Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Orleans levees...who built that?

Anyone who paid attention to what actually happened in 2005 during Katrina knows that the hurricane itself did enough damage. But the real toll on the City of New Orleans came from the failure of its levees.

In tracking the promises Obama made during his 2008 campaign, Politifact includes this one:
Will ensure that New Orleans has a levee and pumping system to protect the city against a 100-year storm by 2011, with the ultimate goal of protecting the entire city from a Category 5 storm.
And on August 24, 2011, they noted:
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the federal government (along with state and local help) committed more than $14 billion to develop a levee and pumping system around New Orleans capable of protecting against a 100-year storm. It would be the biggest civil works project in the history of the Army Corps of Engineers. And Obama promised it would be completed by 2011.

As promised, nearly six years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, that goal has largely been accomplished.

According to a May 29, 2011, story by Mark Schleifstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, "The new system represents an unprecedented engineering feat that took six years to build, with more than $8 billion spent so far on design and construction. And it required a complete rewriting of the rules used by the corps to build both levees and hurricane levees."
Now, in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, the wind and rain have done their damage. But what about the levees?
Seven years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers was desperately trying to plug breaches in the city's broken and busted levee system.

Since those catastrophic days, the Army Corps has worked at breakneck speed — and at a cost of billions of dollars — to install new floodgates, pumps, floodwalls and levees across New Orleans. The work paid off. A day after Isaac hit New Orleans on the seventh anniversary of Katrina, officials said the 130-mile flood protection system did its job.

"If I had to give it a grade, I would give it an A-minus, and only a minus because of the small challenges we had," said Tim Doody, the president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, a commission that oversees levees protecting New Orleans.
As my friend Robbinswing would say: "Now run and tell that" to all those huffy Republicans who think they can build businesses and protect their families all on their own! Its bullshit and they know it.


  1. I hope to God someone makes a big point of this at the Democratic Convention.

  2. Sadly a lot of Republicans will not look at this as a good job, just a costly one. To some the human lives won't and they lost a way to make money!

  3. Is anyone going to point out that candidate Obama never promised to stop the oceans from rising?

    1. I know! How sarcastic and mendacious was that, anyway? And tacky, considering that Louisiana was flooding as he spoke.