State Water Resources Research Institute Program (WRRI)

Details for Project ID 2002LA3B, 2002

Response to Hurricane Induced Flooding in New Orleans

Institute: Louisiana
Start Date: 2002-03-01 End Date: 2003-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $9,350 Total Non-Federal Funds: $18,700

Principal Investigators: Craig Colten

Abstract: New Orleans is extremely susceptible to hurricane induced flooding and faces greater obstacles to recovery than most coastal cities due its low-lying position and the levee system that will impede rapid drainage of high water. New Orleans is also a city dependant on its landscape to generate economic revenue. The historic structures in the city constitute one of the densest stands of distinctive vernacular architecture in the country and this is one of the city's major tourist attractions. If severe flooding damages or destroys portions of this historically significant property, owners face several options: (1) restoration of the historical structures, (2) replacement with modern structures, and (3) abandonment/displacement of former land uses. If a significant number select options 2 or 3, the landscape appeal of New Orleans will be severely diminished. This project will examine historical records from a prior hurricane-induced flood to determine past tendencies in recovery efforts. Through an analysis of sources that document reconstruction efforts, this project will project the likelihood of restoration of historically significant urban landscapes. This knowledge can help guide flood-protection and recovery policy.