riparian rap

New Orleans levees, St. Louis and the COE

Friday the AP reported on a year-long study it’s done of flood prevention work in New Orleans and public perception of the hazard.

They claim to have tracked a pattern of public misperception, political jockeying and legal fighting, along with economic and engineering miscalculations since Katrina, that threaten to make New Orleans the scene of another devastating flood. It appears that many of NOLA’s residents are confident that a flood can’t happen there again.

Here’s a good quote:

Ameliorating that last instinct [development in risky areas] is the business of Joe Sullivan, the 82-year-old city engineer who’s overseen the New Orleans drainage and water department for nearly a half century.

“We keep building in holes, and contractors keep trying to move in and take advantage of a situation: They come in with a bunch of contractors, sell off property in low places, take their money and run,” Sullivan said.

I can’t help but think about the Chesterfield Valley and it’s new “500 year” levee. I’ve talked about this quite a bit this year.