Tuesday, December 06, 2005

How to Inspect a Levee System

The right way:

But Wolff, who worked for the corps from 1970 to 1985, said inspections of levees in the districts where he worked, from Missouri to California, were much more formal events. They involved crews of as many as eight engineers who drove and walked the levees, and seldom covered more than 10 miles in a day.
(emphasis mine)

The wrong way:
Corps and Levee Board officials last month admitted their annual inspections typically were little more than quick driving tours. Inspection of the 17th Street Canal levee usually took place from a stop on the Old Hammond Highway, rather than a thorough walk or drive of the flood control structure that is 15,000 feet long.
***
The agencies said they conducted more frequent informal inspections, typically when personnel were going to the levees for other purposes. For instance, the Levee Board said it relied on grass cutters to report any problems they might see.
(emphasis mine)

Eight engineers versus grass cutters. My head hurts.

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