees. With additional flooding almost guaranteed. Wilkes-Barre recieved no damage. The areas that were hardest hit by this most recent flooding, are no stranger to flooding. I quote from our newspaper "flooding was significant in the usual areas-West Pittston, the Plainsville section of Plains Township, Mocanaqua, Shickshinny and the low lying areas of West Nanticoke and Nanticoke.
From that reading, we learn that the residents of West Pitton decided that flood protection was too expensive and opted to view the river and take their chances. When it floods, they rebuild.

I can only assume that the towns floated bond issues to pay for flood protection, or that the funding came from somewhere other than purely federal money. "it would have cost between $20 and $30 million to include West Pittston in the levee raising project" shows that the people didn't want to pay for flood protection. "So they flood time and time again. And continue to rebuild. With no levees." The people of West Pittston chose not to have flood protection, and they choose to rebuild.

How nice would it be if the people of New Orleans chose to rebuild? In a posting last week, the Oyster highlighted the comments of people who toured NOLA from the tsunami-struck region in Asia. He reports:
People who've seen the effects of a tsunami that was a hundred times deadlier than the Katrina aftermath are flabbergasted by the feeble recovery in parts of New Orleans.
That is a telling comment.

What is more telling is that the folks in New Orleans seem to expect the Fed to bail them out (literally) again. New Orleans floods, and I will grant that the problem last year was that substandard flood walls failed.

I've been flooded, and after the flood, you assess what is salvageable and what isn't. You get out in the muck and you clean it up. You cry a little, and you work a lot and you choose to stay or leave. You clean up your little piece of the world and you shame the neighbors into cleaning theirs.

I know that Landrieu, Vitter, and company are doing everything they can to get NOLA the funds it needs. I am heartened by reports from Congress that LA has a chance to share more fully in offshore oil revenues. Good for us. Good for Louisiana. That still doesn't explain why Nagin can't seem to get crime under control. That still doesn't explain why the recovery isn't progressing, that still doesn't explain why there is trash in the street. Those are local problems, and complaining about them doesn't help. Get out there and do something about it.

The recovery down there isn't complete. Sometimes it seems that the people from New Orleans are looking for someone else to rebuild for them. They should take a cue from the folks from Pennsylvania. Rebuild. Don't talk about it, just do it.

2 comments:

DickieT said...

There IS no use talking about it when everyone else in the country already has their mind made up. This week my wife taught herself to use a nail gun, worm drive and chop saw in between cooking and lifting sheets of plywood and 2x6's to me through the second floor. Not everyone is waiting for the Fed's to come to the rescue. Though they did appoint themselves the master of the levee system which failed miserably. They locked down the city to keep rescuers OUT while FEMA folks milled around Memphis waiting for instructions as late as Wendsday after the storm. (I was there.)Most of the people who died did not drown but died of dehydration. The Fed's however were too concerned about the number of life jackets on board. Six months later we could still not get a ruling on how we would be allowed to rebuild our own houses. But there are promises of SBA loans. We were approved in Feburary but haven't recived the money. (try to sleep at night rebuilding your house on a government promise.)
Not every one is waiting or even expecting the Fed's to help. Just fix the levees and let us have the offshore oil revenues like everyone else gets. Then GET OUT OF OUR WAY!

Pawpaw said...

Good for you, dickiet.