Thursday, November 03, 2005

Did the Levees in New Orleans Fail Because of Faulty Construction?

Over the past week we have seen several articles suggesting that the levees in New Orleans failed because of flaws in design and construction. This article in today's New York Times suggests that malfeasance may have been involved.

The failure of the levees resulted in a disaster which killed 1,000 people and left 100,000 without homes. The dozens of levee breaches and failures caused by Hurricane Katrina flooded 75 percent of the city. A group of engineering experts told a Senate Committee yesterday that had the levees held only about half that area would have been inundated.

The Army Corps of engineers designed the flood-protection system and managed its construction. We can only hope they will come up with a fix that guarantees safety for the people of New Orleans. Of course we are already hearing complaints about the expense involved. My bias is that protecting one of our most unique American cities should be a higher priority than bringing "democracy" to the Middle East.