Friday, February 02, 2007

When the Army Corps of Engineers Comes to Town

No levee is safe.
The Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that 122 levees from Rhode Island to California are at risk of failing, potentially affecting thousands of people and requiring millions of dollars in repairs.
As further proof that New Orleans is no longer part of the United States, there are no Louisiana levees on the list (pdf).

Don’t worry:
But Maj. Gen. Don Riley, director of civil works for the Corps, told reporters that levees in the New Orleans area would be adequate once the current work is completed. He said Mississippi River levees are subject to very stringent programs and none in Louisiana shows any deficiencies.
Maj. Gen. Don Riley must also be making the distinction between a levee and a floodwall (what sits on top of the levee). If he isn’t, then he must not be reading Matt McBride:
It seeming that the storm on December 21, 2006 was a bigger deal than it even seemed at the time. So far, we know:

- the level of the London Avenue canal got within five inches of the Safe Water Level, which is depth of water above which a levee breach could be imminent.
That really scares me, by the way.

California had the most nominations:
Thirty-seven levees from Chico to Santa Maria are at risk of failing because of poor maintenance - far more than in any other state, according to a list released Thursday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
What happens after your levee makes the list? The cleaner comes in.

SACRAMENTO - The federal government says it is reversing an earlier decision and redrawing flood maps for a fast-growing region near the state capital.

The announcement today by the Federal Emergency Management Agency affirms that the risk of a potentially catastrophic flood is greater than originally believed.

FEMA officials say the levees in Natomas are substandard and don't meet the government's criteria of 100-year flood protection.
So, when does the three-foot rule go into effect for new construction in this “fast-growing” region?


Leigh C. said...

Maybe the three feet rule will go into effect when the five-second rule for eating food dropped on the ground is put through thorough clinical trials to see if it is true or untrue.

It's not too late to start piling up sandbags all over our garages and propeties...

ashley said...

They still have the 3 foot rule at the strip clubs...

bayoustjohndavid said...

One thing the Picayune article didn't make very clear was that the 122 number only referred to levees with problems that were immediately apparent to visual inspection. It sounds like a much bigger problem.