Levee failure expert on Oroville Spillway disaster

J. David Rogers is a hero in New Orleans.

The levee expert from Missouri did the honorable thing two years ago when he retracted a wrong conclusion contained in a NSF-funded levee investigation report.

FACT: The levees failed mainly due to a mistake the Army Corps made in the 1980s when interpreting the results of a levee load test study.

Dr. Rogers is a highly sought after expert and was asked to review a report on the Oroville Dam Spillway disaster in Butte County, California. His conclusion was remarkably similar to his conclusion about the Army Corps of Engineers levees which failed during Hurricane Katrina.

The design problems in the intact portion of the spillway are so “gross and obvious” they will have to take priority this year, said Dr. Rogers. He goes on to say the problems were so egregious he was surprised the spillway didn’t fail decades ago.

“It calls into question the whole design of what’s still there in the upper section,” said Rogers, a professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

We are grateful for experts like Dr. Rogers who call it as they say it. People like Dr. Rogers save lives.

For more on this story, click here.

For the new report containing the retraction, click here.

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