Some New Orleans (un)reality

Posted on Wednesday 31 May 2006

Oh dear me. Polimom really doesn’t like the sound of this (

WASHINGTON (AP) — Everyone has known New Orleans is a sinking city. Now new research suggests parts of the city are sinking even faster than many scientists imagined — more than an inch a year.


The research, reported in the journal Nature, is based on new satellite radar data for the three years before Katrina struck in 2005. The data show that some areas are sinking four or five times faster than the rest of the city. And that, experts say, can be deadly.

An inch a year? Is this the only source reporting such an astounding rate? Because if they’re right, the implications are enormous — not just in terms of what happened to the levees during Katrina, but for the rebuilding process as well.

The federal government, especially the Army Corps of Engineers, hasn’t taken the dramatic sinking into account in rebuilding plans, said University of Berkeley engineering professor Bob Bea, part of an independent National Academy of Sciences-Berkeley team that analyzed the levee failures during Katrina.

They’re not? Not at all? Even if the uneven subsidence might have… umm… contributed just a smidge to the failures last time? Arggh!

Polimom really wanted to act like an ostrich on this one. It’s just too big to contemplate in one fell swoop, so I went searching to find what the NOLA bloggers are saying about it. Didn’t find much, although for those who can follow the science of it all, an article at has more.

In my wanderings, though, I came across Mark Folse’s post at the Wet Bank Guide about something related, and it threw me for a total loop:

I laughed ’till I cried when I read the letter that began “We are writing to notify you that [MY MORTGAGE COMPANY] will no longer require you to carry flood insurance on your property.

“This change is the result of a flood review that was performed in accordance with the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, a Federal law, amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994. This review indicates that your property is no longer in a flood zone…”

Are they even talking about the same city??

Mark’s right — Rod Serling would probably have had a way to make sense of all this. It’s much harder, though, for folks trying to live in the real world.

1 Comment for 'Some New Orleans (un)reality'

    June 1, 2006 | 6:54 am

    Nice post!

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