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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What If They Flooded New Orleans To Save Cajun Country?

Pat at And So It Goes In Shreveport has good updates on the planned flooding of Cajun country to help save Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  The impact on numerous towns and communities will be substantial.

The use of the Atchafalaya basin as a safety valve for the large cities now is taken for granted, but it was controversial when the plan was established.  The current diversion of the Mississippi river will flood a national heritage and sensitive ecosystem to save cities.

Just wondering how the media coverage would be different if the plan were to flood Baton Rouge or New Orleans in order to save Cajun country.

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  1. Once again, it is proven that all government ideas picks winners and losers. That is the only way it can work.

    It is time for the government to get out of the game of who wins and who loses.

  2. New Orleans has a vibrant and colorful history, and won't be forgotten. Similar to Alexandria, Egypt or Lattara, France. Okay, so we don't remember Lattara. Fine. Point is, you place a village on a river Delta... you don't try to maintain a City there!

    If New Orleans wants to try to hold back the Mississippi, then let NEW ORLEANS do it... physically and financially. Don't make every taxpayer in the country pay to support your folly... and destroy their neighbors in the bargain.

  3. Hey, I've got this great idea. Let's go live in an area below sea level in a hurricane zone.....

  4. Curiously, they did something similar the last time we had a "Great Flood" on the Mississippi.

  5. This is nothing more than Lifeboat Ethics practiced on a somewhat large scale. Yes, government is picking winners (usually friends of Democrats) and losers (usually flyover country people).

    TARP, 2009 Stimulus, Obamacare are all picking winners and losers, just to choose recent examples.

    That government does this is unavoidable. The best that we (yep, I'm part of flyover country) can do about it is mitigate circumstances. LIMITED government, with the emphasis on limited, is the only practical solutions.

  6. 1. The silty river water is good for the Atchafalaya. It's use to be the course of the Mississippi River at some point. It's the leveeing of the river that is one of the major problem because it means the river doesn't change course and deposit it's silt across the delta region.

    2. The spillway really isn't Cajun Country per se. Not many people live there to begin with because it is simply swamp. People populate the areas east and west of the basin which is what really constitutes Cajun Country (the area to the west and southwest).

  7. Wait, I remember studying antebellum American policy, but antediluvian?

  8. TVs would be full of frail old ladies in wheelchairs unable to escape the ever rising, raging waters. Talking heads would féin breathless concern.
    On the up side, survivors would be better able to find and afford food this fall and winter. That's a lot of flooded farmland all up and down the river.

  9. They did the same thing upriver a few weeks ago - flooded 130,000 acres of valuable Missouri farmland to save the village of Cairo, Illinois. (They keep calling it a city, but it's got 3000 people. Please.)

  10. Lyle is right on....

    It's mostly hunting and fishing camps but there are a few people that have made these low lying areas their homes. The Mississippi River really wants to change course and use a shorter route to the Gulf of Mexico. The Atchafalaya is that route and it almost happened the last time they opened the Morganza flood gates in 1973. The people who own property in the basin have already been compensated for the use of it as a spillway. Plus the silt will be good for a lot of the farmland once the water subsides.

  11. Samuel Clemens knew the utter futility of trying to boss ol man river around. The Atchafalya can no more be denied forever than the clouds can outwait the sun. Sooner or later the US Government is going to lose their pushing match, and the river will move. I hope we will take advantage of the disaster to rethink our relationship with the river. Let's give a try to movable housing, shiftable shipping channels and a realistic attitude about what can and cannot be maintained on land below sea level and in the way of predictable floods.

    We could get a whole lot more good out of the river, have a more environmentally sustainable and beautiful Gulf region, and save uncountable billions of dollars every year fighting with forces of nature than man never has been and never will be able to tame.