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Posts tagged "louisiana"

Leaders failed (and continue to fail) to address well known and documented hurricane and flood risks to New Orleans.

Pretty cool engineering project in New Orleans. The journalist explains how adding sod to the top of levees will increase the capacity of the berms to retain water. (though, I though levees were generally covered in grass, so it’s a bit confusing.) Anyway, this is a good and simple example of an adaptation.

Waste of time. Via The Hill

Looks like a fun lawsuit to watch.

CNN reports Alabama is abusing BP oil spill money. Above, a state rep defends plans to spend beach restoration funds on building a new convention center and tourist attractions on the beach, above. 

Alabama is spending just 8.5% on restoring beaches and marine ecosystems. Louisiana, for comparison, is spending 100% of the BP penalties on wetland, wildlife, marshes, and other coastal restoration. Florida is spending 90% on restoration.

Solid reporting @CNN’s OutFront

The fish could be causing major problems for Louisiana’s coastal fisheries in eight to 10 years if nothing is done.

Asian carp, including species such as bighead and silver carp, were introduced in the Midwest in the 1970s to clean murky fish farm ponds. The fish are filter feeders, munching microscopic plant and animal plankton from the water. Flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers caused ponds to overflow, allowing Asian carp to escape into other rivers and reproduce in the wild.

These fish eat voraciously and reproduce rapidly. One fish reproduces three to four times a year, releasing between 100,000 to 3 million eggs each spawning, Parola said. They have no major predators and can eat more than 20 percent of their body weight in algae and plankton a day. Asian carp can weigh up to 100 pounds. With their large size and hunger for plankton, they could pose a threat to native species.

In 1980, Lake Peigneu, Louisiana disappeared into an underground vortex of doom. Actually, the accident was due to a math error, which resulted in one of the strangest oil drilling and salt mining accidents in U.S. history.

The Diamond Salt company had a huge salt mining operation under the lake. Meanwhile, Texaco Oil was drilling for oil from shallow platforms, which were built on the lake. Texaco roughnecks set a new drill a few hundred feet down, through the lake, through the lake bed, and into the earth. The drill bit hit one of the salt mine shafts, and the above disaster happened.

Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, it does. The entire lake was sucked into the mine. The drill hole was originally 14 inches, but the force of the water expanded it to hundreds of feet across. At one point, a reverse water fall of 150 feet was formed because the Gulf of Mexico drained backwards (north!) into the lake. Watch the event unfold disaster on top of disaster. It is incredible. Via BoingBoing.

Rodents of Unusual Size is a new documentary on an invasive rodent called Nutria. Nutria’s grow to about 20 pounds(!) and are destroying critical wetlands in Louisiana. Click above to learn more. 

Two financial deals that kept the National Football League playing in the Superdome, allowing New Orleans to host a 10th Super Bowl, were expensive for taxpayers and enriched Saints owner Tom Benson, said former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco.

Taxpayers have spent at least $471 million on the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina, allowing a state reeling from the nation’s most-expensive natural disaster to keep its pro sports teams and rebuild a part of downtown destroyed by the 2005 storm. Benson, meanwhile, is worth $1.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after acquiring the National Basketball Association’s New Orleans Hornets, a 26-story office tower that houses state agencies and a mall next to the stadium.

Louisiana cemeteries sinking, washing away. (Click for video). Some of the cemeteries were built above sea level, but marshy soils, tough hurricanes, and sea level rise are destroying the land.

Eleven cemeteries in Jefferson Parish have repeatedly flooded since Hurricane Katrina. In Lafourche, Terrebonne and Plaquemines parishes, more than a dozen others have succumbed to tidal surge. Some have more than 300 gravesites.

Officials say not much can be done to save the cemeteries or the sinking communities that surround them, though some towns have tried pouring concrete slabs to build up the burial sites and hold headstones in place. They’ve also anchored above-ground caskets to the slabs to keep them from floating off. USAToday

These types of stories are going to keep popping up in the next few years. Cemeteries, historic properties, naval yards, ports, bridge pilings, hotels, etc., anything close to the soft coastlines are going to get chewed up. And journalists will swarm to grab stories of nostalgia - “Mah grammie was buried in thar,” “I had mah first kiss in that thar light house,” “This hotel has been in operation since 1923. Important to the economy, you know. Now it’s lost to the sea.”

We know these things are going to happen. So who should pay to repair these structures?

Btw dear readers, I’m really (teeth-grindingly) annoyed I couldn’t embed this video from USA Today. They’re a great paper, way underrated imo. I’d share more vidoes and news from them, but their IT is out of touch. Does anyone know how to grab the embed code from the page script? Usually I can scrape the video code, but not with these guys. The url is here if you want to mess with it. Hit me up if you can help me!

Warning! Severe Tornado Outbreak Expected Christmas Day, Night, and Wednesday in the south

Christmas 2012 will not only feature heavy snow from Winter Storm Euclid.  Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will target parts of the South Christmas Day into Wednesday!

Here is the general forecast timing of this event:

Tuesday:  Severe weather outbreak may begin before sunrise Christmas morning in east and southeast Texas into Louisiana. The severe storm threat spreads east, taking in the lower Mississippi Valley eastward into Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle by afternoon.  Tornadoes, damaging winds of 60 to 80 mph, and large hail are all threats in these areas!  Some tornadoes may be strong, long-track tornadoes, as well!

Full story, with tons of maps and surprising history of many Xmas tornadoes at Weather

The oil rigs are on fire. Two people missing. Video.


Four people were rushed to a hospital Friday after an oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico some 17 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La., the U.S. Coast Guard told NBC News.

(via nbcnews)

Tropical Storm Debby forms in Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana on alert. Offshore oil and gas workers being evacuated. More at MSNBC.