Rebuilding in New Orleans


Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2006
With all the current talk about crime and a possible curfew in New Orleans this past week, I got to wondering. Do you know of any former residents that have resettled in your city, and have no plans on going back, owing to the astronomical costs of rebuilding in some of the less affluent areas of the city? I personally know half a dozent that are making their home in my city now, simply because insurance won't cover the newer specs they would have to meet to rebuild.
We have someone in our area that moved here because of the damage done to their home when the hurricane hit. They have decided to stay here because they just don't feel the the levies are going to be rebuilt to where this will not happen again. I would have to agree with them on this one.
I met and talked to a few people who go to/teach at Tulane over the summer. People generally either stay there to rebuild, or have already left. There seems to be barely any in-between; most of the people who are there now intend to rebuild, and many who have left have no intention of coming back anytime soon.
That is my impression too - people either very much want to be there and rebuild their lives as part of that city or they have decided to build new lives elsewhere - not really any in between.

I wonder what any of us would do in similar circumstances. Are our heritages so tied to our geographical location that we would want to return and rebuild after a disaster, or would we choose to start fresh in a new place? I honestly don't know what I would do.
I don't know if it would be that big a deal to me, since I've moved around alot. However, if the only place I'd ever known was devastated by a disaster, things might be different.

I do have to admit, though. I really don't expect the levies ever to be built up to the point this type of thing won't happen again. Personally, I feel like the money that was given to LA was used for other purposes and NOT for building up the levies. I think it would have been avoided had they used the money for it's intended purpose years ago. :shrug:
I'm not sure if the funds were granted and then redirected or if they were never granted in the first place. I have heard a fair amount of talk that several studies had indicated the levees needed to be strengthened as far back as the Seventies, but nothing ever happened to bring them up to the standards promoted by the studies.

Setting aside the desire to return to New Orleans, I am not sure I could ever feel safe there again. I wonder how much of that feeling those who have returned deal with on a daily basis?
That's a good question. I'm sure that question has crossed the minds of many people not returning, and helped them decide to settle elsewhere. It is probably particularly relevant to families who were relocated; surely they wouldn't want to go through that again. Also, I just read that many of the coastal areas are not rebuilding at all.
There is something of a "darwin awards" effect here. Its not very bright to live below sea level where hurricanes routinely visit. That people are choosing not to do that a second time can only be considered good in my book. They shouldn't have been there in the first place.

I have all the sympathy in the world for people who's lives were ruined by the storm, but I am completely against spending inordinate amounts of taxpayer money so people can have the luxury of doing something fundamentally stupid with their choice of residence ...again.
I have all the sympathy in the world for people who's lives were ruined by the storm, but I am completely against spending inordinate amounts of taxpayer money so people can have the luxury of doing something fundamentally stupid with their choice of residence ...again.

Here, here! I couldn't have said it better! This is exactly how I feel. I feel bad for the people, but they don't HAVE to rebuild in the same location. And to do so, IMO, is just asking for the same thing to happen again.
I have to say that I belive the money would be much better spent on any other number of social justice programs around the country, rather than putting it into protecting an area where disaster and loss of life is a pretty sure bet. Of course, it goes back to the heritage thing again. Since I have never lived in New Orleans, and have absolutely no emotional bond to the city, I have no point of reference as to why I would re-settle there.
I can honestly say if I had lived through what they have lived through I would definently be thinking twice about rebuilding in the same place. I take that back I have two young sons so I would have to say that I would not be going back just for their safety alone.
That makes sense to me. I suppose it might be one thing if it were only my hide I had to think about. But I do think that if children or other loved ones also factor into the equation, their safety would have to come ahead of any desire to preserve a heritage by returning to a place where they could be in danger.
I so agree tater. As parents, our family's safety has to be the utmost important thing to think about. For that reason, I wouldn't choose to live close to a volcano or along a known fault line. Even though they may not erupt or shift for quite a long time, why take a chance when there are safer places to live?
You know, my own home town just keeps looking better and better to me. No earthquakes, no chances of flooding, hurricanes have normally downgraded to tropical storms by the time they get to my neck of the woods, and tornados are usually few and far between. Yep, I think I will stay put.