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Louisiana Faces an Exodus From the Coast
AP ^ | 3-18-06 | CAIN BURDEAU

Posted on 03/18/2006 4:22:43 PM PST by deport

By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Writer

LAFITTE, La. - Once the salt water is in your veins, Louisiana's coastal folk say, it's hard to give up the lifestyle of moonlit shrimping trips, the town "fais do-do" dances and afternoons spent on the bayous angling for catfish.

But since last year's catastrophic hurricanes, this swampy land defined by Cajuns, cypress and tupelo gum forests, bayou-side saloons and, more recently, subdivisions may have become too vulnerable for that lifestyle to continue.

Even before the devastation caused by Katrina, Louisiana's swampy coast had been sinking by as much as 2 inches a year. Along with that subsidence, the area is even more susceptible to flooding because last year's hurricanes damaged vast tracts of wetlands — already shrinking because of man's activities — that used to buffer the area from storms blowing in off the Gulf of Mexico.

All of those factors will be reflected in new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood-vulnerability maps due to be released soon that are the basis for flood insurance rates.

The maps will likely make the insurance more costly, force residents to spend heavily to raise homes out of flood plains to qualify for coverage, make many other homes uninsurable and make lenders less willing to loan money for construction in flood-prone areas.

That new reality may threaten the state's coastal population and its heritage of shrimp fishing, alligator hunting, fur trapping and oyster harvesting.

Some of the roughhewn people down here won't leave willingly.

"You've got earthquakes, you've got fires, you've got volcanoes, you've got tornadoes in tornado alley," said A.J. Fabre, an outspoken leader among shrimp fishermen in Lafitte, about 30 miles south of New Orleans. "Where are you going to have everybody? In Missouri?"

Nearly every house in the area, most of them built on slabs, was flooded by Hurricane Rita. Now, families live in trailers as they rebuild.

"It's a quiet community. Virtually no crime. Kids steal a couple of bicycles," Fabre says.

But the future is gloomy. Fabre's place, a small brick house he inherited from his grandfather, has been condemned because of wind and flood damage. The only thing left of a shrimp processing plant there is a concrete slab, and the old family dock is barnacled, broken and useless.

With no flood insurance, Fabre isn't sure if he'll be able to rebuild. He and his wife might have to demolish the place and buy a mobile home.

He insists he is not defeated and lashes out at politicians, importers, the federal government.

"The fight has just begun," he said.

But many of his neighbors and friends aren't so sanguine.

"We're doomed," said Jimmy Terrebonne, a 46-year-old boat builder. He tells his children to get an education and get out of the fishing trades.

As for himself, he said, "I can't do anything else. I don't have an education. I ain't leaving until it's gone. When the land's gone, I'm leaving."

Many coastal experts believe life along the coast is going to change dramatically with the new flood maps.

"Where we had subdivisions in the marshes, they will not come back," said Shea Penland, a coastal scientist with the University of New Orleans. "I can't believe they're sustainable."

"There are going to be some significant changes across the board," said Butch Kinerney, a FEMA spokesman.

For one thing, much more is known since FEMA last calculated the area's flood vulnerability in 1984 about the area's rate of subsidence.

Last year, the National Geodetic Survey issued a report saying the area was sinking by a half-inch to 2 inches a year, and that was as of 1995.

"When they built the levees, it wasn't below sea level. It was dry land. Now it's dry land only because of the levees," said Roy Dokka, a Louisiana State University subsidence specialist.

About 1,000 homes damaged by Rita's storm surge in the heavily Cajun region southwest of Lafayette called Vermilion Parish might need to be raised to be eligible for insurance, said Robert LeBlanc, the parish's emergency preparedness director.

Younger people might leave, LeBlanc said.

Many others, however, are determined to stay.

"People like where they live, they're content," said Kimberly Chauvin, the wife of a shrimper who is thinking of raising their already-raised home up to 10 feet higher. "I wouldn't want to move to the city, not at all."



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: exodus; fema; flood; insurance; katrina; louisiana; rita

1 posted on 03/18/2006 4:22:47 PM PST by deport
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To: deport
..even cattle head to higher ground
2 posted on 03/18/2006 4:23:59 PM PST by Doogle (USAF...8thAF...4077th TFW...408th MMS...Ubon Thailand..."69"..Night Line Delivery,AMMO)
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To: Doogle

..even cattle head to higher ground



Lots of cattle were lost in these storms. Survivors were dying due to the saw water intrusion and lack of fresh water.

If this article is correct about FEMA flood plain standards then it will have a major impact. But then the people of south LA that make their living from the waters are very resourceful.


3 posted on 03/18/2006 4:27:38 PM PST by deport
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To: deport

"You've got earthquakes, you've got fires, you've got volcanoes, you've got tornadoes in tornado alley,"

That pretty much sums it up.

Don't forget about the nasty cold weather up north, and don't forget that hurricanes are a threat all the way to North Carolina.

Where precisely in the USA will we live that is weather convenient AND crime free?


4 posted on 03/18/2006 4:29:17 PM PST by Emmet Fitzhume (Democrats need adult supervision at all times.)
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To: deport
Now for those of you that might not have heard. There was actually another hurricane.
5 posted on 03/18/2006 4:34:52 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: deport
They had a great show on the Food Channel today about the famous New Orleans restaurants rebuilding and making a come-back.

They also had the perfect host for it, Emeril.

6 posted on 03/18/2006 4:43:12 PM PST by capt. norm (If you can't make a mistake, you can't make anything.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Now for those of you that might not have heard. There was actually another hurricane.


Yep there was..... Hopefully in a week or so I'll get started on rebuilding my home and just maybe within a few weeks it'll be dried in to the point at least I can move back into it.

NO got the play because of it's size and devastation to one location. But if you go along the coast eastward you'll find just as much damage the only difference they weren't as many people in one location.
7 posted on 03/18/2006 4:43:51 PM PST by deport
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To: Emmet Fitzhume
Where precisely in the USA will we live that is weather convenient AND crime free?

IIRC: Eastern New Mexico is the safest place to escape floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes hurricanes and blizzards.

8 posted on 03/18/2006 4:48:21 PM PST by Mike Darancette (In the Land of the Blind the one-eyed man is king.)
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To: capt. norm

They had a great show on the Food Channel today about the famous New Orleans restaurants rebuilding and making a come-back.



If NO makes it back then they'll be back. But the restaurants need the tourist trade, etc. to survive. I guess Emeril Lagasse got hit hard as he had three restaurants if I remember correct; Emerils, NOLA and Delmonico.


9 posted on 03/18/2006 4:51:16 PM PST by deport
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To: Mike Darancette

But another 10,000 people move there, and they're out of water. I don't think Phoenix experiences any of the crises you listed, but it's already a few million over what it should be.

I don't think blizzards are so bad. They can shut down a city for a few days but they don't do lasting damage. Earthquakes and hurricanes are in a league of their own, while tornadoes can be particularly nasty in small bursts on randomly chosen victims.

We all need to move back to New York's Mohawk Valley.


10 posted on 03/18/2006 4:53:40 PM PST by HostileTerritory
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To: deport
More differences than that.

People outside of NO actually helped themselves.

Read the link.

11 posted on 03/18/2006 5:01:00 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: Mike Darancette

"IIRC: Eastern New Mexico is the safest place to escape floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes hurricanes and blizzards."

And it is also the dullest, dreariest, stretch of nowhere on the planet. They ought to offer boredom insurance because it raises dullness to disaster levels.


12 posted on 03/18/2006 5:10:54 PM PST by Dreagon
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To: Emmet Fitzhume
Where precisely in the USA will we live that is weather convenient AND crime free?

There are, of course, no sure bets, but you can choose places that will improve your odds. I'd suggest the inland South, avoiding the central parts of large urban areas. Outer suburbs, exurbs, or small town/rural if your livlihood permits it.

No such thing as absolute safety, of course; even the Charlotte area got ripped by Hurricane Hugo in the '90s -- but that was a freak event, and at that, about 1% as bad as what New Orleans went through last year.

13 posted on 03/18/2006 5:14:16 PM PST by southernnorthcarolina (Some people are like Slinkies: totally useless, but fun to throw down a stair.)
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To: deport
make many other homes uninsurable

So what? Don't carry adequate insurance, the gov. will pay anyway.

I live in an area where we have tornados from time to time, maybe I can just drop my tornado insurance. Think the gov. will pay for damages? I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

14 posted on 03/18/2006 5:15:03 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

I looked at it.... By the way I know SW La and SE Texas very good.


15 posted on 03/18/2006 5:15:25 PM PST by deport
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To: deport
Resourcefull is fine, just do not ask the rest of us to pay for their fun when the storms hit, really, its out of control.
Just did my income tax and there is a new separate deduction for Katrina, WTF.........
that storm was not that bad, just a "chocolate storm" so now we all have to pay them extra money for being stupid and selfish and looters.
16 posted on 03/18/2006 5:15:27 PM PST by Roverman2K
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To: Dreagon


LOL!


17 posted on 03/18/2006 5:15:33 PM PST by onyx (IF ONLY 10% of Muslims are radical, that's still 120 MILLION who want to kill us.)
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To: Mike Darancette
"IIRC: Eastern New Mexico is the safest place to escape floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes hurricanes and blizzards."

Yeah, but where do you go to escape... this man ?


18 posted on 03/18/2006 5:28:03 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Cheney X -- Destroying the Liberal Democrat Traitors By Any Means Necessary -- Ya Dig ? Sho 'Nuff.)
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To: HostileTerritory
We all need to move back to New York's Mohawk Valley.

As one of upstate's last remaining pioneers, I hear you.

But, unfortunately, New York's state government is proving to be the equal of Katrina in its destructiveness.

19 posted on 03/18/2006 5:34:25 PM PST by BfloGuy (It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect . . .)
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To: Dreagon
And it is also the dullest, dreariest, stretch of nowhere on the planet.

No, thats the Registan Desert. Real Flight of the Phoenix place.

20 posted on 03/18/2006 5:35:11 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: HostileTerritory
Have to disagree about the blizzards - I was left homeless by a blizzard some years ago, get this on April 1!!

Took the roof right off my building, flooded a 3-story apt. bulding & did major damage to the area as if a tornado hit.

Stuff happens! I don't live there anymore tho.......
21 posted on 03/18/2006 5:42:39 PM PST by Smarti Pants (This American Patriot will never forget !!! Give me Liberty or Give Me Death!)
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To: Emmet Fitzhume
Where precisely in the USA will we live that is weather convenient AND crime free?

Delaware will only hold so many people.

22 posted on 03/18/2006 5:44:23 PM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Bend over and think of England.)
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To: Mike Darancette
...IIRC: Eastern New Mexico is the safest place to escape floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes hurricanes and blizzards...

What about scorpions?

23 posted on 03/18/2006 5:50:49 PM PST by FReepaholic (I was FReepin' when FReepin' wasn't cool.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj
Yeah, but where do you go to escape... this man ?

The ballpark.

24 posted on 03/18/2006 5:56:14 PM PST by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Dreagon

Well, depends on where exactly you're talking about in New Mexico; there's significant earthquake hazard in the Albuquerque area...and there's been fairly recent volcanic activity (from a geologist's perspective) in many areas of New Mexico. Also, the Valles Caldera in New Mexico is a junior-grade Yellowstone.


25 posted on 03/18/2006 6:05:35 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: FReepaholic

Fires?


26 posted on 03/18/2006 6:12:41 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: Smarti Pants
Took the roof right off my building, flooded a 3-story apt. bulding & did major damage to the area as if a tornado hit.

I hope you put in for your FEMA subsidy. 'Cause you know they were supposed to know about it, do something right away, and pay for your lifestyle (whatever that may be) indefinitely.

Just like our little Northridge shaker a few years back...

27 posted on 03/18/2006 6:18:29 PM PST by freedumb2003 (American troops cannot be defeated. American Politicians can.)
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To: Emmet Fitzhume

The Northeast--there's a slight blizzard danger (though it comes with the added bonus of having four seasons), and places like New Hampshire and even New York City are quite safe.


28 posted on 03/18/2006 6:30:12 PM PST by Young Scholar
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To: capt. norm
"They also had the perfect host for it, Emeril."

Emeril is photogenic and glib---but he is a Portugese from Massachusetts---not Louisianian.

29 posted on 03/18/2006 6:39:11 PM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: Smarti Pants

Do you live in New England? I remember when we got 3 feet of snow on April 1.


30 posted on 03/18/2006 6:44:00 PM PST by HostileTerritory
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To: Wonder Warthog
Emeril is photogenic and glib---but he is a Portugese from Massachusetts---not Louisianian.

You must not live here in the south.

A lot of us are not originally from here, but that is not a requirement. You are allowed to join your neighborhood and become a southerner no matter where you're from.

I thought he handled it well visiting Chef Paul, and others on a chef-to-chef level that had nothing to do with geography or national origin.

I'm wondering why you felt the need to point all that out. What did he ever do to earn your negative views?

31 posted on 03/18/2006 6:55:29 PM PST by capt. norm (If you can't make a mistake, you can't make anything.)
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To: HostileTerritory

No, not now. I live in Texas now - to get away from the snow! But it was in New England!


32 posted on 03/18/2006 7:07:28 PM PST by Smarti Pants (This American Patriot will never forget !!! Give me Liberty or Give Me Death!)
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To: capt. norm
"You must not live here in the south."

Born and raised in South Louisiana--spent fifty years (of fifty-nine) living there, but not there now. I know what REAL South Louisiana cooking is all about.

"I'm wondering why you felt the need to point all that out. What did he ever do to earn your negative views?"

Because he made his "rep" on Louisiana cuisine, and basically passes himself off as a native (because "Emeril" sounds French). I had the same gripe with Justin Wilson, who passed himself off as Cajun, with not a drop of Cajun blood. It smacks of fakery.

33 posted on 03/18/2006 7:09:32 PM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: Mike Darancette
Eastern New Mexico is the safest place

New Mexico has already had 2 FEMA declarations THIS year. (Both for fires) http://www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema

Looking at 2004, there is one for flooding and a couple for fire. The only one I saw for 2005 was for Katrina. Here's the 2004 list: http://www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema?year=2004

34 posted on 03/18/2006 7:10:43 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Dreagon
And it is also the dullest, dreariest, stretch of nowhere on the planet.

My Grandmother lived on a farm there in the early 1900's and with hunting she always said it was a blast.

35 posted on 03/18/2006 7:19:11 PM PST by Mike Darancette (In the Land of the Blind the one-eyed man is king.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

oof!, damn.


36 posted on 03/18/2006 11:18:48 PM PST by Atchafalaya (When you're there, that's the best!!)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

----More differences than that. People outside of NO actually helped themselves.----

Yes, and most of them have been too busy doing so to play "your hurricane got more attention than my hurricane." That's been mostly left to people out of state who were nowhere near the path of either one of them.

-Dan

37 posted on 03/19/2006 1:29:30 AM PST by Flux Capacitor (Trust me. I know what I'm doing.)
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To: deport
"Where are you going to have everybody? In Missouri?"

Over 90 tornadoes hit here in Missouri last weekend.

38 posted on 03/19/2006 7:09:50 AM PST by painter (We celebrate liberty which comes from God not from government.)
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To: deport
this swampy land defined by Cajuns

Those are the people who will stay, just like they have for over a hundred years. They are probably glad to see the others go. Those folks living up on the bayous know the land and how to live and survive on it.
Louisiana's coastline has been eroding for decades.

39 posted on 03/19/2006 7:54:48 AM PST by exhaustedmomma (Calling illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a burglar an uninvited house guest)
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To: Mike Darancette
Eastern New Mexico is the safest place to escape floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes hurricanes and blizzards.

I've seen floods, tornadoes, wildfires, droughts, and blizzards in Eastern New Mexico.

40 posted on 03/19/2006 11:28:24 AM PST by LPM1888 (What are the facts? Again and again and again -- what are the facts? - Lazarus Long)
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To: Mike Darancette
Eastern New Mexico

Yeah, but they have a UFO problem. :-)

(seriously, thinking about retiring to West Texas, so I am with you....)
41 posted on 03/19/2006 11:32:00 AM PST by cgbg (When you hear the words "gender" or "stakeholder" run for your life!)
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To: deport

People are welcome to live anywhere they want. They are also responsible for the problems that come with their choice of lifestyle. I live in Alaska. It was 40 below for a while this winter. I have a home with double insulation in the walls, an emergency stove, insultated water pipes, about one year's worth of food and three week's worth of water (and the third biggest river in North America 200 yards away), lots of woolies and polartec socks, and tons of insurance. Of course, if there was a disaster like a 9.0 earthquake under my home one cold winter day, I'd appreciate the Red Cross, but I'm also aware that natural disasters happen and I'm prepared for it in case it takes a few weeks for the Red Cross to make it out here. The folks in Lousiana can live where they want; if they live in a place with the occasional 30-foot storm surge, prepare for it. In that case, the flood map isn't a bad idea - here's the flood line when the storm surge comes through. I wouldn't want a southerner telling me I'm stupid for living in a place where the air can kill you if you're unprotected, so I won't return it by telling them they can't live in the path of a hurricane. In fact, I can't think of a place on Earth without some natural disaster about to happen somehow. Live and let live. Be prepared for stuff that has a good chance of happening, and be sympathetic for unfortunate surprises. It isn't hard.


42 posted on 03/19/2006 3:11:26 PM PST by redpoll (redpoll)
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To: redpoll

'Live and let live.'

Very true. But consider this- how much are you willing to pay to the people who live in a sinking, below sea level hole. Who subsidizes you to keep from being snowed in. As a Michigander, I do know that the snow that falls today will still be there till Spring-something that most people don't understand. You have a smoker for the salmon from the river-YUM!


43 posted on 03/19/2006 8:23:54 PM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: Doogle

'46-year-old boat builder'

Obviously a person with no forsight.


44 posted on 03/19/2006 8:27:43 PM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: Westlander
NO...a major American city surrounded on three sides by water...levee's galore...and they had three police boats,only one operational.
45 posted on 03/20/2006 5:36:48 AM PST by Doogle (USAF...8thAF...4077th TFW...408th MMS...Ubon Thailand..."69"..Night Line Delivery,AMMO)
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