Thursday, December 08, 2005

MUST READ: Blaguerette has been telling me about the corruption in the Corps for months. Here's proof.

Times Picayune: Problems may lie within, some say
Engineers say the levee failures were probably not caused by isolated design or construction decisions for a few floodwalls, but almost certainly stem from broader flaws in the organizations that built and maintain the system.
. "In my view, in the case of 17th Street, London Avenue and even the Industrial Canal floodwalls, fundamentally what we are looking at is a failure focused on the institutional side," said Robert Bea, a geotechnical engineer at the University of California at Berkeley, who is on the National Science Foundation team and has studied the institutional role in hundreds of engineering failures.
. "Most failures are tied up in this institutional, organizational side. In the case of the levees, for example, we've had no unified authority with respect to the life cycle of the system," he said, noting that the Corps of Engineers was nominally overseeing levees along with state and local agencies and dozens of private firms.
. Unfamiliar spotlight
. The corps accepted the designs and construction work on the walls and was in charge of quality control, so investigators have begun to put the corps' decision-making processes under the microscope.
. An insular agency accustomed to doing things its own way, the corps is for the first time finding its basic engineering capacities -- the core of its mission -- questioned. Some New Orleans residents wonder whether the agency that oversaw a seriously flawed levee system can be trusted to rebuild it in the short run and strengthen it in the long term.
. "There's no way I want to ever live in a place where I have to depend for my safety and the safety of my property on the actions and activities of the Corps of Engineers," said Gus Cantrell, a retired civil engineer whose house was wrecked by a breach in the London Avenue Canal. "I know a lot of those guys on the corps. I am a member of the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) and serve on many committees with them. They have some responsibility here. They destroyed the city. They did not in my opinion do the job as it needed to be done."

And now guess who's investigating the performance of the Corps. Yep, that's right, the Corps. Tidy, huh?

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