I originally posted this on my journal via phone while my power was still out. I am re-posting this here.
I am simply beside myself and pissed about those who died in the flooding of Braithwaite. I cried for them. They didn’t need to die and it was for lack of a better term government fuckery that killed them. The people of Plaquemines parish (county for the nonlouisianians in the audience) have been fighting with congress and the army corps of engineers for YEARS to get their “back levees” included in the federal leeve system and at every turn they’ve been denied.
I’ve had pearl clutchers on my facebook once again say “those poor people why on earth would they build there with the gulf of mexico in their backyards?!” to which I say 1) fuck you people died and/or lost everything so show some damn respect 2) the gulf wasn’t always there.
See hurricanes used to not be a big deal. Hell my family had never evacuated until the big storm before Katrina, Ivan I think. And the only reason we evacuated then is cause we happened to be in on the secret of what sad shape the levees were in because the ACoE hires out of state contractors who couldn’t give two fucks about doing the job right. They only care about making as much money as possible. See newspaper stuffed mrgo levees if you dont believe me.
We should have been fine thanks to the swamps. See cypress swamps are perfect for sucking the life out of hurricanes. And LA used to have almost a force field like abundence of them. Not anymore. Most maps of louisiana are a lie. Google earth it, Most of the coast where there is supposed to be land there isnt. A good number of our swamps have died and turned into open water and hurricanes love open water.
So why’d this happen?
Well for starters the containment levees that the Army Corps of Engineers uses are bad for the swamps. They need the silt, nutrients and flow from the mississippi to survive. People in the lower lying parishes have been pushing for ring levees around their communities connected by a raised hwy like they have across the bonne carre spillway and manchac swamp. They want to let the river flow and feed the swamp. The ACoE doesn’t like to admit their mistakes and it wasnt til just recently that they finally said whoopsfuck the river containment levees are killing the swamps. So they’re still stuck on containment and control of the river when they should be moving on to a symbiotic relationship with the river.
The goddamned oil and gas industry. So we have malnourised swamps already right? So what do they do? In their neverending quest to take as much mineral wealth from louisiana in the quickest, easiest, dirtiest, dangerous and cheapest way, they cut “navigation canals” through the swamp. This then lets salt water come up from the gulf straight into the heart of the swamp. If the river still was feeding the swamps the flow might help stem the tide but it’s not. Then to add insult to injury the companies regularly have the canals dredged since swamp earth is soft and fills the canals back in so that further destroys the swamp by the removal of earth that it took the river hundreds of years to build. THEN as if all thats not enough the BP oil spill came along and put more nails in the coffin. The oil spill wasn’t just a sad accident… it was gross negligence. BP knew the sea floor was unstable there which is why they stopped drilling well ‘A’. They purposefully turned off and ignored warnings and failed to perform standard tests. But thats just the modus operandi of the oil and gas industry. They don’t care who and what they hurt as long as they get the goods. (By the way we still have oil washing up desipte what BP says.)
Well at least their deaths wont be meaningless. It took people dying in the 1927 flood to get better river levees; people dying around the Orleans and 17 street canals in katrina to get the surge gates they’d been begging for, and all my peeps in New Orleans east , Chalmette and the rest of St Bernard parish dying to get MRGO finally closed so maybe just maybe their deaths will fuel the fire under congress and the ACoE to get plaquemines their ring levees. We can only hope.