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Over the course of the past week or so there have been warnings about flooding in Louisiana, and specifically in New Orleans each time I have had time to turn on the news for a few minutes. I first noticed that there was something afoot when we got an alert from FreightWaves SONAR’s critical events. As I have kept one eye on the news coverage of Hurricane Barry, I can’t help being reminded about Hurricane Katrina and the destruction she wrought on New Orleans in particular, and the state of Louisiana in general.
That got me wondering about the position that the State of Louisiana, and the City of New Orleans occupy in the United States’ supply chain logistics and freight landscape. It also got me wondering if these cycles of destruction and rebuilding are inevitable.
From FreightWaves SONAR Critical Events section.
I didn’t know about Louisiana – the supply chain logistics and freight edition
As you can see, Louisiana occupies an important position in the United States’ supply chain and freight landscape. Farmers in the Midwest rely on ports in Louisiana to export their grain to the rest of the world. Conditions would deteriorate quickly if Louisiana were cut off from energy supply chains to the rest of the United States for an extended period. I am certain there are other equally important issues I am failing to capture, but you get the idea.
The next question that then arises is the one I raised earlier – are these cycles of destruction and rebuilding along Louisiana’s major ports due to hurricanes like Katrina and Barry inevitable? The damage to supply chain and freight infrastructure makes this an important question to answer. However, the cost in anguish and suffering that people experience each time there’s a hurricane makes this even more urgent.
we learn from the Dutch?
As a secondary school student studying geography for the West African Examinations Council General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level Exams, I remember studying about how much of the Netherlands lies below sea level (roughly 50 percent) and how the Dutch were developing techniques to prevent flooding. Much of the country is only a few feet higher in elevation. After a long history of devastating floods, the Dutch have become expert at figuring out how to co-exist with the reality of periodic and regular episodes of flooding.
In a June 30, 2017 interview with Living on Earth,
Chris Zevenbergen, Professor of Flood Resilience of Urban Systems at IHE Delft
Institute for Water Education in Delft, the Netherlands, says that urban areas
should prepare for three types of flood risks:
He goes on to point out that Dutch engineers have come to accept that they cannot control nature. Instead, they have adopted a containment approach that facilitates socioeconomic development while accounting for the uncertainties that accompany a changing climate. They assume that flood prevention measures will fail, and they’ve designed and engineered containment measures with that scenario in mind.
However, the statement in the interview that really caught my attention is this one: According to Professor Zevenbergen; “The World Bank has estimated that investing $1 in flood protection will save $7 to $10 in flood damage.”
So, we are back where we started: Are these cycles of destruction and rebuilding along Louisiana’s coastline due to hurricanes like Katrina and Barry inevitable?
This article first appeared on s29755.pcdn.co
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