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In the matter of sorting things out after Hurricane Katrina

How about hiring a Dutch Engineering firm experienced in storm surges and floods and dikes and multiple rivers exiting from their territory into the North Sea? This was a question asked of me, not surprisingly, by a Dutch native who moved to Canada as a 10 year old in 1954.

They have 3 rivers which exit into the North See, the Meuse/Maas, the Schelde, and the Rhein/Rijn, and have to manage both coastal waters to maintain fishing and the shellfisheries while keeping the North Sea its storms and its surges under control.

They are also very adept at creating dikes and channels which neither are undermined nor over-topped by the results of both off coastal, and inland storms. Since I was born in 1946 I have a group of National Geographics as gifts from that year that discuss Holland's problems when the Germans flooded their land with sea water. They're still the most densely populated country in Europe, and they have a very successful economy, despite the cost of their sea defenses. Surely, something on the Dutch model makes sense for Louiiana and the Mississippi, and I wouldn't expect it to be any larger or more complex than the Dutch model.

The Dutch I am informed have created not a break water, but an undersea artificial reef made out of concrete tetrahedra which breaks up the storm surge about 1/2 a mile off shore the way the old islands and bayous used to. Average fishing ships just run right over it because it is 8 feet below the water, Regular heavy shipping from Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rotterdam is funnelled out through apertures which can be blocked very quickly rather the way the Thames barrier functions to prevent storm surges in the Thames.

Just a thought, what do you think??


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Watched a documentary on the engineering

In reply to: In the matter of sorting things out after Hurricane Katrina

Impressive and effective.

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I have read

In reply to: In the matter of sorting things out after Hurricane Katrina

.... in the past about the achievements of the Dutch engineers, which are admirable and fascinating. I have no dot whatsoever that they would make a very valuable contribution to our Louisiana lowlands problems.

A step has been taken, as I undersigned it, to restore the wetlands, which will help tremendously to absorb the impact of the storms.

Pressuring the wetlands is crucial for all the vulnerable coastal areas of the US. Some have done an excellent job of tis.

The hard part now, as in the past, is funding for the levees.

Has Italy, I wonder, sought help from the Dutch for the sinking of Venice?

Speakeasy Moderator

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Italy is working on the problem in their own disorganized

In reply to: I have read

way. There has been a barrier under construction for some years. But as you note most importantly, Venice is actually sinking, and the way they handle their sewage is to dump it in the canals and let the tides deal with it. Therefore they need a system that both lowers the normal water level by about 8 feet, and that cycles dirty water out into the Adriatic. This is a very complex problem that effectively requires 2 solutions, one for the sewage, and one for the water level. The level of corruption in the various levels of government, and in the construction industry is just an added negative.
Having visited Venice, and loving it as I do, I pray that they do fix the problem, but having visited and travelled in Holland as I have as well, I want to put Northern Europeans in charge of everything. Little corruption and jaw dropping engineering and the willingness to take on the seemingly impossible and accomplish it.


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