Magazine article Risk Management

When the Levee Breaks ... Again

Magazine article Risk Management

When the Levee Breaks ... Again

Article excerpt

Two teams of independent experts warn that large sections of the New Orleans levee system being rebuilt by the Army Corps of Engineers will be substantially weaker than before Hurricane Katrina. The Corps is working quickly to rebuild 169 miles of damaged or destroyed levee to their pre-Katrina height prior to the June 1 deadline promised by President Bush, but the experts argue that the Corps is taking shortcuts in order to get this done in such a short time.

The two teams of experts, consisting of a panel funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a team appointed by the state of Louisiana to monitor the rebuilding, also say that weak and substandard materials are being used in some levee wails. For example, NSF team members saw workers putting highly porous sandy soils on a levee near Bayou Bienvenue, and the leader of the state team says that a ruined levee near Bayou Dupre was being rebuilt on a weak, porous sandy foundation. …

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