Monday, June 11, 2007

One month later? Pumps problems.

This is the recent word on the faulty pumps.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The faulty drainage pumps that the Army Corps of Engineers installed before last year's hurricane season still have mechanical flaws, according to a Corps report released Friday that also criticized the pump contracts. Sen. Mary Landrieu immediately called for a federal investigation.

Although the pumps have been overhauled, critical deficiencies remain a year later, the report said.

The review by three Corps engineers backed up the findings of a May 2006 memo by a Corps mechanical engineer working on the $32 million project to put 34 pumps at city canals. The memo warned that the pumps were faulty and would not work if needed to remove water during a hurricane.

BUT, just last month, the GAO said they found no improprieties in the contract.

WASHINGTON — The investigative arm of Congress, the General Accountability Office, found no impropriety in the awarding of the contract to install pumps around New Orleans.

The finding was presented to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu in a private Thursday briefing of a report expected to be released next week.

Though the Louisiana Democrat said she was pleased with the news, she blamed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with misleading New Orleans area residents last summer by telling them pumping capacity was adequate.

This back-and-forth does not inspire confidence.

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