Sunday, August 16, 2009

The First Step to Recovery is Still...

[you guessed it!]
...Admitting You Have a Problem

As expected, I received some pushback from the previous post and would like to respond to the questions and criticism received. Most importantly, I mis-cited the report from which I drew the history of previous hurricane flooding in N.O. That info came from the Independent Levee Investigation Team (not IPET). I greatly appreciate Editilla of New Orleans Ladder for pointing out this huge error! Like the Corps engineers, I am also human and thus fallible.

Let me address the most significant criticisms.


There is no evidence, beyond unverified verbal accounts by Army Corps spokespersons, that local citizens "limited the scope of the first round of levees which failed so catastrophically" during Katrina.
I didn't speak to Army Corps spokespersons. This information, which is the extent of my evidence, was lifted directly from the ILIT report:
In 1960...the Corps plan opted to solve the drainage canal freeboard problem by installing tidal gates and pumps at the drainage canal outfalls along Lake Pontchartrain. This obviated the need for condemning all the homes built along the canal levees. The Corps soon found itself embroiled in a clash of cultures and goals with the levee districts, the S&WB, and the local citizenry, who flatly opposed the Corps' proposal.

...the Corps focus shifted to heightening the drainage canal levees using concrete walls, which was what the opposing groups desired. These walls were to be designed to withstand a Category 3 storm surge with 12 ft tides and 130 mph winds. (ILIT report, pp. 4-22 to 4-23)

We [Levees.org] stand by our assertion that allegations in a 3-page sworn affidavit by NOLA.com Founder Jon Donley thoroughly validate our suspicions of a deception campaign being waged by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps shouldn't be posing as individuals spouting off deceiving and incorrect information in online comment forums, but individual Corps employees should be able to spout off their personal views via any forum they choose. In my opinion, the way this issue about the Nola.com comments is playing out makes Levees.org look like it doesn't know how to handle criticism.

We hope to see both our supporters and critics at Rising Tide IV where we will sponsor the Early Riser Breakfast.

I do support Levees.org, which is why I care if some of the things they say is questionable. Often, the most helpful criticism comes from those who want to support and stand behind you.

[
note: comment courtesy of Editilla~]This ILIT study lays a lot of blame in many places, but the cause of 80% of the flooding of New Orleans 8/29/05 is still indisputably the Corps of Engineers failure to get it right the first time --NOT Katrina storm surge. The ILIT study pretty much devastates that misnomer.
Umm, have ya read the ILIT report? The hurricane, of which a defining element is storm surge, is the FIRST in ILIT's list of what caused our levees to fail:

In the end, it is concluded that many things went wrong with the New Orleans flood protection system during Hurricane Katrina, and the resulting catastrophe had its roots in three main causes: (1) a major natural disaster (the Hurricane itself), (2) the poor performance of the flood protection system, due to localized engineering failures, questionable judgments, errors, etc. involved in the detailed design, construction, operation and maintenance of the system, and (3) more global "organizational" and institutional problems associated with the governmental and local organizations responsible for the design, construction, operation, maintenance and funding of the overall flood protection system. (ILIT, p. xix)


There is a reason hurricane storm surges are measured, recorded, studied, and feared: because they matter. If storm surge were not a factor, then levees and floodwalls would not be built according to how much storm surge and wave overtopping they could handle. Just because our floodwalls failed with 7ft as opposed to 14ft of storm surge does not mean surge was not a factor.

I mean, really, where exactly do people think all that fucking water that the levees did not hold back came from?

[by Editilla~] Other perimeters of influence do not factor into the basic successful engineering of those flood walls and levees.
Basic successful engineering includes selection of types of structures as well as placement and maintenance of structures, both of which local government and citizens had some degree of control over:

The three drainage canals should not have been accessible to the storm surge. The USACE had tried for many years to obtain authorization to install floodgates at the north ends of the three drainage canals that could be closed to prevent storm surges from raising the water levels within the canals. That would have been the superior technical solution. Dysfunctional interaction between the local Levee Board (who were responsible for levees and floodwalls, etc.) and the local Water and Sewerage Board (who were responsible for pumping water from the city via the drainage canals) prevented the installation of these gates, however, and as a result many miles of the sides of these three canals had instead to be lined with levees and floodwalls. (ILIT, p. xxiii)

New Orleans officials were the ones who funded and built the outfall drainage canals despite being warned in the 1870's that they would direct storm surge right into the heart of the city, much like MRGO did. Until the 1950s, before the Corps became involved, it was the Orleans Levee Board who opted to raise these outfall canal levees again and again following each of the many overtoppings and breaches (listed in my previous post) that occurred during hurricanes. It was New Orleans officials who allowed homes to be built so close to those drainage canals, and once that occurred, do you really think the Corps faced any chance of constructing the wide, sturdy levees like the ones that have protected us from the Mississippi river since the 1850s? I understand that people don't want to have their homes torn down and forced to move. Hell, I wouldn't, but I also understand that we need to understand how we got to where we are today.

I'm not trying to reopen old wounds or rehash something that's been put to bed, like one person [i.e., Editilla~] insinuated about my motivations for writing my last post. This has been on my mind precisely because of the decisions we as New Orleanians are being asked to make once again and the coverage every Corps public meeting receives in the press. Also, my original post was not just about the Corps and floodwalls, it was about questioning the reluctance of our City Council to adopt higher elevations for rebuilding in a city that has been flooded 38 times --
THIRTY FRICKIN' EIGHT, people!! -- by Lake Pontchartrain. It was also about some people wanting to place pumps in City Park because they'd look too ugly by their lakefront houses, to hell with physical science and gravity and history which keep trying to tell us that that's just not a good idea no matter how you slice it. It was also about the continued lack of leadership in this City willing to face the hard truths and shepherd its citizens toward facing some tough truths when we need to. How can we expect the Corps and the feds to address their faults when we are insulted whenever asked to address our own community's faults?

By reading some of the dissenting comments, one would think I laid 100% of the blame at the foot of New Orleanians. I clearly said the Corps was to blame for the unacceptable design and failure of our flood protection, and I most certainly don't have a reputation of being a Corps sympathizer. What I would like to think I have a reputation for is pointing out facts, even the ugly ones; and the fact (unless the revered engineer and known Corps critic Robert Bea & his colleagues got it wrong in their ILIT report) is that
many local officials and citizens prior to Katrina preferred the very system of outfall canals and floodwalls now in place. This does not mean we're stupid for living here. This does not mean the Corps did an excellent job of overseeing their design, maintenance, and construction because they didn't. It does not mean those walls didn't fail at half their design specifications. They did. It most certainly does not mean that people opting for the floodwalls should have seen the future and fully understood the implications of their decisions at that time. It just means what those words placed in that particular order are supposed to mean: that many people here preferred the Corps to build floodwalls instead of closing or reconfiguring the outfall canals, instead of the tidal gates and pumps at the mouth of the lake, and instead of giving up their homes.


So why even bring all this up? It's not an attempt to retell the Flood story in a manner that benefits the Corps, as one commenter [a.k.a. Editilla~] insinuated. It's an attempt to tell MORE of the story, beginning from the 1800s instead of starting halfway through (or even near the end of) the story at August 29, 2005. Sometimes life gives us the gift of past experience and hindsight, and we'd be doing ourselves and everyone who has to live with our decisions a giant disservice to not use that wisdom when we can. Those who do not understand history, or flat out deny it, are destined to repeat it...or at the very least act surprised when it occurs again.

15 comments:

New Orleans Ladder said...

Et tu EJ?
"I mean, really, where exactly do people think all that fucking water that the levees did not hold back came from?"
Do you really think this dog is gonna hunt?
I would ask: really, where exactly do people think all that Bad Fucking Levee Soil came from?

I sincerely hope that you try to pass this Surge Meme off on Harry Shearer at the Rising Tide conference,--since he has consistently argued against such horse shit in his Huff Post blog.

Or you could shovel this cut and paste spin'filtration on John McQuaid's latest post --"The Katrina flood was a man- made disaster, part XXIII"

How dare you quote Editilla so profusely without proper citations!
Listen, I've traveled the back hand path since 8/29/05 and that sort of playground sling-shot commentary belies a weakness of Point.

Regarding your spin on the Corps' violations of Federal Code: Hey, Tim Ruppert has every right to stand on his head and spit greasy BBs in public, but it is illegal to use computers that I paid for to astro'turf the story of the '05 Flood.
Tim's got his own Co'Intel'Pro Blog and he can spin this shit all he wants, but have you ever noticed his soft hands. Hell, the only place that social buttercup has real callouses is on his ASCE, where he rose to President. But when he is at work for the Corps of Engineers doing reports down at Leake Street it is a Felony for his fellow Corps engineers to use My equipment to Lie in public about the causes of the Flood --to the tune of 700 in just a six week period, by sworn affidavit. Come on. Give me a fucking break. Free Speech My Ass. I paid for that Speech and you did and we all do.

Finally, you problems with ILIT.
I've read it completely at least 4 times, and am just about done with the IPET, that Stillborn Behemoth.
ILIT was done in 6 months, at roughly $350,000 and IPET took nearly 4 years at $35,000,000. Why didn't you cite IPET I wondered. Could have been a Freudian Slip. Have you read IPET?
Did you see any of the ASCE seminars across the country, right after the flood, where they tried to lie about the causes of the engineering failures? Check with Levees.org for the videos.

I am waiting to see if Robert Bea and Raymond Seed respond to your criticisms of all these other factors --besides the basic engineering-- which you believe contributed to those flood wall failures. I do hope they address this. But, you cannot escape Bad Soil.

I can lift and past from ILIT just like any other Lazy Fool. When you said "First Line of Defense", I naturally thought you were speaking of the "first line of defense" cited in the Study, but apparently you were tangentially and erroneously referring to the reasons the other flood walls failed.
Christ this is like arguing with a Holocaust Denyer. Well, those other flood walls had that bad soil too?
So Yeah I resent you Hubris there. Suck my toe. What may be a productive discovery of a possible mistake you turn into a confusing piece of rhetorical syllodomy.

And in the end, all of this you proffer has not a gnats ass to do with basic engineering truthfulness.

Your ultimate point is what, "OK, the Corps fucked us so let's move past it and have them install Option 1 and NOT repair the 17th Street Canal flood walls they built wrong in the first place? What? Let's accept the Corps already suspect cost estimates on the Technologically superior Option 2 and go for the worse design of Option 1 so what, the Corps can have more future make-work into the next Century? What?
What is your point? And why NOW, when none of us are getting any sleep as it is?

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder

New Orleans Ladder said...

And I forgot to address your "the coverage every Corps public meeting receives in the press."
Uhmmm sorry padna, those meeting are profusely advertised in the Times-Picayune with your tax dollars to the tune of $45,000 per year per contract, via the Corps $5,000,000 PR firm: OPP, Optimal Process Partners. This is in their contract. Those Flash Ads you see rotated throughout nola.com 24/7? Those aren't free.
For you to miss this incredible influence in our premier daily news blog stuns me. Really.
The T-P is the only outlet in which OPP runs these ads. OPP runs these "meetings" too. They are the ones that came up with the Note-Card-Questions.
If you are simply ignorant of the ASCECORPS PR machinery then fine. I have no problem with that. If you are just being stupid, then, well whateva. But if you are deliberately ignoring the Corps Professional Public Relations, then we definitely have a problem, Houston.

Editilla

E.J. said...

Editilla,
I was talking about the news articles and TV news stories covering what happened at the Corps meetings not the federally mandated advertisement of those meetings

Other than levees.org, you were the only one who left critical comments so I thought the source was obvious. Plus I was focusing on addressing criticisms others might also have, not on attacking you, but if you want to be cited, you got it.

Harry Shearer is a great guy. Unless he's an expert on hurricanes or an engineer, I'm not sure why what he says about this should be considered definitive.

Why should I cite IPET?

I didn't say anything about the bad soils. As far as I know, locals didn't have a say in the type of soils used on the levees (perhaps other than where the Corps could get the soil needed). But since we're on the topic, what about the shaky soils beneath the surface that might cause subsidence and instability of the best built floodwalls? Mother Nature has provided us with some shaky foundations.

I didn't say anything about preferring Option 1 over 2. Of course the floodwalls need to be improved if there's any chance STORM SURGE could enter the outfall canals.

What about the wisdom of zoning for flooding based on the presumption that levees will keep out 100-year floods? Why in the world would the City Council and insurance companies stick to that sort of thinking? Why are people pretending like holding the Corps accountable and also recognizing that we also have a responsibility to mitigate residential flooding are mutually exclusive?

New Orleans Ladder said...

EJ,
zip it up and go home.
[Other than levees.org, you were the only one who left critical comments so I thought the source was obvious. Plus I was focusing on addressing criticisms others might also have, not on attacking you, but if you want to be cited, you got it.]
Come on, roll with it. This is so school yard.
What the hell are you talking about with the above statement? "The source was obvious"??? WTF? Are you kidding me? Soooo, if one or more others had gathered in our name would you think you were God? What?
What you mean "We", Kimosabe?
You are so into getting attacked. Why? Why did you solicit hate mail at the end of your first misguided and malformed post? It ain't me. I don't hate you.
If I thought you were attacking me you would have seen an entirely different comment.
No, what I see you doing is using referential passive aggression, to wit: "some people say this" or "some people say that" when it is obvious to whom you refer. So I had some fun with it. Sorry to trip you up. It is a question of rhetorical connotations, and I may very well over-estimated your grasp of argument. My apologies.
In fact, I really should apologize for taking anything you have said thus far seriously enough to respond. I don't understand your cat-and-mouse game with levees.org.
I presumed you knew about Harry Shearer's blog and what he says with it.
I mistakenly assumed that you are familiar with IPET, since you were confusing it with ILIT earlier. If you need to be told to read the IPET, I am surely Not the one to do it.
I apologize for all of my tact here because you don't know shit apparently. And, that is certainly your right to do with your own blog and all. Again, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, just not their own facts. I don't care about your opinion of why those flood wall failed. But it is when anyone parses the facts about 8/29/05 that I become Editilla the Beotchwolf or whateva. I just don't do Holocaust Deniers. I'm done here.
You can stick a Fork in this Exquisite Corps.

Editilla

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

EJ,

First of all, sorry to bloviate, I thought this would be shorter:

A big problem moving forward is the lack of leadership in both the local and state governments. While there is plenty of valid criticism concerning the Corps design and construction of the flood control structures, their budget comes from Congress, and New Orleans faces an uphill battle in getting adequate protection under the best of circumstances. The end result is that New Orleans cannot depend on the Corps and Federal governments alone. Agitation for more comprehensive and safer plans (like Option B) would be easier to achieve if the local and state governments proved they weren't screwing around with these issues.

The local and state decision makers can do a lot to mitigate risk with public policy, and there are plenty of examples of how to do this.

The most appropriate would be a state disaster fund. Florida has done this with reasonable success in a response to Hurricane Andrew. Doing so keeps insurance rates more reasonable in at-risk areas. Louisiana would benefit due to the sheer amount of real estate in at-risk areas both in hurricane risk areas and flood risk areas along the various river systems. Doing so would also mitigate any Stafford Act restrictions that the Feds may choose to spring on us.

Next up are definitely zoning ordinances designed to raise building stock over time. If something were to happen to my parents' house in Coastal Georgia, they would not be able to rebuild as-is. Any replacement structure would have to be raised for them to collect disaster relief for rebuilding. Many flood-prone areas on the East Coast have such ordinances.

While this is expensive, the long term costs to the county and state are considered lower than not doing so. Couple this with the maintenance plans in many localities (identifying absentee landlords, seizing property and remediating or removing blighted property) and the community is making an investment in safer housing stock before disaster strikes. With the subsidence and flooding problems of the whole state, Louisiana could justify statewide house raising grants, to assist homeowners who wish to do so.

Taking it a step further, New Orleans ordinances could be crafted to outlaw building on landfill in Lake Pontchartrain (as several ridiculous projects are being discussed). Florida was able to get away with that pre-real estate bubble collapse. It is a mistake we should not repeat here. There is plenty of in-parish space here with existing structures or existing space that can be used.

Just my $0.02.

New Orleans Ladder said...

Good news Pat:
[They would be shocked to learn a higher percentage of New Orleanians had flood insurance than nearly anywhere else in the nation.] http://johnmcquaid.com/2009/08/16/the-katrina-flood-was-a-man-made-disaster-part-xxiii/#comment-653

And...
"City eases elevation guidelines"
http://www.neworleanscitybusiness.com/viewStory.cfm?recID=33882

Unfortunately, Congress must depend on the Funding requirements submitted by the Corps of Engineers, when allocating resources.
As we have seen with the Corps' own suspect costs estimates of Option 2, this can be grossly over estimated to do it right the first time.
Equally unfortunate is that under the Corps-shoveled Option, 1 the 17th Street Canal Bad Levees will Not Be dealt with, (repaired or removed) and thus are a Horrible Risk when the next storm settles over the city and that complicated tandem pumps system the Corps want fails in the midst of the storm... and the Corps determined "safe water levels" rise to HALF LOAD...
Congress has always had to depend on the Corps own Cost Estimates. Always. They don't pull these funding Mandates out of thin air.
Some people may think they know where "all this fucking water comes from" but we should all know where all our fucking costs estimates come from, yep the Exquisite Corps.

I like your idea of an Insurance pool, however nothing in that industry's Profit Bucket from Katrina seems to hold much water fo'da Peoples. You can follow the Insurance problems here: http://slabbed.wordpress.com/
They are the best on this issue and really opened my eyes about the complexities of a proper grifter scam. Whoa.

Thank you,
Editilla~New Orleans Ladder

Anonymous said...

"is that many local officials and citizens prior to Katrina preferred the very system of outfall canals and floodwalls now in place."

You are correct. Design restrictions were in place, like they always are in all engineering designs. BUT, but, but that is not a valid excuse for the failure of these engineering structures way below their design load from surge height. Yes there was a surge. What do you think levees and floodwalls are supposed to be designed for? You seem to be grasping at straws for what I don't know - oh, you want me to take responsibility for my losses from that flood I caused, is that it? You are nuttier then even me.

Just you, you ain't the only one. I rebuilt above the floodline and feel it would be good for everyone to do so, but guess what? That costs extra. My rebuilt home is only 75% the size of my flooded home so I'd have enough money to elevate. Not everyone can afford to do that. RHP decided to release elevation money last. Blame the state for that if you want, but not the innocent homeowner. Blaming New Orleanians for what the federal government requires blinders.

If I was at a red light and someone drove up and shot me in the head with a machine gun, would you be one of those people saying it was my fault for being in my car at that stop light?

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Editilla,

I think a lot of people are confused about flood insurance as it relates to national, regional and state policy. This is due to the varied types of destruction (wind, storm surge, flood) each place is used to dealing with. In many ways, New Orleans and Louisiana have far more in common with cities in the Midwest and Ohio Valley (who deal primarily with flood) than cities on the coast (who deal primarily with wind and storm surge).

It is good news that the city was responsive and removed obstacles to people raising their homes. I still think they have to take that much further to encourage more raising of homes without the adversity and expense so many homeowners (like Anonymous) have experienced. These changes need to be made sooner rather than later, IMHO. Landlords should be encouraged in the same ways in order to protect renters.

The insurance situation is not currently optimal, but there are solutions to work towards. Florida's fund worked well right up until 2004 when they were hit with 4 hurricanes in a year. But they were still far better prepared, from a statewide finances standpoint, than Louisiana 2005-present.

As far as Congress using the Corps' budget projections, that is true. However, Congress does have mechanisms and accounting officials to check the work of these agencies (please see also, F-22; and watch what happens with Atlanta's drinking water situation) and force better practices. Though it unfortunately takes political pressure to enact such safeguards.

I'm fairly certain that the only opponents to Option B are Corps accountants and vested local interests (the same parties I believe EJ is pointing fingers at). I further believe the thesis to the last two posts is that those interests should not be allowed to set policy this time around.

That's what I get from my reading, at any rate.

Editilla the Pun said...

Hey Pat,
EJ isn't pointing fingers as much as doing slight-of-hand with the facts regarding the failures of those flood walls in '05.
For example, what precisely does Flood Insurance have to do with basic catastrophic engineering failure any more than the manufacturer of Anonymous' automobile have to do with them getting shot at a red light? I mean it was obviously Anonymous' fault for not checking up on the shooter's licenses to operate machine guns. Right, Anonymous, you boob?

That aside, I do not agree with your assessment of "Disaster Insurance" in Louisiana and on the Gulf Coast.
But I go to that blog I mentioned, slabbed, for all my entertainment and enlightenment on that subject. It is a much better venue for this discussion than here where EJ is attempting to spin the Story of those flood wall failures, creating havoc and craving hate mail.

It has become yet another myth that you can "control" people's behavior via the costs of their insurance premiums. That may have seemed to work in Florida until that State's CAT Funds Re-Insurance Investments got caught up in the global ass'fuck.

The only salience such a view brings to this discussion is that you are talking about betting on Risk of Failure and the Corps is Building on Risk of Failure. Engineering is not about "building strong reducing risk", but about building correctly, knowing why it fails or not, and adjusting your future engineering to thus maximize success. You don't just build things and walk away, as the Corps. Most engineers are required to sign their work so you can deal with it later. Not the Corps however. And, if you build something wrong in the first place, risk becomes some sort of nebulous quantity like "there ain't no telling how many fish ain't in that lake" sorta truthiness.

Lake Lanier is a perfect example of the Corps playing States against each other. I have been following that dispute for about 10 years, and much closer since starting the Ladder. The Corps doesn't give a rat's ass about you any more than the Insurance companies. This is why they have lost that latest battle in Atlanta, though I am still stunned by that. Have you ever experienced the relationship between the Junkie and their Dealer?
Do you think the Corps was breaking the law in deals with Atlanta? Or the other back room ones with Alabama? Florida? The Corps is much less the victim of competing interest here and across the nation than more the slider in the Shell Game during Panic in Needle Park.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Editilla,

[W]hat precisely does Flood Insurance have to do with basic catastrophic engineering failure[?]

If that catastrophic engineering failure causes a flood, then Flood Insurance is enormously important (just as auto, health and life insurance are important if someone shoots you while stopped at a red light).

And while you cannot "control" people's behavior, you can provide rewards and assistance through public policy to move populations closer to shared goals. That Florida's fund got caught up in bad investments means that the managers need be more careful where they put their money. It does not make the whole idea unsound.

And the view I am attempting to bring to this discussion is "betting against risk of failure" in spite of the Corps' building plans. If I thought the risk was too high, I'd be Cousin Pat IN Georgia, but I'd still be discussing the same things.

I'm not an engineer (I went to UGA not Tech) so I focus on the critical thinking aspect of the situation. Every engineering project has a chance of failure, and I calculate the risks associated every time I get in my car or ride my bike or go to sleep in my house.

While we can and should expect excellence in engineering systems, we cannot ignore the associated risks and pretend that failure is not a possibility. Especially considering the historical nature of this area's penchant for flooding and the Corps recent engineering failure. Expect the best, plan for the worst.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Wait, they lost the latest battle in Atlanta? The last I heard, the ACoE had just turned off Atlanta's drinking water. Prompting a former governor Roy Barnes to advocate finding every rock quarry and depression and fill it with water the Corps cannot touch.

(Or are you referring to last year's court case where Alabama was able to negate the deal Georgia and the Corps had guaranteeing 25% of Lake Lanier's water to the ATL?)

E.J. said...

What my dissenters keep overlooking are my clear statements that the Corps bears blame for the failure of the floodwalls and levees. They built them incorrectly.

I wasn't not inviting or craving hate mail. I was just predicting there would be because of the emotional nature of the subject.e

Editilla the Pun said...

Hey Pat,
yeah I know I kinked on that but it was getting late. My point is to question the legality of that '03 agreement with the Corps.
http://www.uswaternews.com/archives/arcrights/8georlose2.html

But my point about the Corps playing states off of each other stands as self-evident --particularly illustrated by that tri-state water war.
Which leads me to the Corps' Victim Card. They are not the victims of the Winds of Democracy, ever at the woebegone vagaries of an uniformed political theater.
They are players on this stage, even Directors. In some cases, like here for example, they would attempt to re-write the Script.
Editilla begs to differ with that scene. But then again, my daddy went to Tech.

Sandy Rosenthal said...

On personal responsibility:
An attempt to frame Levees.org as advocating personal irresponsibility is an attempt to obscure and diffuse our true message.

On Senator Mary Landrieu's letter to the Pentagon:
As reported by the Associated Press (DC office) on August 10, Senator Landrieu has sent a letter to the Defense Department's Inspector General to investigate allegations that a group of individuals at the Corps of Engineers New Orleans District waged an internet deception campaign to defend the agency from bad media coverage. And as we asserted in our June 2009 letter to the Senator, we believe these alleged activities may be far more than just a personnel matter, and for that reason should also be reviewed by the Justice Department.

On the reference in ILIT to a 1960 plan by the Corps of Engineers:
The ILIT (pp 4-22 to 4-23) refers to a plan by the Corps to solve a drainage canal freeboard problem by installing tidal gates and pumps at the drainage canal outfalls in New Orleans. The ILIT referenced a 1960 'initial report' from the Corps and in 1961, the Corps revised their plans with the production of the 'barrier plan' which did not mention any pump stations at the lake edge. We know of no stated plans by the Corps before 2005 which discusses the US Army Corps as recommending and participating in the construction of pump stations at the outfall canals in New Orleans. Levees.org is currently in communication with both Professor Bob Bea and Professor Ray Seed at the University of California Berkeley on this issue. We also have a call into Professor David Rogers at the University of Missouri regarding this as these three professors led the ILIT study. We have not been able to find this or study the details of this 1960 plan. After we have determined the exact wording and details of this report, we will be happy to share our findings.

HJ Bosworth Jr, research director Levees.org
Sandy Rosenthal, founder Levees.org

E.J. said...

Please do share.