Council Chairman John Young said the sense of urgency is growing as the height
of hurricane season approaches and the capacity in the 17th Street Canal remains
"We agree that I-10 needs to be open as an evacuation route, and we're not asking to do anything unless and until the evacuation is complete. It is not going to become an issue until the middle of an event when I-10 is closed anyway," Young said. "It seems to me there is no perfect solution and we ought to err on saving homes from being flooded.
"If homes get flooded again, a lot of people are not coming back. A lot of people tell me they do not have another flood in them," Young said.
His seemingly caring words contain several sneaky assumptions:
1. "until the evacuation is complete": During the Katrina/levee break crisis, when exactly was that evacuation complete? Guess what? IT WAS NEVER COMPLETE. In America, in a major metropolitan area, I doubt that an evacuation will ever be complete. Thousands of people will always stay behind, and because we're not a police state, I don't think the government will force them out at gunpoint. This means that Councilman Young's plan will knowingly strand people in Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines parishes. I'm sure he'd say they could take the Crescent City Connecion or Huey Long to escape. Well, last time our fellow citizens tried that, they were met with gun-waving Gretna police.
2. "A lot of people tell me they do not have another flood in them." I can definitely understand that. However, is the solution to flood purposely a major evacuation route and the interstate highway system? I've got a solution for people who don't have another flood in them: RAISE YOUR HOUSE! Why is it that because fate decreed that the 17th street Canal would break on the Orleans side, only the Orleans people have to raise their houses? Meanwhile, on the Jefferson side, where many people didn't flood or only flooded because the pump operators ran away, I don't hear talk about raising houses. When are Metairie and Kenner going to face the fact that they are victims of horrible (Read: greedy) development planners (Read: nonplanners) from the 1950s and 1960s, who built California-style slab housing in a former wetlands? I'm not angry at Jeffersonians for that. However, fate, nature, and the ACOE's failure have FORCED Orleanians to confront reality (and many Orleanian houses were built raised to begin with). By sheer luck, Jefferson avoided fate, and their leadership is using that luck to argue that Orleanians' escape route should be cut off.