Army Corps Admits Flaws in New Orleans Levees
It’s hurricanes Katrina and Rita week. In the New York Times, Army Corps Admits Flaws in New Orleans Levees: “Call it a mea culpa, or call it a dry recognition, or admission, or whatever — but we’re not ducking our accountability and responsibility in this.’” The chief engineer of the Army Corps, Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, said the report showed that “we missed something in the design,” particularly in the construction of the drainage canal floodwalls that caused so much of the flooding.
This was news to me. Federal culpability had been questionable, in my mind, prior to hearing this report from the federal Army Corp of Engineers, itself.
Levees.org is possibly the most practical of the various grass roots groups formed in New Orleans in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Founder Sandy Rosenthal explained that 70% of the water in New Orleans came from one of the levee breaks and 25% from the other; hence, 95% of all water in the city was due to levee breaks. If these figures are accurate, then the proximate cause of the vast majority of damage becomes more clear. Certainly, if the U.S. government can find money and human resources to send to Israel (caused by Israel’s obliteration of Beruit?), it should be able to devote resources here at home.
It strikes me that money, however, is not the primary need, here. OVERSIGHT and ACCOUNTABLITY are the missing resources. This 20 year project also needs vastly improved BRANDING, so that people understand what the project is really all about. It appears that Sandy Rosenthal is one of the best-focused upon the issues that matter most in catalyzing both TIMELY relief and ENDURING solutions for this battered city.