Parts of New Orleans are below sea level and surrounded by bodies of water. Built on a natural levee next to the Mississippi river, the city has experienced cyclical flooding since its founding in 1718. Throughout the centuries, human intervention has reconstructed the landscape in a number of ways which has made New Orleans more vulnerable to storms and flooding: destruction of sand bars; deforestation along the riverbank; construction of ditches and levees; drainage of swamps; and the construction that accompanies urbanization and industrialization. Such ecological alterations have contributed to New Orleans rate of subsidence which is three feet every one hundred years. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans. The category four inland stormed cause segments of the levee system to collapse, allowing water to flood thousands of homes. The storm displaced over 1.5 million people; the National Hurricane Center estimated the value of infrastructural damage at $75 billion; and more than 3,200 people were still unaccounted for by January 2006. The recommendation re-zone the lowest lying land in New Orleans as unfit for urban development, and work with environmental scientists and ecologists to restore the wetlands, according to the Coast 2050 Plan.
This case focuses on the long and short-term factors that contributed to making Hurricane Katrina a humanitarian emergency in the City of New Orleans. The case historically traces factors and patterns of unsustainable development that pushed more people in harm 's way of Hurricane Katrina. It presents the constant struggle faced by the city agencies in keeping the city dry and how all their effo...
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...isaster management plans and specific mitigation measures can be identified. Efforts would then be undertaken to implement the selected mitigation measures. For flooding events, there is a need to calculate the probability or likelihood that an extreme event will occur and to establish and estimate the social, economic and environmental implications should the event occur under existing conditions. Maps of the flood-prone areas should be prepared and detailed impacts outlined. A participatory process should be invoked, leading to the development of an acceptable level of risk. Measures can be evaluated and implemented to meet this level. This overall process assists the community in better understanding the various actions that can increase or decrease risk exposure, and can lead to greater community participation in the developed solutions to the flooding problem.
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