Thoughts About New Orleans
The parts of New Orleans that flooded during Katrina, was built on drained swamps that required a levee to keep the waters of Lake Pontchartrain from filling back in. The Old part of the city was built on the natural levee that was built up over the centuries by the Mississippi River.
The flooding like that of Katrina had happened before, for example, the Crescent City had similar flooding after Hurricane Betsy in 1965. The big difference then was the city then still had a viable middle class, which was mostly independent self reliant. That middle class mostly disappeared long ago and has been replaced by people who have been dependent on the welfare state.
New Orleans was a great tragedy and the loss of human life was horrible and terrible and this kind of tragedy should never happen again in that city. For New Orleans to survive as a major American city this sort of catastrophy must be made a near impossibility. She will need to have levees and locks that are state of the art and on par with what is found in a place like Holland. If that is not done than the city should shrink to the higher ground in the older parts of the city which are nearer the River.
For much of my childhood and early teens I lived 20 miles up river of the city and we too lived between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain on high ground near the River. After about a mile from the river the high ground disappeared and the back swamp began and the swamp continued all the way to the lake, jast as was once found in Orleans Parish.
New Orleans needs two things to once again be a great city. It needs good levees and locks and just as importantly it needs a population that is more middle class and self reliant.