Thursday, April 13, 2006

Is Katrina-hit New Orleans ready for hurricane season?

Today lots of blame was ladled out for the response to Hurricane Katrina and the preparation for a disaster that everyone knew was coming.

Lack of preparation in New Orleans was largely about poverty and race, but not entirely. There is a general lax attitude when it comes to environmental problems as compared to something sexier like terrorism.

In Sacramento where I'm at they have the country's most questionable dam holding back flood waters from the capital of the country's most economically-important state. Even the surrounding backwater delta area is extremely important as it supplies water to the more populous southern California region.

Not sure what can be done about the New Orleans levees in so short amount of time. Fixing the levees and dam here in Sacramento creeps along at a snail's pace despite serious floods that have occured over the last few decades.

One recommendation for the hard-hit Gulf region is to build new houses on piles at least three feet above the ground.

Given the last two hurricane seasons, everyone is looking to see if the trend will continue. Some meterologists are predicting a busy season and at least one very prominent weather expert thinks 2006 can be worse than last year if damaged areas suffer a direct hit:

Hurricane Expert: 'The 2006 Season CAN Be Worse than 2005'

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