Sometime today, the US Army Corps of Engineers will open the Morganza Floodway in Louisiana for the second time in its history. The object is to divert some of the huge flow of water coming down the Mississippi away from the usual path that streams past Baton Rouge and New Orleans into the Mississippi delta, and into a largely agricultural region of Louisiana instead. It’s a Hobson’s choice, where agricultural fields and various small towns will be flooded in order to help save many the lives and livelihoods, and communities of millions of Louisiana residents nearer to the Mississippi’s regular pathways.
This is Katrina in reverse, with the water coming from the north rather than from the Gulf. Let’s hope the lessons learned from flooding in the past that led to the creation of the floodways will help, and that the post-disaster recovery efforts that failed so spectacularly with Katrina have been improved this time around.