2005/10/12

Just plain stupid

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in New Orleans working its butt off rebuilding those damaged levees, right? They are building them bigger, stronger and better than they were before Katrina, right? Right? You’d think so wouldn’t you? And, you’d be wrong. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is rebuilding New Orleans damaged levees to pre-Katrina standards.

Why is the Corps rebuilding only to pre-Katrina standards? They are rebuilding only to pre-Katrina standards because that’s all they have the authority to do.

Col. Lewis Setliff, the engineer overseeing the levee repairs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the Corps only has the authority to rebuild levees to the strength they were prior to the storms that damaged them.

The levees that broke were built to withstand Category 3 hurricanes, which have winds up to 130 mph. Hurricane Katrina's winds were about 145 mph _ a Category 4_ when the storm hit Louisiana.

Without approval from Congress, the Army engineers cannot build the levees higher and stronger. And even if Congress were to give that approval soon, it would come too late to allow them to be finished by the time the 2006 hurricane season begins in June.

You need to read the complete article.

Hat tip Monisha Sujan at Blog for America.

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