If the Corps is largely to blame, why did Louisiana consolidate its levee boards?

After Hurricane Betsy in 1965, the Congress ordered the US Army Corps of Engineers to be the sole authority for the design and construction of the flood protection for metro New Orleans in the Lake Pontchartrain & Vicinity Hurricane Protection project. The role of the levee boards became maintenance. Sincer 1965, the one-time powerful historic levee boards, relieved of their role of design and construction of flood protection, in time became a source of patronage and some state money may have been diverted to projects unrelated to flood safety. However, such diversion has not been determined relevant to the flood protection failures. The levee failures were due to poor design and construction not to maintenance.

A state constitutional amendment passed in 2006 in Louisiana has created a technically competent regional Levee Board whose job will include checking and rechecking the Corps’ work. This was the very first local levee board in the nation to enact such requirements. California soon followed suit.