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System Failure: Abandoning New Orleans Essay About Whether Or Not It Is Worth It To Rebuild New Orleans After The Hurricane Katrina.

1117 words - 4 pages

One of the most destructive hurricanes to ever hit the United States, slammed into the city of New Orleans, on August 29, 2005. Katrina's deadly storm surge damaged the city's levees, the only thing that protected the city from flooding. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is unimaginable, with lives, jobs and homes lost to thousands of Americans. The problem that needs to be faced, is how to deal with this catastrophic natural disaster.New Orleans should not be rebuilt due to its ongoing health concerns, cost to the economy and its geological location. The first problem that needs to be looked at before anyone can even go back into New Orleans, is the contamination found in the flooded waters.New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen. Hurricane and flood preparation in the city of New Orleans has always been an issue, even before Katrina struck. Its location is a huge threat, having to rely on levees, being below sea level, and having been built on a delta marsh, makes it hurricane prone. The first problem is how much the city has to rely on levees. Levees are barriers constructed to contain the flow of water. The six levees in New Orleans, were only meant to withstand a Category 3. Because New Orleans is surround by water (Mississippi River, Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf Coast), it is vital that the levees function properly. Secondly, New Orleans is primarily situated below sea level. In fact, nearly eighty percent of New Orleans lies below sea level, more than eight feet below in places, so the water pours in. Lastly, New Orleans is situated primarily on top of a marsh. The city acts like a huge bowl, surrounded by water. The marsh is slowly being pulled underwater. The delta soils compact and sink over time, and it is estimated that the state of Louisiana loses one acre every thirty minutes. It doesn't help that engineers in the 1950's cut over 13,000 kilometers of canals to allow gas exploration and ship traffic. This increased erosion, and allowed plentiful amounts of salt water to attack the marshes. Therefore the location of New Orleans, proves to be a fairly unstable environment. Being below sea level, surrounded by masses of water, and being located mainly on marshland makes it very dependent on levees. With the likelihood that one will breakdown, the city is prone to flooding. Hurricane Katrina has left New Orleans underwater, and it is estimated to take up to ninty days to get all the water drained out. However, feces, human bodies and debris have contaminated the water, causing a major health concern to citizens.With an average summer temperature of thirty degrees, it makes it ideal for contamination. The water is contaminated with bacteria, human remains and fuel.. A waterborne bacterial infection circulating in Hurricane Katrina's flood waters, may have caused the death of four people. The germ, Vibrio Vulnificus, is commonly found in warm Gulf Coast waters. The germ can spread by eating contaminated food, and through open...

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