Ok so I've been watching the various anniversary documentaries and such about Hurricane Katrina. The one thing that hits me is that even a year later with 20/20 hind sight the tough decisions are not being made in the recovery.
Why are we (taxpayers) paying billions of dollars rebuilding levees and pumps for the lowest parts of New Orleans? Why not relocate those neighborhoods to higher ground? In '93 when the Mississippi flooded the government bought out many people and forced them to move to higher ground instead of letting them rebuild so that the next flood would wipe them out again. In at least one case an entire town was relocated. To me this is just common sense.
To make matters worse, the scientists are saying that the flooding and surge was worse because of the levee system. Because of the levees the natural processes that built the land on which New Orleans and much of southern Louisiana are built on are no longer allowed to work. As a result much of the natural protections against hurricanes including the wetlands and barrier islands are no longer being built and are being lost at a great rate.
I know what I'm saying is not politically correct because the lowest neighborhoods are the poorest and the most racially segregated, but it needs to be done. Turn those areas into parkland and let the river flood the area. Overtime they will naturally be built back up to sea level.
My other observation revolves around the people that are decrying the amount of time that it took for the Federal government to come in and provide relief. I think more so the responsibility was on the local and state officials. Why were hundreds of busses not used to evacuate poor and immobile people to safety instead of having them sit unused until they were flooded out? Why were the shelters like the Superdome not stocked with supplies and emergency generators capable of running life safety systems (include air conditioning)? What happened to personal responsibility?