Friday, June 23, 2006

Gov't Levee Failure: Corps of Engineers Responsible for N.O. Flooding

(note: a month or so ago, government agencies in New Orleans had a practice evacuation drill. The drill had to be scuttled when no one knew which agency was in charge. Even now!)

(why do they live in an area where levees are needed? It's a HISTORIC CITY! Why do people live out on the plains where there are tornados, or in CA where there are earthquakes? I never heard anyone ever say that areas destroyed by quakes in CA should not be rebuilt.)

The message below came from levees.org

Congress ignores Corps Culpability
Dear Members,

On June 1, the US Army Corps of Engineers acknowledged
that they are responsible in large part for the
catastrophic flooding of metro New Orleans.
This was a first partial victory for Levees.Org.

Without the continuous and loud mantra of 4500 Levees.Org
members, such a broad admission of fault may never have
come. And the signing last week of the supplemental
spending bill for 4.2 billion in community development
block grants and 3.7 billion for levees is a second
partial victory for Levees.Org. That too, might never
have come.

After June 1, things changed in Washington. Our Members
of Congress stopped making disparaging remarks about
the work ethics of New Orleanians, and Donald Powell
who before June 1 had defiantly defended the corps,
suddenly strongly urged Congress to help Louisiana.
Of course we are very grateful.

But here is a key issue. Even though the Corps
has admitted design and construction flaws, even though
the Corps has conceded that the flood protection was
a system in name only, Congress has yet to acknowledge
those mistakes, and so essentially continues to
ignore/deny the federal government's central role in
the New Orleans flood.

What does this mean? It means we have no reason to
presume that the catastrophic flooding will not happen
again. It means that corps reform will not be a priority.
It means that Congress will continue to award water
development funding to Corps projects with the strongest
lobbying special interest groups. It means that dedicated
funding for coastal management from royalites from
off shore drilling may never materialize.

For a citizens' group to hold the Corps accountable
is important, but it's not enough. Congress must hold
the Corps accountable, too.

Besides the Louisiana delegation, only
Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has
recognized Corps culpability in the New Orleans flood.

Until Congress recognizes the mistakes of the Corps,
there is no reason for the people of metro New Orleans
to feel safe nor any citizen in the USA whose life
and property are protected by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Get a sign today that says "Hold the Corps Accountable."
Go to: http://www.levees.org/promo/sign.php for 9 pickup
locations. If yours has mysteriously disappeared,
get another one! They're free and paid for by donations.

Thank you!
Sandy


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