"It is likely that in some heavily damaged parts of New Orleans redevelopment will be restricted, either temporarily, or even permanently. The possibility of such restrictions immediately gives rise to the following question: Will restrictions on development in New Orleans effect compensable regulatory takings under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? In this paper, we try to answer that question, or to at least provide a framework for answering it. We conclude, although cautiously, that it is more likely than not that temporary restrictions will not effect compensable takings because property owners still have economically valuable interests, while it is more likely than not that permanent restrictions will result in compensable takings because of owner expectations and a lack of reciprocity of advantage.
"We have three primary goals. First, we summarize the proposal for redevelopment which explicitly allows for the possibility of moratoria on redevelopment in certain neighborhoods. Second, we situate the current case law on this issue within the larger context of takings jurisprudence. Understanding the courts' trends on this issue, if any are discernible, will be indispensable in trying to get a sense of how courts would rule in litigation that might arise out of regulating redevelopment in New Orleans. Third, we give an analysis of how current holdings on takings issues might apply to the situation in New Orleans. Because of the complexity of takings jurisprudence, and because of the somewhat unusual nature of the situation in New Orleans, it is difficult to make a confident prediction about how such claims would come out."—Abstract.
"Just compensation is critical to post disaster recovery in the wake of a devastating flood, especially when prior shortcomings of the government might be partially to blame. Assessing the full extent of compensation given to private landowners may help for future disaster flood recovery and planning. Despite profound geographic, demographic, and legal differences between France, Louisiana, and California a comparison of their post-disaster compensation models proves useful to identify past, present, and future models of a similar problem of postflood redevelopment compensation outside of private insurance schemes.
"Inquiring into eminent domain concepts surrounding just compensation principles in France, Louisiana, and California provides a framework for addressing post-disaster homeowner compensation. France supplies a model that demonstrates strong flood disaster prevention and land use planning measures alongside a full recovery compensation scheme. In contrast, Louisiana and California do not have explicit disaster compensation frameworks. Existing Louisiana law offers an existing legal and moral framework that can be applied by the state entity currently deliberating on post-disaster compensation program. California, on the other hand, currently offers the most unforgiving compensation scheme, but also has the time to adopt tailored flood compensation and planning principles."—Abstract.
"Amid the often rancorous debate over federal spending for hurricane recovery and rebuilding, the Metropolitan Policy Program follows the money spent on Katrina, as well as the Rita storm. The fact sheet also includes a timeline of federal allocations."
"In August, September and October of 2005, the Monthly Surveys of Consumers fielded by the
University of Michigan included questions about the happiness of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. The date of each interview is known. Looking at the data week by week, reported happiness dipped significantly in the first week of September, after the seriousness of the damage done by Katrina became clear.... These results illustrate the potential of high-frequency happiness data to yield information about preferences over regional, national and international conditions by indicating the magnitude of the good or bad news conveyed by events."—Abstract.
"This paper will review the federal, state, and local response to date as it relates to the important goal of creating a better New Orleans. This paper does not attempt to review every decision made on every aspect of the recovery, but instead tries to highlight areas of priority.
"The paper will begin with a quick overview of the federal, state, and local roles to date on post-Katrina recovery.
"It will then evaluate how well the overall recovery response has performed in meeting the three goals of a creating a more inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous New Orleans. In each of these goals, the paper reviews pre-Katrina conditions in New Orleans and puts forth a vision for the future. It then highlights those areas of meaningful progress at the federal, state, and local levels in support of those goals and closes with an action plan to further the recovery progress."—Introduction.
"Traditional law and economics has no place for price controls. Yet public support for anti-gouging legislation has led to the enactment of a variety of legal regimes to control price hikes following natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes and terrorist attacks. This Essay provides an economic justification for such laws. First, the Essay surveys the existing models of anti-gouging legislation. Then, the Essay describes the traditional economic critique of price caps, a critique applied to laws that attempt to control post-disaster prices. Finally, the Essay argues that anti-gouging laws enhance economic efficiency by ensuring a functioning consumer market after the collapse of electronic payment systems on which the American economy now depends. The externalities of consumption in post-disaster environments mean that the costs of consumers forgoing needed products are not adequately captured by a reliance on market mechanisms. This analysis suggests that current anti-gouging laws should be restructured to include a more discrete focus on areas actually affected by physical damage from natural or man-made disasters." —Abstract.
"The awareness of federal, state and local governments of the potential for levees in New Orleans to fail and decimate poor neighborhoods of the city was widely reported following the hurricane Katrina disaster. Demographics in the areas likely to incur the most severe damage were known to be neighborhoods of predominately poor, black residents. In addition to understanding the likely geographical impact of the impending disaster, the federal government was aware of the extensive social science and legal challenges detailing the likelihood of minority citizens to experience the worst consequences and slowest recovery from natural disasters. Studies dating back to the 1950s and numerous reports of the Red Cross support this conclusion. FEMA itself was sued in federal court for its inadequate response to marginalized communities during hurricane Andrew in 1992. While the federal government may not be held legally responsible for its discretionary policies within the disaster relief context, the horror of hurricane Katrina surely calls for a long overdue re-thinking of the federal approach to assisting marginalized communities in disaster recovery. Social science, the practical problems raised within legal challenges, as well as successful strategies from other disasters and even within the Katrina tragedy offer numerous opportunities for such reform."—Abstract.
"There are nine volumes in the final report, designed to provide a detailed documentation of the technical analyses conducted and their associated findings. They are organized around major technical tasks that together provided an in-depth, system-wide assessment of the behavior of the
hurricane protection system and lessons learned that have been incorporated into the immediate repairs and are integrated into the continuing efforts to improve the system and assessing approaches for higher levels of protection. The volumes and their individual focus areas are as follows:
Volume I: Executive Summary and Overview ? Summary of findings and lessons learned. Overview of performance evaluation activities and reports.
Volume II: Geodetic Vertical and Water Level Datums ? Update of geodetic and water level references for the region and determining accurate elevations for all critical structures.
Volume III: The Hurricane Protection System ? Documentation of the character of the hurricane protection system, including the design assumptions and criteria, as built and maintained condition.
Volume IV: The Storm ? Determining the surge and wave environments created by
Katrina and the time history and nature of the forces experienced by protection structures
during the storm.
Volume V: The Performance ? Levees and Floodwalls ? Understanding the behavior of individual damaged structures and development of criteria for evaluation of undamaged sections. Providing input to repairs and ongoing design and planning efforts.
Volume VI: The Performance ? Interior Drainage and Pumping ? Understanding the performance of the interior drainage and pumping systems with regard to extent and duration of flooding. Examination of scenarios to understand system-wide performance.
Volume VII: The Consequences ? Determination of the economic, human safety and health, environmental, and social and cultural losses due to Katrina. Examination of
scenarios to understand implications of losses and possible recovery paths on future risk.
Volume VIII: Risk and Reliability ? Determination of the inherent risk for all parts of the system prior to and following Katrina. Provision of capability for risk-based decision support for continuing improvement and development of hurricane protection.
Volume IX: Supporting Appendices ? Documentation of information resources and
management, program management, and communications."
"The devastating hurricanes of 2005 had a two-fold impact on DOI. First, DOI was called upon to assist in the federal relief efforts under the National Response Plan (NRP). Second, DOI's bureaus were greatly affected by the disasters. DOI sustained significant damage to 12 parks and preserves, 86 refuges, 68 water monitoring gauges, and the Mineral Management Service's (MMS) Gulf of Mexico Regional Office. As of September 30, 2006, DOI spent approximately $104 million on hurricane relief and recovery. This included approximately $61 million for NRP activities and $43 million to respond to and address internal damage.
"We are pleased to report that overall, the bureaus effectively managed their 2005 hurricane-related expenditures. Given the magnitude of the damage sustained to the Gulf Coast and DOI facilities, the issues we identified through our expenditure testing were relatively insignificant, and the bureaus performed well."—Earl E. Devaney, Inspector General.
"The Department of Justice is committed to working in partnership with state and local law enforcement and communities to combat violent crime. As part of this effort, the Department has allocated additional resources to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina."