The August 5th flooding was rough on many New Orleanians - with floodwaters swamping homes, cars and businesses. Our thoughts go out to those who are still dealing with the aftermath. And more flooding could be on the way - stay safe.
This week, the City Council met to try to figure out what happened and what we do now. Several city officials have since stepped down or been fired. This is what we do now: demand accountability and innovation from our city’s current and future leaders.
This massive flood event is wake up call. The system is broken, it must be fixed. We have a system that is focused only on pumping out water as fast as possible. The city must have fully functioning pumps and drainage systems - that’s a given - but pumps are not enough. Our Flood Less New Orleans campaign is pushing the city to embrace a comprehensive approach to stormwater management that focuses more on green infrastructure - as envisioned in the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan.
While there is no silver bullet that will stop all flooding all the time, common sense policies and technologies that focus on retaining and absorbing water can reduce flood risk. City leaders must encourage these approaches by enforcing existing zoning laws, ensuring that all future infrastructure projects include green stormwater components, and work with local leaders to make sure projects benefit everyone in the community.