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Washington knew exactly what needed to be done to protect the citizens of New Orleans from disasters like Katrina. Yet federal funding for Louisiana flood control projects was diverted to pay for the war in Iraq.
Even though Hurricane Katrina has moved well north of the city, the waters continued to rise in New Orleans on Wednesday. That's because Lake Pontchartrain continues to pour through a two-block-long break in the main levee, near the city's 17th Street Canal. With much of the Crescent City some 10 feet below sea level, the rising tide may not stop until until it's level with the massive lake.
New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.
Originally posted by Simulacra
Found this interesting article on Alternet. This could have been prevented, FEMA knew about this problem