Flood Porn

I feel bad, because, as much as flooding along the Mississippi (or anywhere, for that matter) upsets me, there’s this part of me that, when it hears “This terrible thing could happen!” is like “Bring it on! Let’s see it!” It’s a small part, but it’s there.

So, I admit that I am fascinated by the chance that this could be the moment the Mississippi drops down the Atchafalaya and abandons New Orleans. It’s not that I think New Orleans deserves this or that Morgan City does. I know it would be devastating. But I am also incapable of not wanting, just a little, to see it.

I guess because I suspect that, at the end of the day, much is beyond our control.

Anyway, at that link up there is a cool article about it.

8 thoughts on “Flood Porn

  1. I know what you mean. When I hear a tornado siren, my first instinct is to run outside and look for “rotation”. I drive my family nuts!

  2. Try being someone that spends all their working hours planning and designing for this type of event. I’ve been designing bridges for 100 year floods for 15 years and wondering what that actually looks like. I felt terrible last May because it was more than a little exciting to see if the bridges I designed actually held up like they were supposed to.

    It’s a pretty common phenomenon for people in certain lines of work. When my brother was a rookie fire fighter he was always bummed when a ‘good’ fire happened while he wasn’t on shift. My sister was the same way when she became a paramedic.

    You don’t want people to have to deal with that tragedy, but you really want to see if you’re up to the challenge you’re trained for.

  3. what stuck me about this article is the hubris of the acoe thinking the river can be controlled or defeated instead we should work with it. “you can’t fool Mother Nature”

  4. What choice do you have kosh? Let it strand Baton Rouge and New Orleans while it washes Morgan City out a mile or two into the gulf?

    The structures they’ve built to work with the river to an extent. There’s really no way around working with the river to an extent. A river that size can’t be forced, you just have to ‘help’ it decide it wants to do what you want it to. In that sense the Old River Control Structure in place at the head of the Atchafalaya does work with the river.

    I’m not saying things wouldn’t be done differently today, but it’s not quite the hubris you think it is.

  5. See, I actually think that’s why I can’t look away. We know we have this natural resource that moves, not just getting bigger and smaller, but sometimes it decides it’s not going to go over there at all and now it’s going to go here.

    Shoot, if you look at the terrain map on Google maps, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario in which the river decides to take a route closer to state road 65 or, hell, look, what if the river dumped back into Lake Chicot, west of Greenville and then decided to jump down the Macon River as its main channel?

    You start to look at some of the horseshoe lakes further downstream and you get to thinking it may be a way the river has gone before.

    So, what do you say to people? If you’re between this bluff and this bluff, you have to understand that it’s not a matter if if the river moves, but when? If the river did start to majorly shift further upstream (like my far-but-not-that-far-fetched Macon River scenario), would we now let it?

    I don’t know. And I don’t know what the right thing to do is.

    After ’93, I swear, I thought the Corps could just suck my butt and die in a fire. But now I see that there is no decision that doesn’t hurt someone and maybe having a bureaucracy you can blame it on is useful.

  6. This is the rhetoric I considered hubris:
    “This nation has a large and powerful adversary. Our opponent . . . We are fighting Mother Nature. . . .It’s a battle we have to fight day by day, year by year; the health of our economy depends on victory.

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