Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

In Texas and Louisiana the question is raised – should communities move from flood prone areas?

This is a long article , but very good, and well worth reading in its entirety

 

‘It’s Not Going To Be All Right’  In flood-prone coastal Louisiana, towns have started to ask a question Texans may face soon: When should we all just leave?  Politico By ANNIE SNIDER, September 01, 2017 HOUMA, La. — If Houston gets serious about preventing massive damage the next time it floods, it may need to learn a lesson from its neighbors in this oil and gas town, just 15 miles up the road from Louisiana’s historic bayou communities.

This town’s residents—roughnecks, shrimpers, shipbuilders and small-business owners—aren’t typically the joining type. And yet dozens have recently begun showing up for an unusual discussion group underwritten by the state and federal government, and dedicated to a question very difficult to grapple with: What happens when the next hurricane hits, sending bayous rising and inundating the most flood-prone homes, and people start moving here?

Permanently relocating people is the third rail of disaster planning, the aspect no one—especially politicians—wants to talk about. Local zoning and development decisions have encouraged millions of people to move into floodplains, and federal insurance policies and disaster aid have bailed them out time and again. But as these storms become increasingly costly, and climate change promises to make them more so, it becomes harder to avoid the bigger topic: There are places where people simply shouldn’t live anymore.

Relocation is politically toxic; handled centrally, it is disruptive and interventionist, the kind of move that foments revolutions. But as the state of Louisiana mounts a massive battle against the rising tide, planning and funding ambitious efforts to restore buffering wetlands and build levees and floodgates, it is also beginning to acknowledge to residents that even their best efforts will not be enough—and is asking them to think about what comes next.

With the help of $92.6 million in federal grant money, Louisiana’s Office of Community Development has launched a first-of-its-kind effort to help communities across the state prepare for the tumult to come. Rising waters and escalating flood insurance rates will drive thousands of families farther inland, the state predicts, leaving behind homes they’ve known for generations and places that have fundamentally shaped their identities. But those refugees aren’t the only ones who will experience change. Communities like Houma will experience their own jarring transition as they receive an influx of waterlogged neighbors. Houma sits high enough that it’s less likely to drown in a hurricane, and thanks to its industrial base, could more easily win additional levees and flood protection.

Top: The old Boudreaux Canal School, which has closed since the population of Chauvin has steadily dropped. Bottom: The cemetery at St Joseph Catholic Church, north of Chauvin along Bayou Petit Caillou. | William Widmer for Politico Magazine

“This is the first time that I can remember that a group came in and said it’s not going to be all right,” said Jonathan Foret………

The goal of the new planning effort, dubbed Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments, or LA Safe, is to head off the worst-case scenario in which people move out of flood-prone areas only once they’ve lost everything, and arrive en masse in communities that aren’t ready to absorb them. It’s a scenario with precedent: After Hurricane Katrina, entire neighborhoods from south and east of New Orleans relocated to the affluent bedroom communities of Covington and Mandeville, north of Lake Pontchartrain, straining schools, clogging roads and leading to resentment among some longtime residents. As far away as Houston, residents complained about “Katrina refugees” sapping local resources…….. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/01/harvey-texas-louisiana-floods-relocation-215565?lo=ap_a1

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September 2, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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