Friday, March 31, 2006

Levee Plans Fall Short of FEMA Standards - New York Times

Levee Plans Fall Short of FEMA Standards - New York Times:
But since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the agency has toughened its 100-year standard, based on new information about land subsidence and the increasing severity and frequency of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. There is also new data about weak soils in the area and the failure of some of the city's floodwalls.

As a result, the levees that the Army Corps of Engineers is now building will not meet the new FEMA standard. Donald Powell, the federal coordinator for Gulf Coast rebuilding, said Thursday that the Corps now believes it cannot meet that standard without spending additional billions to upgrade the flood protection system still further.
They didn't exactly meet their own standards the first time! Am I the only one who gets the impression that they're just spinning their wheels until the next big one hits? An there will be more, I'm afraid, in a shorter time than anyone currently expects.

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