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Author Topic: How much can we take?
Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I wrote a long anwser here, but the internet ate it, so here is the short version:

quote:
So which is it, Troberg? The government steps in, or you masterfully pull yourself up by your bootstraps?
Both. We do what we can to fix it, while the government does what it can. The point is that we do not sit around to get things fixed for us.

quote:
Pretty much any debris is toxic or compeltley trashed. The water rusted for example any metals such as stainless steel. Any pots or pans would have to be thrown out.

Any fabrics gone. Wood for example would have also been destroyed.

Sorry but most houses structures don't have building material that was able to take that sustained flooding and still be usuable.

Any wiring would have to be replaced.

Also add in the mere fact that the debris would be toxic.

Yep, you waited too long, this should have been started as soon as the storm passed.

But toxic? I realize that there will be some dirt, but toxic? Where does this supposedly toxic material come from?

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/Troberg

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Die Capacitrix
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The video in the OP put tears in my eyes. I just visited with a friend that was in NO as part of the FEMA rescue (disaster medical). He nearly missed being in the Superdome during the worst of it. I am still amazed at the incompetence then and now.

Troberg - there are people rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. Are they making a dent? I have no idea.

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"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces." Judith Viorst

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Brad from Georgia
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
....But toxic? I realize that there will be some dirt, but toxic? Where does this supposedly toxic material come from?

A great many chemical and petroleum processing plants were flooded, and the backwash spread toxins over a wide area. Friend of mine who works with decontamination was in New Orleans for months doing site testing, and he told me that in some places it could only be worse if radioactive materials had also spread. He estimated five years as a cleanup window for some of the most contaminated areas.

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tootiredtocare
Deck the Malls


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Add in all the raw sewage, dead bodies since New Orleans and the surronding area you cannot bury the dead since any flood causes them to be upchucked. Lots of warehouses full of stuff also got flooded. Warehouses containing pesticides for example. Remember New Orleans was one of the hugest ports for shipping stuff up the miss and out to sea.
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tootiredtocare
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Troberg how could you start rebuilding after the storm had passed when the entire city is flooded and people cannot get out?

It wouldn't have mattered anyway the metal rusted after just a day or two being under the flood water. Houses were found to be so mold infested you had to wear masks. You usually only find mold growing like that after years and years of growth not a few days.

All the building material that could have been salvaged was already ruined and quite frankly going through it would have been hazardous. Warzones look more cleaner then New Orleans did after Katrina.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
I wrote a long anwser here, but the internet ate it, so here is the short version:

quote:
So which is it, Troberg? The government steps in, or you masterfully pull yourself up by your bootstraps?
Both. We do what we can to fix it, while the government does what it can. The point is that we do not sit around to get things fixed for us.
Forgive my ignorance, but can you tell me when Sweden was last struck by a disaster on the scale of Katrina? And then provide an example of how much individual citizens were able to clean up before the government intervened?

And did they have to do so despite a government agency's having legally limited their ability to do the work, as FEMA has done?

quote:
quote:
Pretty much any debris is toxic or compeltley trashed. The water rusted for example any metals such as stainless steel. Any pots or pans would have to be thrown out.

Any fabrics gone. Wood for example would have also been destroyed.

Sorry but most houses structures don't have building material that was able to take that sustained flooding and still be usuable.

Any wiring would have to be replaced.

Also add in the mere fact that the debris would be toxic.

Yep, you waited too long, this should have been started as soon as the storm passed.

But toxic? I realize that there will be some dirt, but toxic? Where does this supposedly toxic material come from?

Perhaps you should do some more reading about what actually happened in New Orleans. I don't think you have a very clear grasp of the situation.

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Menolly
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
A great many chemical and petroleum processing plants were flooded, and the backwash spread toxins over a wide area. Friend of mine who works with decontamination ~Snip~ estimated five years as a cleanup window for some of the most contaminated areas.

Brad, thank you for the info, sad as it is. I was wondering what kind of debris/liquids had been leaked from containers at the port sites. Wow, truly a shame.

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Let's just pretend we're normal for a minute ~ New favorite T-shirt quote

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Forgive my ignorance, but can you tell me when Sweden was last struck by a disaster on the scale of Katrina? And then provide an example of how much individual citizens were able to clean up before the government intervened?
Last year (maybe the year before that, I don't remember clearly), a big storm hit the south of Sweden. Some people were out of power and communication for over a month, enormous areas of forest was destroyed, roads where blocked, houses were damaged and so on.

People did what they could. Farmers and others with heavy equipment brought out their tractors and land moving equipment and cleared fallen trees from the roads. People set up their own power and alternative heating and water supplies. Truckers and loggers did a huge effort to salvage as much timber as possible and take it to plants in the north of Sweden so that it could be processed before it got bad (you can't leave timber in the forest, it attracts insects that will attacke the living trees as well). People kept check of their neighbours to see that they were OK.

Power companies, telephone companies and other companies which could help sent people and equipment there from other parts of Sweden to fix things as quickly as possible. Within days, the army was there, assisting with their equipment.

The only ones who did not play their part, as usual, was the insurance companies...

It was not on the same scale as Katrina (at least not locally, but it affected a huge area), but it was still huge, especially for a smallish nation like Sweden with some 8 million people.

quote:
And did they have to do so despite a government agency's having legally limited their ability to do the work, as FEMA has done?
We don't do that in Sweden, and I doubt anyone have the legal authority to do so. Even if they had, people would not accept it and just ignore it.

If it, in some totally unconstitutional way, would be enforced, you can bet that there would be demonstrations outside the parliament, bordering on riots.

quote:
Perhaps you should do some more reading about what actually happened in New Orleans. I don't think you have a very clear grasp of the situation.
I think I have a clear enough view of the main problem: You are looking for the solutions for the perfect solution before you get started. That will never happen.

The smart approach is to take a look around and try to find one problem that you are able to fix. Fix it. Repeat.

It doesn't matter if it's a tiny step, it's a step in the right direction. You don't have to have the solution to all problems, only the single problem you have decided to fix. Once some of the minor problems get unstuck, you'll see that you've got a chance at some major problems. Any problem solved is a step in the right direction.

Don't look at the top of the mountain and think that you have no idea of how to get there, so it's better to just stay put. Take one step in the direction that slopes upwards, and you will be on your way. Eventually, after taken many steps upwards, you may get there, but you will never get there if you stay put.

quote:
Troberg - there are people rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. Are they making a dent? I have no idea.
Good for them!

Are they making a dent? I'm sure they are, although maybe on a local level, and that's where it begins.

quote:
Troberg how could you start rebuilding after the storm had passed when the entire city is flooded and people cannot get out?
Once again, don't look for the perfect solution, just aim for a better situation than you have. Surely, even at that time, there must have been some problems that could be solved?

quote:
It wouldn't have mattered anyway the metal rusted after just a day or two being under the flood water. Houses were found to be so mold infested you had to wear masks. You usually only find mold growing like that after years and years of growth not a few days.
I don't believe metal will rust that fast. In fact, I've seen plenty of unprotected steel (which is the only relevant metal that will rust) last much longer in salt water before it lost enough strength to be unusable. Flood water is just water, it's not magical.

As for molds, that's outside my area of expertise, but I expect that it can happen, especially if the sewage backwashed.

quote:
would have been hazardous
There are a lot of references to potential hazards of this kind of work, but in a situation like this, isn't a certain level of risk acceptable? Most of the risks mentioned are fairly low and would probably just make you ill for a while, then you'd be as good as new again. I can accept such risks.

Someone said (quoting from memory, may be inaccurate, and if someone can find a source for this quote I'll be happy, as I've been looking for that for a long time): "A human is not a human unless he takes risks".

--------------------
/Troberg

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jw
The First USA Noel


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I've just read the entire thread after watching the video.

Slightly off topic, and in no way to scale, but relevant nonetheless. IIRC a housefire in a town in Ireland left 7 children orphaned and homeless approx 10 years ago.
Money to the tune of IR£42K arrived from the states in donations from concerned people informed of their plight. Insignificant in the general scheme of things , but it was enough at the time for the remaining members of the family to purchase another house in the locality.

I have not seen any big effort by anyone here to raise money to help the victims of Katrina.
Because this disaster happened in the US, the rest of the world has chosen to ignore their plight, probably because the US government didn't ask for help,(although I do recall Bush looking for help in the immediate aftermath, but not long term) or not loudly enough.
Americans are renowned for helping the world with cash/trained people/equipment to cope with natural disasters and still does.
Be it tsunamis, famines, earthquakes or hurricanes.
The rest of the developed world has wrongly assumed that US wealth would quickly restore the situation.

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On my old guitar sell tickets, so someone can finally pick it.

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tootiredtocare
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Troberg metal did rust that fast. Stainless steel, stuff that isn't supposed to rust did rust. Kitchen pots, pans fell to pieces when handled. It's not just water it's what's in the water.

Swords for example rusted so much they would fall apart if you were to try to repair them.

You had tons of mold growning in places.

It wasn't hypothetical people evacuated from the area when medically checked were found to have diseases and conditions resulting from toxic exposure.

People went days without food and water after Katrina.

Why is it so hard for you to understand any rebuilding would have to be done by outside sources with hundreds of thousands of workers involved? Towns were wiped out towns plural litteraly dozens of towns. The sealife was devastated people had to wait days even in other areas to be able to get fresh produce.

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Menolly
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Wow, jw, I teared up when I read your post. How very, very sweet of you to think of the US that way (helping out other countries). Thank you. I do recall a news program reading a list of donating countries not long after the hurricane, but I don't know if other donations have come through since the initial ones.

--------------------
Let's just pretend we're normal for a minute ~ New favorite T-shirt quote

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tootiredtocare
Deck the Malls


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Well a bunch of donations or offers for help were rejected by the Bush Administration. Condi Rice of course lied about it. Quite a number of goverments were enraged that the US wasn't getting their citizens out of New Orleans or had let them be flown in on the day the Hurricane hit. Yup the airport was still taking planes in instead of redirecting them or telling people a hurricane was coming. That is a federal goverment responibility not local or state.
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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Why is it so hard for you to understand any rebuilding would have to be done by outside sources with hundreds of thousands of workers involved?
And as those workers obviously isn't happening, how can there really be any choice except to get started and fix it yourself? Sure, it will take longer. Sure, it will take lots of hard work. Sure, it will not become a perfect utopia. But it will at least move things in the right direction.

Perhaps it will not succeed, but we know for certain that doing nothing will not get anyone anywhere.

quote:
Troberg metal did rust that fast. Stainless steel, stuff that isn't supposed to rust did rust.
I've stored sulfuric (spelling?) acid for almost a month in a stainless steel pot while I was having some fun with a couple of used car batteries, and it survived just fine. What do you have in your water?!?!?

--------------------
/Troberg

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Cervus
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Troberg, you are entirely ignorant of the situation in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

In most small-scale storms, people *do* haul out the chainsaws to remove debris and being clean up and restoration as soon as the storm has passed. Most small scale storms have limited areas of contamination and limited destruction.

Katrina was not a small-scale storm.

People were trapped in their houses without food and water for days waiting to be airlifted to safety. The floodwaters surrounding their homes became contaminated from spilled chemicals and decomposing bodies (both from cemeteries and people who died in the storm). There were no operational sewage systems, so everybody's poop had nowhere to go. Food, water, and fighting disease - and the heat - were the most important issues for several weeks after the storm.

You have to understand that the majority of people who lost everything were poor. They had very little to start with. It is impossible to rebuild a house if you have no tools. Most people who have tools don't have knowledge of how to properly and safely build a house. Trucks can't come into flooded areas. Gasoline isn't available for the trucks. Most places that were devastated on a large scale cannot be rebuilt without the massive infrastructure that was originally in place.

The government has the ability to assist in emergency situations when private citizens cannot restore things themselves. However, they chose to NFBSK everything up instead of providing real assistance.

As wonderful as it is to picture everyone in the community pitching in like an Amish barn-raising, the reality is that this is just not possible in most of the New Orleans area. That is why so many people have moved out to places that have the infrastructure in place for them to rebuild their lives. They're working on a small scale - helping their own families and friends - and most are (still) waiting for the government to fix the things in the city that average folks cannot fix.

There's only so much you can do when you have no food, no water, no materials and no money, and your entire neighborhood is flooded with contaminated water and mold. Actually, I don't know what you can do at that point, which is why a lot of people are looking for outside help.

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Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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tootiredtocare
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Car battery acid is very weak, it's really only dangerous to flesh.

What was in the water? Lets see salt, sewage, all manner of toxic waste from industrial plants, from refineries, shipping containers, rotting dead people, fuel wheter it be gasoline or unrefined oil which is very toxic to humans the list goes on. Add in the swamp water which has it' own baceteria and nasty stuff.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Red Cervette:
Troberg, you are entirely ignorant of the situation in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

What Cervus said.

quote:
In most small-scale storms, people *do* haul out the chainsaws to remove debris and being clean up and restoration as soon as the storm has passed. Most small scale storms have limited areas of contamination and limited destruction.
And that scenario takes place over and over, every single year, in the US: after hurricanes and tornadoes and violent thunderstorms in the summer, and after blizzards and ice storms in the winter.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
There's only so much you can do when you have no food, no water, no materials and no money, and your entire neighborhood is flooded with contaminated water and mold. Actually, I don't know what you can do at that point, which is why a lot of people are looking for outside help.
Actually, that's my point. There is only such much you can do, but at least do that.

I discussed this issue yesterday with a military friend, and he said that they are trained to do something, even if it's ineffective, as apathy kills the morale. Doing something gives a sense of power of the situation, boosts morale and provides the mental fuel for performing almost superhuman feats.

quote:
Most people who have tools don't have knowledge of how to properly and safely build a house. Trucks can't come into flooded areas. Gasoline isn't available for the trucks. Most places that were devastated on a large scale cannot be rebuilt without the massive infrastructure that was originally in place.
Once again you are looking for the perfect result, see some problems on the way that you can't solve right now and give up.

So, people don't have the proper knowledge or tools to build proper and safe houses. Well, someone must have that knowledge, and that someone can act as a mentor. Does the houses have have to be proper and safe? Of course, eventually they have to, but right now they need to be better than the emergency accomodations that they have now. The perfect world can wait to another day.

So, trucks can't enter due to flooding. Overall, flooding seems to be a large problem here, so let's start with that. Get some bulldozers and other land moving equipment and start to make barriers and ditches to dry out the water. Get some shovels and help. It will take some time, so it's better to get started right away.

The infrastructure is missing? Well, lay down some dirt roads (not rocket science as they only need to work for a year or so), rig some temporary power (someone must have the skills for this, and most of the cables are underground and unaffected by the storm), set up a bunch of mobile phone base stations (if that's the only phone alternative, the phone companies will love to oblige), and provide temporary solutions for water (by truck) and sewage (portapottys if need be, although I suspect that once the flooding is drained, it's just a matter of cleaning out the system with a bunch of those trucks made for the purpose which, at this point should probably be avialable).

quote:
The government has the ability to assist in emergency situations when private citizens cannot restore things themselves. However, they chose to NFBSK everything up instead of providing real assistance.
As you say, there is no help in sight. In that situation, you have to trust yourself, rather than clinging to some hope that things will magically change, or clinging to the principle that "I will not do anything because the government should be the ones to fix this, even if they don't.".

quote:
Car battery acid is very weak, it's really only dangerous to flesh.
Strong enough to use for etching copper when making circuit boards or fine metal parts (and I make it without electrolysis, with electrolysis I can etch with s atrong salt solution, although it takes longer (hours) and produce a lot of gunk), and definately stronger than salt water.

Of the other ingredients you mention, only salt is really attacking steel, and not at that speed (remember, ocean going ships are usually (sometimes concrete) made of steel). Bad for humans, perhaps, but not for steel.

quote:
Troberg, you are entirely ignorant of the situation in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
Perhaps, but the situation is far from unique. Big disasters happen all over the world, and people manage to rebuild. Bangladesh takes worse hits than that almost every year, and still manages to hang on with almost no resources at all.

I say that if there is truly nothing at all, not a single thing, that can be done that will make things a tiny bit better, then your argument holds true. If not, do that tiny thing and see how far you can get along that path. A single person does not have to fix it all, he has just to do his part, or if he is not able to do that, do what he can and hopefully someone else can do a bit more than their part.

--------------------
/Troberg

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tootiredtocare
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
[QB]QUOTE]Actually, that's my point. There is only such much you can do, but at least do that.

I discussed this issue yesterday with a military friend, and he said that they are trained to do something, even if it's ineffective, as apathy kills the morale. Doing something gives a sense of power of the situation, boosts morale and provides the mental fuel for performing almost superhuman feats.

[So, people don't have the proper knowledge or tools to build proper and safe houses. Well, someone must have that knowledge, and that someone can act as a mentor. Does the houses have have to be proper and safe? Of course, eventually they have to, but right now they need to be better than the emergency accomodations that they have now. The perfect world can wait to another day.

So, trucks can't enter due to flooding. Overall, flooding seems to be a large problem here, so let's start with that. Get some bulldozers and other land moving equipment and start to make barriers and ditches to dry out the water. Get some shovels and help. It will take some time, so it's better to get started right away.

The infrastructure is missing? Well, lay down some dirt roads (not rocket science as they only need to work for a year or so), rig some temporary power (someone must have the skills for this, and most of the cables are underground and unaffected by the storm), set up a bunch of mobile phone base stations (if that's the only phone alternative, the phone companies will love to oblige), and provide temporary solutions for water (by truck) and sewage (portapottys if need be, although I suspect that once the flooding is drained, it's just a matter of cleaning out the system with a bunch of those trucks made for the purpose which, at this point should probably be avialable).

Ahem do you not realize if those things could have been done they would have been done? As for morale apathy isn't a problem people were rioting and looting due to lack of food, clean water no security present. People were dying in droves, people thought they had been abandoned to die. Rumors were that the federal goverment had blown up the leeves to kill off a lot of the black population in the slum areas. Since that had happened decades ago.

Roads built? Ahem to get into New Orleans you have to go through some of the largest bridges in the world. Learn the geography. You have to pump out the flooded sections and guess what the pumps to do so have to airlifted in or transported in. It took three days to dry out a section of the city with those pumps working. Those pumps btw move hundreds of thousands of gallons every hour if memory serves.

There are different varieties of steel. Ship hulls do rust btw. Wrecked ones can rust in under a year and that steel is made to resist that rusting condition.

Tens of thousands of people could have died if the hurricane had hit dead on. Heck if it was a catergory five hundreds of thousands of people would have died.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I get the point, it's a huge disaster area and people are not competent or equipped to do anything about it.

All the more reason to get off your butts, learn how to do it and MacGyver the equipment needed.

If you are not prepared to accept that challenge, abandon New Orleans and build a new city where it is easier, because you can't have it both ways.

quote:
People were dying in droves
How many died? Compare that with, for instance, the typical floodings of Bangladesh. I'm not saying it's not a tragedy, but get some perspective.

quote:
Ahem do you not realize if those things could have been done they would have been done?
They can be done, it's just apparently more work than people are willing to do.

quote:
You have to pump out the flooded sections and guess what the pumps to do so have to airlifted in or transported in. It took three days to dry out a section of the city with those pumps working.
So airlift the pumps in. USA have more surplus helicopters (mostly military leftovers who have found their way into civilian service) than any other nation, including the formet Soviet union. If that is not workable, put them on boats or amphibian trucks. Three days does not sound much for a section of the city, even if it's a small section. I know people who spent more time than that pumping the water out of the basement after a flood.

quote:
There are different varieties of steel.
I responded to the claim that stainless steel rusted quickly, which I just don't see happening. I know that ship hulls rust, but it's a fairly slow process.

In fact, all steel rust, from the very moment it first cools down after being poured out of the kiln. You don't see it with the naked eye at first, but even on a brand new car the process has already begun. The difference is how fast it will rust and how sensitive it will be to corrosives.

However, the claim made that in a few days, steel had lost its integrity and strength does not ring true to me. For one thing, the layer of rust that forms also gives some protection, especially on steel qualities made to be weather resistant.

--------------------
/Troberg

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abbubmah
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Troberg, the water is pumped out.

As far as rebuilding infrastructure and so forth, that's what's needed! But, that's not the job, nor within the ability, of the general population.

Again - there are NO building materials, very little salvagable materials, and the people who lost their homes (for the most part) aren't licensed carpenters, plumbers, or electricians. Also - THERE IS NO PLACE TO LIVE WHILE REBUILDING. I don't see how you have failed to grasp this, but there is no temporary housing.

What I, and others, are complaining about, is the governments inability to address basic human needs. Yes, many have moved away never to return. However - New Orleans is a major American city. The USG helps other nations with far lesser problems, yet all efforts here are minimal, overpriced, and buried in red tape.

It's not just a matter of people willing or unwilling to do what is necessary... it's impossible for many due to no fault of their own.

--------------------
Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

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glass papaya
Jingle Bell Hock


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Troberg, I am not from New Orleans, but I am a little confused as to your assumptions of how things work here. Maybe things are different in Sweden.

I'll start with the flooding, as it is useless to do anything until that is taken care of. You said,

quote:
Overall, flooding seems to be a large problem here, so let's start with that. Get some bulldozers and other land moving equipment and start to make barriers and ditches to dry out the water. Get some shovels and help. It will take some time, so it's better to get started right away.
The problem here is that the flood control is under the management of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I don't believe ordinary citizens can just drive a bulldozer up to the levees and build them up. Also, it is my understanding that the holes have been repaired, but the levees are not strong enough to withstand a Cat3 or stronger hurricane. Even if the average Joe were allowed to work on them, would he have the skills to make them strong enough?

Power. You said,

quote:
rig some temporary power (someone must have the skills for this, and most of the cables are underground and unaffected by the storm)
I have no idea where the existing cables are, or if they are unaffected. However, if you are going to use the existing cables, remember that the area looks like this:

 -

Block after block, mile after mile. Is it a good idea to turn on the juice to homes that are off their foundations and piles of debris everywhere? Maybe someone with expertise in this issue can elaborate on this.

Cleaning up the debris. As has been pointed out by others, most of it has been classified as hazardous waste. You may be able to get people to help put it in trucks or dumpsters, but there are environmental regulations as to how to properly dispose of it. This is a FEMA issue. Noone knows how to get FEMA to work better. [Frown]

Housing. Remember, St. Bernard Parish is uninhabitable. See the above photo. 95% of the population is gone, gone, gone. Ditto 2/3 of the population of Orleans Parish. As you can see from the damage, there is a lack of places for people to stay, even workers brought in from elsewhere. You don't have many people to do the work. You said,

quote:
Does the houses have have to be proper and safe? Of course, eventually they have to, but right now they need to be better than the emergency accomodations that they have now. The perfect world can wait to another day.
I don't know how it works in Sweden, but in the U.S. you have to get permits and inspections for any structure you put up. Yes, they do have to be proper and safe. And, I would imagine, you would have to remove the debris from the place you want to build on, which is already a problem.

As an aside, hurricane season is upon us again. Would you want to be living in a jerry-built structure in a hurricane-prone area?

World disasters. You said,

quote:
Big disasters happen all over the world, and people manage to rebuild. Bangladesh takes worse hits than that almost every year, and still manages to hang on with almost no resources at all.
I remember the pictures of Bandeh Aceh after the tsunami. They were heartbreaking. However, I think there is a difference. We are not necessarily talking about the same level of infrastructure, environmental regulations, health codes, building regulations, etc. Plus our government's insistence that we don't need help from anyone else.
Posts: 544 | From: Onalaska, WI | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Hambubba, I don't think the government itself is unable to address the needs. I think that most of the relevant government agencies are under the control of a band of incompetents, who are empowered by their superiors to sit on their collective asses and insist that they are doing all they can.

I think at this point, it is criminal neglect.

--------------------
"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Troberg said:
If you are not prepared to accept that challenge, abandon New Orleans and build a new city where it is easier, because you can't have it both ways.

You can "have it both ways" with proper Government assistance, as you originally pointed out would have happened some time ago in any reasonable country including Sweden. And do you think that private individuals can "build a new city" in a modern first-world nation without some kind of government assistance and involvement anyway? At the very least they would need permission.

Seriously, how many of the things in that post do you think that a private citizen with no authority and limited resources could organise? Even if one person or family did manage to sort out and rebuild their own home, then what? They have no neighbours, no shops, no power, no water, no place to buy fuel, no jobs...

Those ideas all sound a long way from your original implication that people should just head back to their damaged homes and move a few planks themselves...

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Also, remember that large sections of New Orleans are below sea level. If you just dug a ditch and relied on gravity, you'd be letting more water into the city, not draining the water out.

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"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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tootiredtocare
Deck the Malls


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Add in that certain sections are built on swamp land that constantly shifts. So draining cannot be done.

Those pumps have to be airlifted with certain helicopters. It's too heavy for most.

Yes the steel did rust, all the building materials that could have been salvaged were ruined. It was hazadours water to be in. People got infected from swimming in that water.

Bandelesh other fifth world countries don't have a lot of modern buildings to be rebuilt. It's frigging mud huts or clay. Not steel no electrical wiring. Nothing really complex. No codes for the most part either.

They often have to drastically rebuild because the structures in the first place were not that strong.

Japan has very little earthquake damage these days due to how the buildings are made. Some of them actually will tilt when an earthquake hits.

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Griffin at the Maul
Joyeux New Sale


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There is a very good chance that NO will never be the same as it was prior to Katrina. Imagine what the city would have been like if it had actually suffered the brunt of the storm. NO was on the "weak" side of the storm, and suffered very little actual hurricane damage. 90% of the damage was from the failing levees and flooding (the city was unable to keep the pumps functioning during the storm and the period immediately after, so succumbed to the floods, and then restored services as possible).

If you think NO is bad, take a trip down the Mississippi coast to Bay St Louis, Gulfport, etc. They will never be the same either. The US and world concentrated on New Orleans, and yes, it was/is tragic what happened there, but that is a very small piece of the area and devastation.

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Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
Overall, flooding seems to be a large problem here, so let's start with that. Get some bulldozers and other land moving equipment and start to make barriers and ditches to dry out the water. Get some shovels and help.

Again, you're so ignorant of the situation that your suggestions are ridiculous.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Goombah
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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First of all, let me say that while Troberg has the right attitude, I do agree he's woefully uninformed about the scale of the problems involved IMHO. Rebuilding homes in the currently affected areas just isn't practical. With that being said, lets dive in.

from Richard W
quote:
You can "have it both ways" with proper Government assistance
This is precisely the kind of thought that infuriates me. The thought of government as ultimate parent and protector of a blameless and helpless citizenry is appaling to me. The residents of New Orleans chose to live in a man-modified, sub sea leavel swamp. If they want to do that then fine, their choice and good on them. Living anywhere though entails making a rational choice about risks and benefits, culture and environment, best and worse case scenarios. These people knew that a major hurricane was inevitable. If not this summer then next summer or next decade, it will happen. At least they should have known. Having faith in the government's ability and functional willingness to make it all better, despite all evidence to the contrary, is hopelessly naive and I'm not even going to pretend to have the slightest bit of sympathy for them.

I live in the middle of tornado alley . A storm could come by any day now and relocate my town halfway to Omaha with far less warning that the people on the gulf coast recieved. I've also planned for this eventuallity. I have money put aside in a 401k and in a wall safe for emergencies, I have rental insurance and I store emergency survival supplies in all of my vehicles and in my home. Some people say that the people of New Orleans are too poor to have this kind of safety net. My counter to this is that poverty is no excuse for ignorance or blind dependence on some governmental father figure. If you have a problem then solve it yourself. Doing nothing but waiting and hoping accomplishes nothing.

OK, your house is flooded, your property is hopelessly contaminated and worthless, the government isn't letting you back onto your land so that you can even try to rebuild and there's no infastructure available to support any rebuilding efforts you could attempt. Your home is gone and it's not coming back. Where do you go from here? Do you spend the rest of your life in a miserable FEMA trailer in a futile hope that somebody will do something? Or, just maybe, do you make the choice to improve your own life?

This is their choice.

(puts on Nomex suit and awaits the inevitable irrational attacks)

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Ok guys, try to remember this time. It's pillage first, then burn.

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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quote:
Originally posted by Goombah:
Some people say that the people of New Orleans are too poor to have this kind of safety net. My counter to this is that poverty is no excuse for ignorance or blind dependence on some governmental father figure.



I would be one of those people. If you are too poor to have a car and too poor to have any spare money, what do you suggest they do? When day to day living is hand-to-mouth, there isn't anything to spare for a rainy day. And how do you move out of an area without a car and without the extra money for security deposit and first month's rent on an apartment?

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Your home is gone and it's not coming back. Where do you go from here? Do you spend the rest of your life in a miserable FEMA trailer in a futile hope that somebody will do something? Or, just maybe, do you make the choice to improve your own life?

This is their choice.

(puts on Nomex suit and awaits the inevitable irrational attacks)

Why would someone arguing your position be attacking you irrationally? Are you so sure that you are totally and completely right that there is no possibility that a counter-point might be rational?

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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abbubmah
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
I think at this point, it is criminal neglect.

Did you check the link I posted earlier about the contract fraud from one of the city's elected officials? I agree wholeheartedly with your post.

--------------------
Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Lots of people have left New Orleans with no intention of going back.

Others, many of whom have family ties to the city that stretch back four centuries, want to stay. Since NOLA is the seaport of choice for those of us in the middle states to receive goods from overseas, it needs to be rebuilt.

Furthermore, it is a great city.

Now, as far as people relying on the government as if it were a parent, Goombah, I think you have made several erroneous assumptions, which I shall attempt to correct.

First off: one of the jobs of governments is to provide for the general welfare of the people. In our society, our governments provide access to utilities and roads and schools and, in some places, health care. When government does not provide these things, particularly utilities, there is little recourse the average person can take. Sure, one can purchase a generator, but that doesn't help with water. Nor is it workable in the long term.

There are things that the government does that are impossible or impractical for individuals to do. Much of this disaster recovery falls under that heading.

And nobody wants your phony pity, so thanks for not even pretending to have any. I appreciate people who are heartless and say so.

--------------------
"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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MaxKaladin
The First USA Noel


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The problem here, Troberg, is that even if you tried to do some of these things you won't be allowed to. There are whole sections of the city that are closed off and nobody is allowed in until they've been decontaminated.

Actually, I think a whole lot of this is the fault of incompetent officials who won't do anything and who won't let anyone else do anything either until they can ensure that all of the contracts are given to their cronies. Louisiana is legendary for corruption. I remember that there was a joke making the rounds last year while people were still getting plucked off their roof tops that went "Don't worry! Even as we speak government officials in Louisiana are working feverishly on a plan to make sure as much of the relief and reconstruction money as possible sticks to their fingers or goes to their cronies!"

The fact that FEMA has been criminally mismanaged doesn't help.

The whole situation is a national disgrace.

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Sue Bee
Happy Holly Days


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For one thing, the areas affected by Katrina are (well, were) some of the poorest in the USA. We're not just talking about NO, but areas of Mississippi and Alabama. Troberg, that is 3 states. Big honking states. And it was not the wind that did most of the damage in New Orleans, it was the water, the storm surge that flowed into that big blue lake (Ponchatrain) that overwhelmed the pumps and the levees. New Orleans and the surrounding areas has/had many petroleum refineries and chemical plants, due to it's proximity to the Mississippi river and the Gulf Of Mexico, and a lot of pollution came from oil storage facilities and warehouses, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of vehicles, boats, underground storage tanks, house hold cleaners, you name it, when the levees failed.

Many of these areas have no infrastructure, no electricity, no water, no sewers, and I don't know if you've ever been in the American south in the summer, but it's hot. And add to it all the garbage that is still in the streets, not just garbage like empty food wrappers, but as in flooded out cars, bits of old houses, boats, untreated sewage, barrels that floated out of who knows where, and it stinks. It is not safe for people to even be there with out proper equipment, much less work there. And where do you propose these people live while they are pulling themselves up by their boot straps? Where do they go to the bath room? Get their water to wash their clothes and bathe in? How about where the hell are they supposed to work to get the money to get these things to MacGuyver their houses back to being livable??? We are not talking about people who had a lot to begin with, these are the poorest of the working poor, and the places that they used to work are gone, the contractors who are working in the area won't hire a lot of them because they have no skills in carpentry, etc..


From your responses, I, and clearly others, get the impression that you have no idea of the scope of what happened here. This is beyond the capabilities of individuals to clean up and patch up. Infrastuctures must be repaired, debris must be cleaned up, and the business of the local parish politics must be set aside, and that is not going to happen with out some heavy leaning from the feds, as well. But that is a whole new paragraph.

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MaxKaladin
The First USA Noel


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The area affected by Katrina is 90,000 square miles according to many websites. The area of Sweden, according to Wikipedia, is 173,732 square miles. That means that Katrina devastated an area about the size of half your entire nation. According to the Census Bureau, there were about 10,000,000 in the areas affected by Katrina. That's a little larger than the entire population of Sweden (about 9,500,000 according to Wikipedia). Of course, "only" 3,200,000 of them were in flooding areas so only about a third of the population of Sweden was in danger of flooding.
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