Thursday, April 13, 2006

Lenient Rule Set for Rebuilding in New Orleans - New York Times

Lenient Rule Set for Rebuilding in New Orleans - New York Times:
Now, the federal government — by making rebuilding requirements less stringent than had been anticipated — appears to have concurred, though FEMA officials did not say specifically why they chose the three-foot figure. Some experts were critical of the decision. 'It's wacky,' said J. Robert Hunter, a former director of the federal flood insurance program. 'Three feet — where did that come from? Why are we building up three feet, when the water was up over the roof?

'What's that three feet going to do?' Mr. Hunter asked. 'Instead of coming up with real science, they're making it up. Which means that people are going to be at risk, they're going to die again, and taxpayers are subsidizing unwise construction with very cheap insurance.'
So what else is new? I expected this to happen. Politically, nobody wants to look like they are getting in the way of New Orleans being rebuilt. The really sad thing is, it won't get rebuilt in a way that guarantees this won't happen again. The Feds have lost the ability to learn from the past or prepare for the future. They only care about the now.

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