Saturday, May 20, 2006

Stop Slapping FEMA and Kick Some Corps Ass

FEMA will take the fall for the disaster that is New Orleans post-Katrina. There is plenty of blame to go around. Not enough of it, though, is falling on the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps which was in charge of our levees, the Corps which told us our levee system was Category 3, the Corps that told professional engineering firms to ignore soil weaknesses and allowed the Orleans Levee Board to claim that grasscutters provided the proper level of oversight.

The Corps is a boondoggle of failed projects, pet projects and dumb projects, all wasteful and few of which protect the taxpayers and voters footing the bills.

The Corps has eluded the public's outrage - even though a useless Corps shipping canal intensified Katrina's surge, even though poorly designed Corps floodwalls collapsed just a few feet from an unnecessary $750 million Corps navigation, even though the Corps had promoted development in dangerously low-lying New Orleans floodplains and had helped destroy the vast marshes that once provided the city's natural flood protection.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's failures didn't inundate a city, kill 1,000 residents and inflict $100 billion in damages. Yet FEMA is justifiably disgraced, while Congress keeps giving the Corps more money and more power. A new 185-point Senate report on what went wrong during Katrina waits until point No. 65 to mention the Corps "design and construction deficiencies" that left New Orleans underwater. Meanwhile, a new multibillion-dollar potpourri of Corps projects is nearing approval on Capitol Hill. [The Salt Lake Tribune. Yes, in Utah.]

This link will take you to a Times-Picayune graphic (you will probably have to register with the site but it is worth it) that shows how 80% of the city was inundated in about 6 hours. The floodwalls, the levee support systems, the MR-GO (the above-mentioned "useless shipping canal")--all Corps projects, all failed. And instead of blame, reform, shame and public humiliation worth more press time than some email Brownie sent about his suits, the Corps gets MORE money.

I wish I could fuck up like that and get paid more.

Three pieces of the Corps-created disaster:

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Blogger Professor Zero said...

Yes. So (a) what hope do you think there may be, now that we have 4 more years of Ray-Man coming up, and (b) do you think there is hope at all?

I am still weary from the last hurricane season, obviously, and I am consoling myself by saying that at least we can go on the NOAA site and read the commentary of my two favorite forecasters, Avila and Beven.

Sun May 21, 01:57:00 PM  

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