This letter is a respectful effort to address an inaccuracy in the SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 publication. The following quote from the article has a reference that has become all too common, substantially due to the longterm persistence of presenting false information by a government agency.
“Since then, two other monster storms have devastated U.S. cities, Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans in 2005, and Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston just last week.”
Actually, Hurricane Katrina did not devastate New Orleans. When Katrina made landfall at Bay St. Louis, MS. New Orleans was pummeled by winds and rain, but did not have substantial damage beyond broken windows and landscape damage. After landfall New Orleans breathed a sigh of relief that yet another bullet had been dodged. But that comfort was short lived.
What devastated New Orleans after Katrina passed was broken levees. Not over topped levees, but structural levee failures due to multiple errors by the United States Army Corp of Engineers. The reason false information continues to circulate regarding the flooding of New Orleans is that the USACE denied their errors for years. It was a full ten years before they released information finding that it was calculation errors, faulty construction, inferior materials and a host of other mistakes made by this federal agency that cannot be held financially responsible for damage they cause.
This means that citizens paid for the design, materials and construction of a levee system that was doomed to failure before any challenge was presented. Then our taxes paid to attempt to remedy this problem.
The United States Army Corp of Engineers is responsible for many things beyond levees. If a bridge was built and presented as able to carry a specific load, and a truck load substantially below the load limit caused the bridge to fall, this would be unacceptable. Everyone in this country is at risk of suffering from this agency’s errors and excessive cost cutting efforts. We are not getting what we pay for.
Those in jeopardy from this latest storm are in our hearts and we wish the best to all.
Thank you for your time and patience.
~ Yuana Blanke