Despite more than $22 million in repairs, a levee that broke with catastrophic effect during Hurricane Katrina is leaking again because of the mushy ground on which New Orleans was built, raising serious questions about the reliability of the city’s flood defenses.
New Orleans built on unstable, ‘mushy’ ground? Say it ain’t so.
Outside engineering experts who have studied the project told The Associated Press that the type of seepage spotted at the 17th Street Canal in the Lakeview neighborhood afflicts other New Orleans levees, too, and could cause some of them to collapse during a storm.
The Army Corps of Engineers has spent about $4 billion so far of the $14 billion set aside by Congress to repair and upgrade the metropolitan area’s hundreds of miles of levees by 2011. Some outside experts said the leak could mean that billions more will be needed and that some of the work already completed may need to be redone.
……The Army Corps of Engineers disputed the experts’ dire assessment. The agency said it is taking the risk of seepage into account and rebuilding the levees with an adequate margin of safety.
I’ve said this before:
I don’t know why anyone would want to live in a city that’s right smack in the path of hurricane alley and below sea level, but if you do, you have to deal with the consequences. There are only so many things the Army Corps of Engineers can fix, and STUPID isn’t one of them.