Sunday, January 08, 2006

MR-GO just won't die

The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet has been politically controversial for years. It pits the business interests of the port of New Orleans against residents of St. Bernard Parish downstream. In this way it is reminiscent of the situation in 1927 when New Orleans sacrificed the interests of St. Bernard and Plaquemines to save itself from the flood. MRGO has never been worth the cost to build it, and today serves only three or four ships a week. Nevertheless, it is not easy to shut it down, even though it is a major risk to St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes. In Katrina, the storm surge drove up the MRGO and wiped out the levees on the east side of the Mississippi, wreaking total devastation on the city of Chalmette. You'd think that such a hazard would be reason enough to close this boondoggle.
'The MR-GO is like of one of these horror pictures where you think the mummy's dead and it keeps coming back,' he said. 'This thing keeps resurrecting itself somehow.'"

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