Big Uneasy: How the Army Corp of Engineers Failed NOLA

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posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 10:18 AM
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Many people feel that much of the damage done to NOLA in 2005 wasn't so much what Katrina did to the area but how the area could cope with the hurricane.
Levees breached, wetlands failing.
bigger storms did far less damage than Katrina, flooding a far smaller portion of the city.



First of all the United States Army Corps of Engineers changed. It went from being a corps of engineers to a corps of contract administrators. It was pretty much hallowed out in the 1980s. ...Something else changed, which is the erosion of the wetlands that surround New Orleans. especially to the south—cypress wetlands help to buffer the incoming wind and storm surge effects of hurricanes so New Orleans is now less protected than it was 40 or 50 years ago as a result of this erosion of the coastal wetlands.

www.loe.org...

Poor design and faulty equipment

the contractor who built the levees, told the Army Corps of Engineers that there design was a disaster. And then it gets worse. You’ve got these pumps—a half billion-dollar storm system—and they’re supposed to pump water out of the canals

www.loe.org...

Playing politics with people's lives and the Land:

Ignore the allegations that shoddy construction, cronyism and corruption played critical roles in the failure of the flood system. Political constraints contributed, but the primary cause of the New Orleans disaster was flawed design of its protective structures.

blog.nola.com...

Substandard material and shoddy workmanship

So much construction debris was recently discovered buried in the top 2 to 2.5 feet of the levee between the Duncan Canal Pump Station and Williams Boulevard in Kenner that that some 5,000 to 7,000 cubic yards of the levee will soon be removed and replaced with new clay, corp
representatives confirmed last week.

www.nola.com...

www.nola.com...

Other resources:
en.wikipedia.org...
www.pbs.org...




posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 10:56 AM
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There has been nothing but horrible reporting sensationalizing this so that the Corps of Engineers would become the fall guy because people love someone to blame. I saw one story that actually did research and had it right, although it may be difficult to find it now.

The fact is everything there was designed a long time ago, the Corps had regularly pointed out that everything needed to be upgraded and provided recomendations that would have held out during the hirricane. Of course the politicians thought this wasn't important and the Corps was denied funding again and again in order to make needed changes and improvements.

Yes if you go by the majority of the news stories trying to find a scapegoat the Corps was horrible. The actual truth of the matter is MUCH different.
edit on 27-8-2011 by seeker1977 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 11:00 AM
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Known facts in Cajun country:

1. Enough money was spent on those levees to have them 10x to 100x better than they were for Katrina. The funds were misuesed.

2. Levees alone are not enough. Most of the marshes that absorbed the water from previous storms were then leveed off and had houses built on them.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:43 PM
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Sorry your supposed facts are false, money was used how it was authorized not how the Corps recommended.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by seeker1977
 

If you can find that the repairs weren't substandard, that would be great. I'm not seeing those stories thus far.

However, even mu poor, untrained in engineering brain sees this as likely to be true:

These experts say the Corps, racing to rebuild 169 miles of levees destroyed or damaged by Katrina, is taking shortcuts to compress what is usually a years-long construction process into a few weeks. They say that weak, substandard materials are being used in some levee walls, citing lab tests as evidence. And they say the Corps is deferring repairs to flood walls that survived Katrina but suffered structural damage that could cause them to topple in a future storm.

www.washingtonpost.com...

...even the Army Corps admits their repairs, when finished, could NOT withstand another Katrina.

And, now we have wetlands further damaged by the Oil Spill.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by seeker1977
Sorry your supposed facts are false, money was used how it was authorized not how the Corps recommended.
What I stated does not at all disagree with what you said. It can be authorized against how the Corps recommended in a misuseful manner. And in fact, it was. I just didn't go into details about what the Corps did or did not state about it, since the statement wasn't about WHO used the money wrongly, just that it was misused.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by DontTreadOnMe
 


My point is simply do not demonize the people doing the work they are told to do, place blame where it should be. The people in charge, the politicians and others that do not feel extra money is justified for the safety of their own people.

On many occasions the Corps submitted reports stating that those areas were not up to snuff basically. Plans were provided that would have withstood (or at least should have) against hurricane Katrina. Now that is not the only area where levees and the like are substandard. Many engineers have brought up that when the levees in Sacramento California go it will make Katrina in NOLA look like a picnic. They do their job though and until someone authorizes providing decent protection in certain areas it will not happen regardless of what the Corps of Engineers recommends.

With the money situation as it is people need to pay attention around them and if they feel unsafe they need to do whatever they can to move because it is not likely for any improvements anytime soon.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 12:14 PM
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reply to post by seeker1977
 



reply to post by DontTreadOnMe


My point is simply do not demonize the people doing the work they are told to do, place blame where it should be. The people in charge, the politicians and others that do not feel extra money is justified for the safety of their own people.


I do agree with you that the politicians were the reason for the disaster, but I am curious: which level do you think were the worst offenders? Federal? State? Because they were, but New Orleans was saddled with absolutely the very worst mayor and governor that could have been wished on them to handle Katrina. The blunders committed before, during, and after by Nagin and Blanco are legendary. Together they were responsible for multiplying the misery of the residents by tenfold. To blame the Corps of Engineers for following orders is absurd.
edit on 17-9-2011 by mishigas because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 01:01 PM
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Let's not forget the environmental groups that filed lawsuits against every effort to repair, change or rebuild the levees.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 02:17 PM
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reply to post by mishigas
 


Oh, I think we could spread the blame around to all levels of government.
They all played a part in the misery and devastation of the area.

Could we also add in big corporations and big money



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by JIMC5499
 

Now there's an interesting piece of the puzzle.
I guess I had not realized that was happening, too.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 02:26 PM
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I heard a while back Reagan sent in a team of engineers to examine and report the cost of repair and shoring up the levies in NOLA.

After receiving the report - - he deemed it was too costly and not worthy - - then began redistributing funds set aside for the levy project.

In other words - - screw you.

This was of course years ago - - so I do not have the source.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by DontTreadOnMe
 



reply to post by mishigas


Oh, I think we could spread the blame around to all levels of government.
They all played a part in the misery and devastation of the area.

Could we also add in big corporations and big money


Just remember that FEMA was handcuffed from entering with assistance until the official request was made by the governor. But, they were a little loose with the purse strings, and there was a lot of fraud that went on with those $2000 debit cards, but it was good intentions on FEMA's part. Blame for the fraud must be placed directly on the defrauders -- the general public. And the inferior trailers were the fault of the trailer manufacturers. There's your big money connection.

I don't buy for a minute that Bush delayed assistance because he hates blacks. That's just racist bullcrap. La govt was at fault. Just compare La. with their next door neighbor Ms, Haley Barbour did a great job and you never heard a word about it.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by Annee
 



I heard a while back Reagan sent in a team of engineers to examine and report the cost of repair and shoring up the levies in NOLA.

After receiving the report - - he deemed it was too costly and not worthy - - then began redistributing funds set aside for the levy project.

In other words - - screw you.

This was of course years ago - - so I do not have the source.


Reagan was a great man, of course, but I doubt his one decision on the levees lasted for over 30 years. Lots of rain between then and now.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by mishigas
reply to post by Annee
 



I heard a while back Reagan sent in a team of engineers to examine and report the cost of repair and shoring up the levies in NOLA.

After receiving the report - - he deemed it was too costly and not worthy - - then began redistributing funds set aside for the levy project.

In other words - - screw you.

This was of course years ago - - so I do not have the source.


Reagan was a great man, of course, but I doubt his one decision on the levees lasted for over 30 years. Lots of rain between then and now.


I don't know that Reagan was a great man. But that's a different discussion.

Was there any significant effort to repair/shore up the levies - - - in those 30 years.

Prior to the failure of the levies.
edit on 17-9-2011 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2011 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by Annee
 





I don't know that Reagan was a great man. But that's a different discussion.

Was there any significant effort to repair/shore up the levies - - - in those 30 years.

Prior to the failure of the levies.


Trust me, Reagan was a great man, beloved by his nation.

I don't know what effort, if any, was made to shore up the levees, but there certainly should have been. Either way, it was out of Reagan's hands at that point and was the total responsibility of the new administrations.



posted on Sep, 18 2011 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by mishigas
Trust me, Reagan was a great man, beloved by his nation.


Trust you? Why should I trust you? Like I said discussion of Reagan is a discussion in itself.


I don't know what effort, if any, was made to shore up the levees, but there certainly should have been. Either way, it was out of Reagan's hands at that point and was the total responsibility of the new administrations.


If Reagan ordered redistribution of funds designated for the levies - - - because he considered it a financial lost cause - - - no it is not out of his hands.

People died - - lost everything - - and you're defending Reagan.

Odd.



posted on Sep, 18 2011 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by Annee
 



If Reagan ordered redistribution of funds designated for the levies - - - because he considered it a financial lost cause - - - no it is not out of his hands.

People died - - lost everything - - and you're defending Reagan.

Odd.


First of all, you haven't proved that he ordered redistribution of funds, so if you can't provide proof, it didn't happen.

And for you to blame something that happened in 2005 on a man who was elected in 1980 is simply bizarre. There were other administrations, other opportunities to fund the levees in the interim.

Now that's odd!




Trust you? Why should I trust you? Like I said discussion of Reagan is a discussion in itself.


Because I'm a nice guy?
edit on 18-9-2011 by mishigas because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2011 @ 11:46 AM
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Well, here we have a big of one hand washing the other,
blog.nola.com...

Only a handful of civil engineers have stepped forward to castigate the US Army Corps of Engineers for the spectacular failure of its levee system during Hurricane Katrina.
.......
The reason is simple. The US Army Corps of Engineers hires civil engineers to perform much of the levee design development.

blog.nola.com...
No big surprise her, folks, blame the Army Corp and kiss your job goodbye



And still more information how the Army Corp continues to blame Katrina instead of saying they made any mistakes, and

After Hurricane Betsy in 1965, Congress authorized a Hurricane Protection Project for New Orleans that was supposed to cost $85 million and take 13 years to complete. Seventeen years later, work had not yet begun on the outfall canals and costs had swelled to $924 million. In 1982 GAO testimony, local New Orleans sponsors were alarmed over the delay.

www.nola.com...

And, just in case you are thinking things must have gotten better in the years since Katrina


Flooding from a surge that Tropical Storm Lee pushed north through Barataria Bay has several local officials renewing complaints that the Army Corps of Engineers wrongly delayed or abandoned plans to improve levees in their communities that would have prevented the flooding.

www.nola.com...



posted on Sep, 18 2011 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by DontTreadOnMe
 


Well that's very interesting, and makes sense. When it comes to your job, you may not criticize, but that does not mean you approve.

I'm surprised the states do not take a larger leadership role in projects of this importance. Maybe their hands are tied by federal regulation?

So much in this country needs to be fixed, I wonder if we will ever make it.





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