I’m still thinking about Isaac. My writing hasn’t been able to keep pace. They say every storm is unique, and certainly Isaac was very different from Katrina. Yet comparisons are inevitable, despite being problematic. One headline put it this way: Drenched New Orleans passes big post-Katrina test The US Army Corp of Engineers has done [...]
It’s been terribly dry here in Southeast Louisiana for a long time. In the midst of this drought, it’s hard to believe that the Mississippi River is riding at historically high levels. All that water is barreling down toward New Orleans. The US Army Corps of Engineers is opening the Bonnet Carré Spillway right now [...]
That we even call this the post-Katrina era in New Orleans is somewhat misleading. Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast east of New Orleans, but it missed the Crescent City. What we experienced was the worst civil engineering disaster in the history of our country. Floodwalls failed without being overtopped. The Army Corps of Engineers has [...]
“There’s no reason for anyone to worry.” So sayeth Section Chief Brett Herr of the Army Corps of Engineers. He’s a talking about a wee small leak that’s been discovered at the 17th Street Canal floodwall. This is one of the floodwalls that breached and flooded the city back in 2005. These floodwalls were designed [...]
Mike Leonard and his lovely wife Mardi were in New Orleans for Jazz Fest. On Monday, I took them on the mandatory misery tour. We drove through Lakeview, then stopped at the London Avenue Canal breach and examined the work under way. Then we headed down to the Lower Ninth Ward. I’m sorry to say [...]
The US Army Corps of Engineers now admits the failure of the 17th Street canal floodwalls was caused by a “design failure.” Or, put it another way, my private property was flooded because of a federal screw-up.
Garbage has been piling up for the last couple weeks, ever since the city took back over collection. The Army Corps of Engineers had been in charge, and had been doing a bang-up job as far as I was concerned. The amount of debris removed from our little side street in Mid-City was truly astonishing, [...]
According to a story in today’s paper: The heights of floodwalls and levees now being rebuilt by the corps are based on research for a likely worst-case storm done in 1959. When new weather service research in the 1970s increased the size and intensity of that storm and its projected surges, the corps stuck to [...]