Thursday, September 01, 2005

Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen? "No one can say they didn't see it coming"

Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen? 'Times-Picayune' Had Repeatedly Raised Federal Spending Issues

Even though Hurricane Katrina has moved well north of the city, the waters may still keep rising in New Orleans. That's because Lake Pontchartrain continues to pour through a two-block-long break in the main levee, near the city's 17th Street Canal. With much of the Crescent City some 10 feet below sea level, the rising tide may not stop until it's level with the massive lake.

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

Newhouse News Service, in an article posted late Tuesday night at The Times-Picayune Web site, reported: "No one can say they didn't see it coming. ... Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."


Blogger PoliShifter said...

Bush is trying to claim that no one could forsee the levees breaking. I'd like to see him stand before the people of New Orleans and say that to their face. Local coverage in New Orleans was pretty clear on the fact that the Levees needed to be reinforced in order to be able to hold up to a cat 4 or cat 5 hurricane and the flooding it would bring.

Fuck you Bush! This is all on you and the Republicans. Hastert can kiss my ass too. His solution is to just bulldoze New Orleans.

Fuck all you NeoCons. You spend our money on Iraq like drunked soldiers and then cry like babies when you have to spend the money (OUR FUCKING MONEY!!) Domestically.

Fuck you Republicans, you should be ashamed but you're not. Fuck you Neocon Republicans, fuck you one and all.

6:04 PM  
Blogger halcyon67 said...

Well if Bush would not have taken money from ACE or SELA that would not have happened.

You know there are fucking republicans blaming this on Democrats? Hey, we believe in global warming.

9:06 AM  

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