Letter to Miami

Dear Miami,

I have seen pictures of you being harassed by recurrent floods. They come into your streets, your basements and even your first floors, wetting, ruining everything on their passage. Not only confronted with enormous costs as it is, you also face a grim future: the frequency and the amplitude of those floods will increase, as you are well aware of, regardless of the cause.

You are one of the most wealthy cities in the world, so you have the means to try solutions. You have built a little wall on the shore. We from Holland could see it will be of no use at all. You have placed pumps here and there, to pump the water away. We thought: “That’s a beginning!” but then we heard the contraptions were electrically driven. An inhabitant told us that during floods, power has the habit of falling out. So back to square one.

There is another issue, as another inhabitant pointed out: “Miami is build on porous limestone. We can’t just do as the Dutch, and build a dam to stop the water. The water would go underneath the dam and flood the city from below.”

You can’t do as the Dutch, but the question here is: HAVE YOU ASKED THE DUTCH?

The answer is: ASK THE DUTCH.

Yours truly,

Oud Zeikwijf

PS: Personally I would say – but I am not a real Dutch – that being porous, the limestone contains air. You could perhaps try to contain this air, make sure it doesn’t escape. Surround the foundation with an impermeable substance. Then you could go up and down with the level of water, like on an inflatable raft.

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