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2006 != 1959

According to a story in today’s paper:

The heights of floodwalls and levees now being rebuilt by the corps are based on research for a likely worst-case storm done in 1959. When new weather service research in the 1970s increased the size and intensity of that storm and its projected surges, the corps stuck to its original design specifications when work began in the 1980s, including for structures that failed during Hurricane Katrina.

To reiterate, the Corps is building to 1959 specs right now, despite the fact that this data is known to be outdated.

This does not inspire confidence.

Meanwhile, George “Whatever It Takes” Bush is visiting our city again today. Maybe this time he’ll actually visit some of the flooded areas instead of sticking to the Garden District. Sure, it’s a photo opportunity, but when you’re the president of the United States, even your photo ops are important. If the president visits the floodzone, then the floodzone will be on the evening news.

Published inNew OrleansPolitix


  1. I’m glad Bushie finally went and saw it. He’s a, well, I don’t want to say, but the fact is that he has the power to get something done about it if he wants to, and lacking intelligent imagination, he has to see it to get it. I’m hoping that maybe he gets it now. *sigh*

    As for the Corps and the data and the heights, I read that long article too and it made me feel vaguely nauseous.

  2. Tim Tim

    Here’s what you need to know: the Standard Project Hurricane was updated because the National Weather Service learns more and more each year about hurricanes and what makes them tick. It has nothing at all to do with wetlands. The Corps can only build projects that are authorized and funded by Congress and the President. Although construction of the hurricane levees on the lakefront started almost 40 years ago, the project has never been completed because of funding and other problems. It really doesn’t make sense to go to Congress to ask for more money to improve upon a project that they haven’t even funded to completion in its original form. The Times-Picayune would rather print the half-witted comments of a geologist from LSU than the real story from actual engineers working on the project.

    We should be concerned, but don’t blame the Corps.

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