HAVE WE OVERLOOKED A MAJOR CAUSE OF KATRINA'S DESTRUCTION?
Finger pointing is still going on over Hurricane Katrina as we watch Rita boiling in the Gulf trying to decide where to hit.
If Rita is a major hurricane, there will be damage regardless of where it goes ashore. Power lines will be down, trees will be uprooted and there will be destruction in the path of this storm. No amount of preparation can prevent this.
Unless there are troops sitting at the edge of each major city in the United States, any major disaster, from an earthquake to a terrorist attack, people will have to depend upon their own resources for survival until help does arrive. That is why states and municipalities are given grants to make preparation for disasters in their area.
Everyone has an opinion as to why there was so much damage done by Katrina. Are we forgetting one element that could have been a major factor in this disaster?
From the article Greens vs. Levees Destructive River-Management Philosophy By John Berlau:
"The national Sierra Club was one of several environmental groups who sued the Army Corps of Engineers to stop a 1996 plan to raise and fortify Mississippi River levees. The Army Corps was planning to upgrade 303 miles of levees along the river in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. This was needed, a Corps spokesman told the Baton Rouge, La., newspaper The Advocate, because �a failure could wreak catastrophic consequences on Louisiana and Mississippi which the states would be decades in overcoming, if they overcame them at all.�
A word of wisdom from the extreme environmental group, American Rivers:
�It is also well documented that some levees are counterproductive for purposes of protecting population centers from floods.�
This statement appears to be based on American Rivers personal preference and certainly not on specific studies or facts.
A huge amount of agricultural acreage in the United States, is now, and has been protected by levees for generations. One of those levees in particular protects the land where my parents farmed, as well as my husband�s parents, and now where we farm. Our nephews and their children will someday farm this same land in the not too distant future.
This levee has protected the land for 100 years and only once in that time did it fail to protect those who have trusted the levee with their life's work. In 1993, the St. Louis bottleneck of the Mississippi River caused the tributaries to flow backwards and there was four feet more water than there was levee to hold it and the only prevention of this flood would not have been more wetlands, but levees four feet higher than were there.
Between the levee and the river lies a a wide area of wetlands and timber.
"A single wetland acre, saturated to a depth of one foot, retains 330,000 gallons of water -- enough to flood thirteen average-sized homes thigh deep,� according to American Rivers.
Wetlands do have a place, but they are not the answer for flood protection, as they are very limited in the amount of water they contain. Consider how much area of wetlands it would take to prevent the destruction of Katrina. Wetlands have to have time to absorb the water and Katrina came in as a big wall of water.
After only one time in 100 years our drainage district was flooded, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will no longer permit building on our land, they now call a floodplain, unless buildings are placed high on stilts which is totally impractical. Will FEMA prevent building in areas of the Katrina flooding?
There are reports the original levees in New Orleans were never built to withstand a hurricane the magnitude of Katrina and the environmentalists would not permit upgrading.
Another report of the environmentalist�s role in the flooding is from Liberty Matters.
Environmentalist�s Lawsuits Led to Flooding:
Much of the blame for the horrendous floods that covered New Orleans in Katrina's wake can be laid directly at the feet of radical environmental groups.
In the late 1970s, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed building fortifications at two strategic locations that would have withstood the fury of a Category 5 hurricane. A May 28, 2005, (three months before Katrina) article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune said, "Under the original plan, floodgate-type structures would have been built at the Rigolets and Chef Menteur passes to block storm surges from moving from the Gulf into Lake Ponchartrain." "Those plans," reported the Times, "were abandoned after environmental advocates successfully sued to stop the projects as too damaging to the wetlands and the lake's eco-system."
In 1977, a state environmental group, Save Our Wetlands (SOWL) sued to halt the project, claiming it would have a negative impact on Lake Pontchartrain. In December of that year, U. S. District Judge Charles Schwartz Jr. issued an injunction ordering the Corps to submit another environmental impact statement. "It is the opinion of the Court," Judge Schwartz wrote, 'that plaintiffs herein have demonstrated that they, and in fact all persons in this area, will be irreparably harmed if the barrier project, based upon the August 1974 Federal Environmental Impact Statement, is allowed to continue." Today, New Orleans stands in mute testament to the environmental madness that has gripped this nation for so long.
For years environmentalists have prevented upgrading the lock and dam system along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Enough money has been spent on repetitive studies to have had the project well underway long ago with very little consequence to the environment.
In order to let the lock and dam upgrading go through, environmentalists have demanded almost twice as much funding for their programs as the cost to upgrade the locks and dams.
Environmentalists have prevented new oil refineries from being built as they have prospered from the lawsuits they have filed in our liberal courts. They have prevented power plants from being built and many of our factories could not come into compliance with their strict standards, so they left the country.
They have blocked drilling for oil and their lawsuits have tied up project after project. We need regulations and controls against pollution, but it should be regulated through our government system and not through non-profit organizations who are not accountable to the public.
you wonder how you will afford your next tank of gasoline, or pay
your winter heating bill, thank an environmentalist. As your grocery
bill rises along with anything you purchase that requires transportation
costs and you wonder where your blue collar job opportunities have
gone, thank an environmentalist.
� 2004 Joyce Morrison
- All Rights Reserved
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Joyce Morrison is a weekly columnist and news reporter for the Illinoisleader.com, an online conservative news source. She also writes for SOWER magazine, NewsWithViews.com, as well as various other publications. She is a weekly participant on the teleconference of the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think tank and is a pro-life, pro-family activist.
Morrison attempts to educate the public regarding the dangers coming to their local communities through Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 programs which are designed to gradually take control of all private property through undue regulations.
She is a chapter leader for Concerned Women for America as well as Secretary to the Board of Directors of Rural Restoration/ADOPT Mission, a national farm ministry located in Sikeston, MO. FarmersRuralRestoration.com. Her most enjoyable time is spent teaching a senior adult Sunday School class which is a focus on hope and encouragement.
"The national Sierra Club was one of several environmental groups who sued the Army Corps of Engineers to stop a 1996 plan to raise and fortify Mississippi River levees....