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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thinking about New Orleans

Last night I told the BSU that I wanted to go to the bank and get a loan. I said I needed 6 new dump trucks, 2 front end loaders and an RV. And trailers to transport the loaders. She of course, looked at me like I had just announced a plan to take over the world, when all I really had expressed was my business plan for the next 5 years.

I've been looking at the pictures of New Orleans, on the web and the television. I even found some satellite pictures from before and after Katrina last night. My heart truly goes out to all the people that have lost everything they owned, that are homeless, jobless and sleeping on interstate overpasses. It is a disaster of huge proportions and I do not have any solutions that will resolve the human suffering that is going on our Gulf Coast right now.

I can see that the city of New Orleans will need to be scraped clean to the ground and rebuilt. All those homes that have been underwater to the rafters cannot be repaired. Those thousands of homes will need to be bulldozed and carried away, every scrap. With the threat of water-borne disease that is being discussed, this scrap will need to be treated as hazardous waste- biological waste perhaps.

The state of Louisiana needs a new landfill to contain the debris that needs scraped out of New Orleans. It will be a massive landfill and it needs to prepared right now.

My suggestion? Lake Ponchartrain looks pretty good, just on the other side of that failed levee and Lakeshore Drive. Maybe they won't need the entire lake but they need a significant portion to levee off, drain and use as a landfill.

If I could, I would be there with my dump trucks, loaders and some reliable operators, next week, applying for permits and contracts that will be forthcoming to assist in the cleanup. There is going to be lots of work for people willing to get into the cleanup effort and all that has to be done before the building trades folks can go to work.

I think it will turn into a historic effort. It will be an effort that reflects the resilience and strength and savvy that built this country in the first place. As Americans, we will do the right thing, do ourselves proud and show the world that we will not be beaten even in the face of such disaster.

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