Saturday, August 04, 2007

It's about time.

Time Magazine finally concedes that the flood caused by Katrina is the fault of the Corpse of Engineers -- then scolds "Americans" for not understanding that sooner. Humph!


The most important thing to remember about the drowning of New Orleans is that it wasn't a natural disaster. It was a man-made disaster, created by lousy engineering, misplaced priorities and pork-barrel politics. Katrina was not the Category 5 killer the Big Easy had always feared; it was a Category 3 storm that missed New Orleans, where it was at worst a weak 2. The city's defenses should have withstood its surges, and if they had we never would have seen the squalor in the Superdome, the desperation on the rooftops, the shocking tableau of the Mardi Gras city underwater for weeks. We never would have heard the comment "Heckuva job, Brownie." The Federal Emergency Management Agency (fema) was the scapegoat, but the real culprit was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which bungled the levees that formed the city's man-made defenses and ravaged the wetlands that once formed its natural defenses. Americans were outraged by the government's response, but they still haven't come to grips with the government's responsibility for the catastrophe.

Time, as usual, eventually catches up with the truth, two years late.

Update: typos corrected.


Anonymous said...

good points. LOTS of typos.

Joseph said...

Thanks for the notice on my typos -- I'll correct them. One of my professors once wrote "You just got off da boat?" on one of my papers.

Corps of Engineers Employee said...

The truth of the situation in southeast Louisiana is far different than TIME magazine portrays in “The Threatening Storm.” The Corps and its many federal, state, local, and private partners have made great progress in enabling the rebuilding of New Orleans. IPET’s state-of-the-art risk modeling shows that the hurricane protection system is now more effective than it was pre-Katrina.

For more info, visit: