Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More On Lower Ninth Ward

Just a couple more thoughts on the Lower Ninth Ward damage. All of the houses were old and not very well maintained, they did not stand a chance against the storm surge. To compound the problem, many of the houses had been informally "inherited" from parents and grandparents with the name on the title never being changed. The long dead ancestors were the legal owners. They had no mortgages so therefore no automatic or mandatory insurance. Any funds that were paid out by the government or by the few insurance claims could only be paid to the legal owners who were long since dead. A catch 22 situation with the current "owners" out of luck.

This financial situation added to the disgraceful actions of the Army Corps Of Engineers in the building of the flood walls created a disaster waiting to happen. The fly-by-night lowest bidders who built the walls with substandard materials and building practices were the final straw. The walls failed the first time they were tested.

When I was searching the Internet for information on the LNW I found this information:

If you are living in New Orleans you may notice that people don't much like the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The flooding in the City of New Orleans (except for New Orleans East) was caused by breaches in flood walls for canals. The flood wall for the Industrial Canal was built in the middle 1960s and it failed basically because it was not constructed to withstand a Katrina (built on the cheap). The flood walls that breached and flooded the rest of the City were built in the 1990s. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), designed, built, and was responsible for the major maintenance of all the flood walls that breached.

For years the USACE told us (residents of New Orleans) the flood walls were fine. It was a lie (lie = saying something you know is false for the purpose of deceiving someone). After Katrina, the USACE tried to pass blame for the failures onto anyone and everyone they could.

Court hearings in 2007/2008 discovered the USACE knew all the flood walls were poorly built and lied about it, but agency officials took the position they built the best floodwalls they could with the money budgeted by Congress. The result was a federal court ruling stating the USACE was responsible for the failures. However, the USACE - as a federal agency – has immunity for most actions & decisions.

Court hearings in 2009 discovered the USACE diverted funding from the 1990s flood walls in New Orleans to the “Big Dig” commuter tunnel in Boston. They did that because Massachusetts is an “important” state while Louisiana is a “flyover” state.

Their decision(s) killed 1500 people and resulted in more than $100 Billion in damage to the City of New Orleans.

The USACE and its officials still have immunity.


  1. That is amazing information.
    I am sorry that so many people lost their lives due to the almighty $$.
    But what about the animals lost due to the greed of man:

    "Most of the 10,000 fish at the New Orleans Aquarium of the Americas died because the backup power ran out after four days.
    An estimated 600,000 pets were killed or left without shelter as a result of Hurricane Katrina" From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_effects_of_Hurricane_Katrina

    This does not include the horses, farm animals, etc.

    The builders of the flood walls, should be hung, drawn and quartered, and that would be too good for them.

    Happy Trails, Penny, TX.

  2. Rant On! It's called 'the miss use of Federal funds'. The individuals who signed off to diverted the funds should be prosecuted for it, because you can bet your sweet a$# you and I would go to jail for a very long time for the miss use of Federal funds. And, as far as I am concerned should stand trail for premeditated murder as well. In the USofA, if, during the commission of a crime someone dies you are also guilty of premeditated murder. No one is above the law, including our illustrious president! Just my $0.02 worth. Rant Off! Judy

  3. Judy, this was under good 'ol 'Duhbya' Bush's watch.

    Hang 'em high!

  4. I've always known that I think a little bit different than most, but I have a hard time blaming anyone but the residents for living in New Orleans, a city which shouldn't exist where it does in the first place. The line of thinking going on here seems to suggest that people living in Los Angeles should have someone to blame for when "the big one" happens.

  5. Amsterdam is almost 7 meters below sea level, and seems to do fine.

    It's all in the engineering.

  6. Amsterdam is almost 7 meters below sea level, and seems to do fine.

    It's all in the engineering.

    Ummm. When was the last time Amsterdam saw a hurricane like Katrina?