Monday, September 05, 2005

On Cutbacks For New Orleans Flood Control:

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On Cutbacks For New Orleans Flood Control:


Alfred Naomi, had warned for years of the need to shore up the levees, but the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress kept cutting back on the funding.

The most recent cutback was a $71.2 million reduction for the New Orleans district in fiscal year 2006. “I’ve never seen this level of reduction,” Naomi told the New Orleans CityBusiness paper on June 6. His district had “identified $35 million in projects to build and improve levees, floodwalls, and pumping stations,” the paper said. But with the cuts, “Naomi said it’s enough to pay salaries but little else.”

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu blamed the Bush Administration for not making the funding a priority. “It’s extremely shortsighted,” she told the paper. “These projects are literally life-and-death projects to the people of south Louisiana and they are (of) vital economic interest to the entire nation.”

After Katrina hit, The New York Times interviewed Naomi. “A breach under these conditions was ultimately not surprising,” said Naomi, who had drawn up plans for protecting New Orleans from a Category 5 storm. “It would take $2.5 billion to build a Category 5 protection system, and [now] we’re talking about tens of billions in losses, all that lost productivity, and so many lost lives and injuries and personal trauma you’ll never get over.”

Good data on the correlation between Hurricanes and  water temperatures. Higher water temperature increases the intensity of  storms.




GELLERMAN: Well, how close is the correlation between the surface sea temperature and hurricanes?

EMANUEL: Well, this particular measure of energy consumption is very closely tied to sea surface temperature.

GELLERMAN: So, the higher the temperature of the sea surface, the more intense and the greater the duration of hurricanes?

EMANUEL: That's right. And we predicted that you should see about a ten percent increase in wind speed for every two degree sea change. That theoretical prediction has been backed up since then by lots of modeling that has been done elsewhere by other groups.

GELLERMAN: So what you expected to see was a nine percent increase and you're actually getting 80 percent?

EMANUEL: Yeah, 70 to 80 percent. So the prediction was way off.



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