Katrina reminded us a few years ago about the wisdom (or lack thereof) of trying to live below sea-level. Already, the lesson seems forgotten, if it was ever learned in the first place. Just because we don't like the laws of gravity and hydraulics doesn't mean that we can ignore them without penalty. The guru sent me a couple maps a while back showing that the flooded areas in New York from Hurricane Sandy were all filled ground. I would have included those maps in this post, but they wouldn't download.
High ground that previously existed on the island had been demolished to provide fill for the low ground. Whether that "new land" sunk over the years, or if they simply stopped filling too soon, thinking that it was "good enough," may never be told, but obviously, they needed more fill. Even the former high ground would probably be vulnerable to a tidal-wave (tsunami, if you prefer the word of the moment), since it had been destroyed for “progress.” Also, they built an underground rail system on low ground, and had a hundred years to think about putting a method in place to seal the entrances and exits, but never did. I guess that’s what we get for letting the “experts” and politicians run things.
Another thing that amazes me is that not only are people allowed to rebuild where water has swept their home away, they are actually ENCOURAGED to do so by government-subsidized flood insurance that you and I are paying for. As a result, not only are poor folks with a plot of low ground rebuilding in the same flood plain, but rich folks are building vacation homes at the very edge of the ocean, and then rebuilding WITH OUR MONEY when the first one washes away. (And the second,…and the third,…and…)
The bottom line is that I don’t believe in government subsidized insurance. I can’t afford simple home-owners for my home, so I’m living without it. No-one is going to help me if my house burns down or is blown away by some freak hill-country tornado (we’ve had a few nearby). Why should my tax dollars go to rebuild a rich guy’s vacation home when I can’t even afford to insure my primary (and only) residence?
If we ARE going to have subsidized flood insurance, I think it should only be good for one rebuild ABOVE any normal flood plain. The original tract of land should be included in the settlement (at a fair price), and then go to the natural resources department of that state. It’s time that we let floodplains return to nature anyway; they might even provide buffer-zones against some of our stream pollution problems. To do otherwise continues to invite loss of property and loss of life. © 2013