Scientist: Rain in New Orleans would help

September 16, 2005

More rain would help New Orleans and Southern Mississippi, says an ecologist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"People might think I'm kidding, but I'm not," said Dr. Seth R. Reice, an associate professor of biology. "The floodwater still covering much of New Orleans and elsewhere is full of coliform bacteria from backed-up human waste, plus gasoline, oil and countless other pollutants. It is a really toxic stew."

Dilution is needed and that could be accomplished by an intense rain that would dilute the water and could make it possible to varying degrees for organisms -- both large and small -- to cope with it better.

Reice -- author of "The Silver Lining: The Benefits of Natural Disasters" -- says hurricanes and other storms, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods and other apparently catastrophic events renew life and boost diversity in ecosystems throughout the world.

However, the biologist said the floodwater should have been pumped into the Mississippi or out to sea instead of Lake Pontchartrain where it will cause tremendous pollution and probably big fish kills.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Record snowfalls causing high waters in Great Plains

Related Stories

Record snowfalls causing high waters in Great Plains

July 7, 2011

Summers on the Great Plains are usually characterized by a lack of water. But flooding in several states has reversed that trend -- and it might not be the last of the high waters for 2011, according to a Kansas State University ...

River crests in Memphis; states downstream prepare

May 10, 2011

(AP) -- The Mississippi crest rolled past Memphis on Tuesday, going easy on much of the city, yet downriver in the mostly poor, fertile Delta region, floodwaters washed away crops, damaged hundreds of homes and closed casinos ...

Mining destruction for data to help others

February 4, 2010

William Holmes was at his desk at a downtown San Francisco engineering firm when a message from the U.S. Geological Survey flashed onto his computer screen: A magnitude 7.0 earthquake had struck 10 miles from the Haitian ...

Recommended for you

First detection of lithium from an exploding star

July 29, 2015

The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 made using telescopes at ESO's La Silla Observatory, and near Santiago in Chile, help to explain ...

Stressed out plants send animal-like signals

July 29, 2015

University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that, despite not having a nervous system, plants use signals normally associated with animals when they encounter stress.

New names and insights at Ceres

July 29, 2015

Colorful new maps of Ceres, based on data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, showcase a diverse topography, with height differences between crater bottoms and mountain peaks as great as 9 miles (15 kilometers).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.