Monday, September 01, 2008

Water in the Industrial Canal

This video is taken at the Claiborne Avenue bridge, looking north. (The bridge you see that's down is the Florida Avenue bridge).

We don't have a gate to protect the canal as they do at London Ave, 17th Street, Harvey, etc. When their gates go down, there's less area to relieve water pressure in the Industrial Canal. Also, as I have said before, the fact that the useless debacle that is the MR-GO has yet to be closed (even after congressional approval, and THREE YEARS after its surge took the lives of hundreds of New Orleans residents) makes residents currently living near the Industrial Canal (unforgivably) vulnerable to excessive flooding.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but one does have to wonder: if the residents of the Lower and Upper Ninth wards (north of St. Claude) were not lower-middle class black Americans, but were instead wealthy white Uptowners, would the sense of urgency be greater? Would the work move more quickly?

If you examine the areas of concentrated recovery efforts so far, post-K (and I should find a graphic to support this, as I'm sure there is one), you'll find that the Corps' recovery efforts have been focused not on the most vulnerable areas first, but on the areas where the wealth is. (God Bless America.)

Just so you know, I live where the wealth is. Mine's not a wealthy neighborhood (far from it... the construction of the Industrial Canal effectively guaranteed that by cutting Holy Cross off), but as with all areas in New Orleans, the concentration of wealth is greater the closer you get to the river. Simon and I live on high ground, next to a secure earthen levee. My house did not flood in either Betsy or Camille--storms that led to deaths in the "back-of-town" side of the Lower Ninth Ward. So we knew to expect some flooding from Gustav...

It really is better that I stay away from the TV. The national guys don't seem to know the difference between the east and west sides of the canal. Our local boys, thank goodness, do. This local info (from makes me feel a little better:

"Waves are crashing over the Industrial Canal walls in the direction of the Ninth Ward. The walls are holding solid at this time and the water going over the walls is not flooding homes. An Army Corps spokesperson said they expect the walls to hold."

My mom has returned from the store with beer. Simon is tearing apart the truck, looking for our toiletries. I'm going to have a beer and shower, in whatever order is convenient to more news and information-prowling...

1 comment:

Nuno Rebelo said...

Hi Sarah! I also saw the report on BBC, and like others, have been semi-glued to the tv and internet, mainly in the weather channels to see the evolution of Gustav.All the best to you, yours and all the New Orleanian, the ones who left, the ones who stayed, but mainly to all that loves the city and, after all, want to live there, no mather what...Hope to visit it, someday! Greetings from Lisbon, Portugal