Hurricane Isaac’s Dividing Line: Inside or Outside the Levee?
In Louisiana the dividing line during Hurricane Isaac was clear, with people living outside the Army Corps of Engineers’ new $14.6 billion flood protection system more likely to be flooded than those who lived in it. New Orleans was spared from Isaac’s storm surge because of the new flood defenses and street flooding during the storm was largely manageable in spite of a record-setting rainfall total of 20.66 inches.
This phenomenon has created a new concern for would-be home buyers in the area, who are likely now to consider whether a property is inside the protective wall or outside. Building an elevated home is the best protection against flooding, but it is expensive. Julie Rochman, president and chief executive of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, said concerns are apparent now because Isaac has just happened, but with time this concern will likely fade. She added that people live in places at risk of flooding because there are economic imperatives to do so, which means they have to take measures to live safely and protect their property such as elevating and building strong structures, and buying flood insurance.