10/24/2006 06:48 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Rand--Studying Everywhere but Here

Today's Times-Picayune spotlights a Rand Corporation study on four historic floods, and the responses of their nations to them. Supposedly, the study's purpose is to guide the planning of New Orleans in the wake of last year's disastrous flooding. A quote from the study's author reveals that he may have studied China and the Netherlands but he doesn't seem to have studied New Orleans:

"You've got to have a place for people to live or you can't encourage them to come back," he said. "But if you just put people in the same old flood plain, the next time a similar storm comes, you'll have the same problems all over again, and you don't want that.

Yes, if a similar storm, rated strong Cat 1 or weak Cat 2, comes to New Orleans again, we can expect Cat 3-rated protective structures to fail again? Really? Maybe before rebuilding smarter, we should research smarter, as in, not take our conclusions as to what happened in New Orleans from the national press.