Before we get going with a real donneybrook, may I suggest a bit of
background. In 1993 and again in 1996, massive flooding was experienced by
good many, in the Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi river valleys.
Charged with controlling the flooding, the Corps of Engineers had produced a
truely astonishing engineering feat. Levees were constructed all along the
mighty Mississippi. The river had been contained, except...
When heavy rains created what would have been a local flood, the water was
contained upstream and, as a result downstream levees had to be raised again
and again to cope with the ever increasing flow. (Not only more water, but
the flow rate was actually increasing due to lack of turbulance from the
It was becoming a self-defeating problem. Build a levee upstream and then
raise all the levees downstream. New Orleans is about as downstream as you
A classic unintended consequences situation developed over the decades....
The Corps (along with other Federal agencies and a goodly number of private
sources) began a serious reassessment of the policy. Several small villages
were actually relocated...out of the flood basin. While I know of no levees
that were actually destroyed, (except in a couple of instances in 1996 when
a few levees were breeched in rural areas to relieve pressure on urban
levees downstream), the Corps simply notified people that they would no
longer maintain some levees.
The levees that breeched in New Orleans had been fully maintained. They
Had New Orleans actually received the brunt of the eye wall winds and storm
surge, ALL the levees would (probably) have been inadquate by ten, maybe
New Orleans sits in a depression. The only possible way to guarantee no
future flooding would be to haul in a few billion cubic yards of dirt.
New Orleans will get hit, again....
Boloxi will get hit, again...
San Francisco will have more earthquakes, some of them serious....
Kansas (Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, etc) will have extremely destructive
North Dakota will have destructive blizzards....
It doesn't matter who is in the White House, Congress, or the local barber's
chair, for that matter...