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Re: Available for engineering help - Katrina

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Its good to hear that your community has stepped up to the plate, and disappointing that high on the "needs" lists includes seemingly superfluous items. My wife's company is figuring out how to offer their empty apartments at reduced/subsidized rates to the victims all along the gulf coast, and working with the government to minimize cost to the displaced. We're feeling the pull of "refugees" all the way up here in Virginia. In times like these, it is as disappointing to hear the political sniping as is it to see the looting in NO.

Although I've been to NO once, I found very little to recommend it that cannot be resurrected elsewhere, above sea level. The architectural history is sad to consider losing, but it seems that we've been living on borrowed time there for a while now. I'm not familiar with the details of the flooded areas to the national picture (ports, waterways), but if the facilities can be operational without New Orleans, I would rather save the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars and let Lake Pontchitrain be just a little bit bigger from now on. To me, it just looks like one more bad way to spend money. For what its worth, I would say the same if it were DC, where I grew up, if it were in the same condition.
Caldwell, Stan wrote:

The need for rebuilding single family homes in NOLA might be much less
than one might think.  To date, at least 250,000 refugees from NOLA have
found their way into Texas.  So far, we have received about 25,000 in
Dallas.  Houston has received more than twice that number.  Many, if not
most, are saying that they intend to start new lives in Texas and never
return to NOLA.  The children are attending Texas public schools today,
and their parents are seeking jobs and permanent housing.  Going back
home in a year or two just isn't very appealing, especially if home was
a low-income federally-subsidized housing project in a neighborhood that
will always be subject to future flooding.  Also, the economy of NOLA
was driven almost entirely by tourism.  After a full week of graphic
images and shocking stories of rampant crime, tourism there is probably
dead for at least a generation regardless of how much money is invested
in reconstruction.  Even the football team, the New Orleans Saints, has
announced its intention to permanently move to the San Antonio
Alamodome.
My suburb north of Dallas has accepted 130 refugees so far, and my
church is housing 60 of them.  Wanting to help, my wife went to the
church website to see what was needed most.  We were thinking that we
might go to Sam's and buy cases of soap, toothpaste, towels, etc.  Then
she found the online "most wanted" list and was astonished.  Item #5 was
"black durags", right behind #4, "bandanas".  The only local resident I
know of that wears durags is Deion Sanders, and I have no idea where he
buys them.

Stan
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