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DR. IVOR VAN HEERDEN: FEMA knew at 11:00 on Monday that the levees were breached. At 2:00, they flew over the 17th Street canal and took video of the breach. By midnight on Monday, the White House knew. But none of us knew.
GREG PALAST: Back at LSU, van Heerden's experts warned the Bush administration about levees, long before Katrina hit.
DR. IVOR VAN HEERDEN: I, myself, briefed many, many senior federal officials, including somebody from the White House.
GREG PALAST: Without the warning that the levees had begun to break, evacuations stopped, until it was too late. But those that survived, where were they? This city is still half empty
What I will say next will probably completely throw you. Katrina saved probably over 50,000 lives.
That levee was doomed. If it had failed without notice, the death toll would have been measured in tens of thousands. There would be no evacuation, no preparation, no Feds at all. (such that they were anyway) no Coast Guard in choppers etc.