Have Cities Become Too Big to Rebuild?
Kevin Felts 02.14.17
The early estimates for the Lake Oroville spillway put the damage somewhere around $100 million. If the dam or spillway had failed, the communities downriver would have been washed away.
According to Wikipedia, the first post office in Oroville opened in 1854. The city was incorporated in 1906.
The question is, how do we as a nation rebuild communities that took decades, if not centuries to construct? How do we rebuild a century of schools, homes, businesses, and infrastructure in just a few years?
Where is the money supposed to come from to rebuild?
Let’s take Hurricane Andrew for example. Andrew caused $10 billion in insured damages, which led to the bankruptcy of nine small insurance companies. That cost is just for the people who had insurance coverage.
There a great number of people who never expect to be flooded, so they do not have flood insurance. With homes leveled, how are the uninsured supposed to rebuild?
Where are the construction materials supposed to come from to rebuild? Where are the workers supposed to come from?
Homes, schools and businesses are being constructed all over the nation. The manufacturing of construction materials such as boards, plywood, sheetrock, nails, and screws are balanced with current demand. When demand spikes, prices will go up.
Rebuilding communities that were be washed away by a wall of water would affect prices all over the nation.
As of February 14, 2017 an estimated 100,000 people have been ordered to evacuate.
On January 4, 2017 the Pasadena Star News published an article detailing the housing shortage in California – California needs to build a staggering number of homes and we are way behind. The article states that under current demand 180,000 new homes are needed each year, while only 80,000 are being constructed.
California already has a 100,000 home per year deficit, so how is the state supposed to rebuild entire communities and keep up with population growth? Exactly where are the people evacuating from Lake Oroville supposed to go?
Lake Oroville Example of Things to Come
Whether it is a city on the east coast, gulf coast, west coast or somewhere in between, as populations grow and cities expand, how do we rebuild and/or relocate?