Single serving levees, the modern medieval world

That is via Jason Kottke.

Comments

I believe the term is "redoubt"

Not "moat"?

Anyway, how long until some prankster rows over and digs a canal through some of these levies? ...Epic opportunity.

I found a gallery that showed a number of these, and a few had failed because of one side.

How long would that levee hold? Surely the dirt absorbs water at some rate, right?

What's going on in that guy's basement? Or do these houses not have them.

Epic opportunity....for gunfire.

I think about things like what if I could invent a driving trainer moduel that velcros to the passenger dashboard and electronically scores a passengers attempt to mimic the driver's actions. Then I say, hmmm, that would take me a long time and cost maybe $100k to develop. Then I think, if it saved one kid it would be worth it, not in a touchy-feely way, but on pure accounting. Then I think people probably wouldn't do it because it would look uncool.

Makes sense. You can't build one giant levy all the way to the gulf coast, the water has to go somewhere.

I saw a video about a farmer who did this. it seems like with the amount of dirt moved, it would be more practical to build your house on a small hill. Also, I wonder if those owners that built the berms will end up keeping them or flattening them once the water recedes.

@Andrew Not really related to post ... also, more likely it would cost a lot more and then be completely useless/uneffective even if it sold. A hint: even if the tech _somehow_ would work, it would require the actual driver to be a good driver. (among other things)

It's tangentially related in that there are preventive measures that could be taken such as these levees (or fixing the New Orleans levees) or tornado shelters that could be produced. The above levee worked, but noone would build one ahead of time.

My driver training idea would work because it takes many years to learn to drive well and what is needed is simulated practice, not expert instruction. We have that and it doesn't work very well.

Besides, what else can someone say about a house in a hole?

The point being, the guy built something in a weekend with a bulldozer that saved his house. The cost of the damage probably far exceeds the cost of prevention: building houses on hills, levees, and canals. It seems to me that actual prevention (as opposed to insurance, TSA, wishful thinking, etc.) is under-utilized.

Seems to me that you should send the cost of the levee to your insurance company.

Is this real? My instinct is to say it's a doctored photo.

Check this video

http://www.dump.com/2011/05/15/may-8-2011-resilient-arkansas-homeowner-tenaciously-builds-moat-to-stop-flood-video/

MPS17, if you were to follow the actual link, you'd see several similar examples.

Ah, I see I have to follow *two* links. Thanks I didn't notice that before.

it would be more practical to build your house on a small hill.

That's what my parents did, on the advice of their contractor. It was never put to the test with a flood, but the house was three feet higher than anything near it.

Beach houses make their own hills out of stilts. Beach houses are luxuries, but the cost-benefit is easier.

Looking at the gallery of images, the "hill" would have to be considerably more than three feet higher than the surrounding area.

That wasn't clear. They build the house on a hill that they made. The area was naturally flat.

As an outsider looking into America, that photograph tells me the frontier spirit isn't dead.

Redoubt vs. Motte and Bailey? Just to keep it Medieval.

The embarrassing thing is that the homeowner parked their earth mover on the other side of their bulwarks. Which is a shame, because it might be worth more than the house....

I doubt the homeowner actually owned an earth mover. It's hard to imagine someone smart enough to properly build a personal levee just "forgetting" to put high-value machinery where it would be safe when the job was done. Furthermore, NPR interviewed someone who did this, and they simply hired the earth-moving services of a company in the area.

It seems reasonable to assume that anything that could be moved to higher ground was moved. The levee protects the immovable house.

It is entertaining to see how Americans will grind teeth and pull hair because of the BP Macondo well disaster--nasty but temporary damage--yet happily accept the permanent damage to the Mississippi watershed and littoral zones. And happily use taxpayer money to fund corn corps and destroy huge areas of natural habitat.

The Old Testament God or G-d is smiling. Future generations of Americans might not be so happy.

Looks like a libertarian levee to me. This freedom-loving farmer is not relying on wasteful and ineffective government spending.

So, apparently flood control is not a public good after all, contra just about every mainstream econ text book. Reality trumps economic theory again!

I hope you're kidding...

that levee sure looks rivalrous and excludable to me, hence a private good QED

My point is one example does not imply all flood control is not a public good

I'm familiar with a wall like that being called a "bund", though more often for keeping liquid in than out.

Or a berm, for keeping Scotsmen out of your empire.

Now, imagine what we could do if we worked together...

In this case, you probably don't want to. The water has to go somewhere, eh?

Negative externalities! This homeowner should be jailed.

It has to go somewhere - and the more homeowners that pitch in to keep it in a controlled area, the less net harm it can do to any of them - on top of which, the work share of each homeowner would be basically cut by fourths. You can also maintain property value due to the presence of other undamaged homes nearby.

The value:cost ratio would almost certainly be more than 4 times as high as that of the work reflected in the OP.

I'm was curious how much this cost the owner. My estimate according to pixel counts in MS Paint:

Height of the house ~25pixels, I assume this is 10'
The levee looks sort of like a half cylinder, so we'll go with that.
Diameter of the cylinder = 123 pixels = ~41 ft
Length of the levee (left to right, center to center) = 690 pixels = ~230 ft
Width of the levee (top to bottom, again center to center) = 277 pixels = ~92 ft

So the perimeter of the square that goes through the center of the levee should be 644ft. The area of a cross section of the levee should be (41/2)^2*pi/2 = 660ft^2.
The total volume is 425k ft^3. According to this website http://www.earthproducts.net/prices-2011.html sand costs $36/ton which works out to $48.6/cubic yard. Our 425k ft^3 is 15.7k yd^3.

So our grand total comes to $766k to build this levee.

That seems high, I think the perspective in the picture might be messing with my pixel count based measurements.

they live around farm land so the price of dirt is dirt cheap.

they apparently live on a farm so plenty of dirt around which is dirt cheap.

Here is the really interesting thing in the popsci article, not the photos:

"This puts additional stress on the river system, stress that would be relieved if the river turned west and down through the Atchafalaya River, which connects to the Mississippi some 45 miles north-northwest of Baton Rouge, and headed on out to sea. Holding it back is the Army Corps of Engineer’s Old River Control Structure (completed in 1963, it is indeed old). If the Old River Control Structure were to fail--and infrastructure does fail, as Americans learned the hard way when Katrina hit--the map of the Mississippi Delta would be redrawn in a matter of hours, with devastating consequences.

"Last week the executive director of the Port of New Orleans said that closure of the Mississippi due to the most recent flooding would cost nearly $300 million per day. If the main thrust of the Mississippi took the Atchafalaya route and bypassed New Orleans to the west, the city would need a new livelihood and America would need a new port city and all the infrastructure and pipeline that comes with it. That’s not even counting the losses from the areas that would flood and become unusable through the Atchafalaya basin."

Ok, let's say the Old River Control Structure fails. What is the economist's view of the Federal government response?

Let the market solve the problem? By finding alternatives to the river for moving goods in and out of the Heartland? By the market restoring the river to its present path? The market building new river channels and ports that take the much shorter route? Or should the Federal government address this Interstate Commerce crisis by Congress being the voice of We the People in finding a solution for the at least hundred million of We the People afftected?

Ok, let’s say the Old River Control Structure fails. What is the economist’s view of the Federal government response?

Let the market solve the problem? By finding alternatives to the river for moving goods in and out of the Heartland? By the market restoring the river to its present path? The market building new river channels and ports that take the much shorter route? Or should the Federal government address this Interstate Commerce crisis by Congress being the voice of We the People in finding a solution for the at least hundred million of We the People affected?

This deserves responses. It's sad to think mine is likely to be the only one.

The nice invention towards nature. The Natural disasters as Flood, Earth quacks comes why we all know. The Gobal Warming the heat which is more produced in the earth are the reason. Why we consume so much oil and coal from the core of Earth . The Earth becomes more warmer. We should use its warming to cooling it. As we could make big solar systems which are used for making big level of free electricity . The sun who is big source of heat, Why we don't use that to cool the Earth? Why we depend on Oil and Coal. which produce more heat and pollution. The need is to use Nanotechnology related parts as silicon nanopowder, silicon nanoparticle, silicon nanotubes & make huge Solar systems which are more beneficial for us.

Natural disasters are become very often in now days. We are not serious for the pollution, that is why the nature remind us by natural disasters that do something. Our mother nature wants us to do something strong that is only for our benefit . We could live longer our children could live longer. We could make a joint community of Many businesses as Industrial Chemical Manufacturer and Bulk Supplier , Food, and other Industries, Government, other countries peoples to do something strong planing for long living.

This shows which they last very much lengthier and thus saving you income which could otherwise are actually utilized to purchase new ones.km,,

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