The Port of New Orleans is the largest in the US and the fourth largest in the world. 62% of the consumer-spending public in the U.S. receive their goods through the Port. Founded 289 years ago on high ground along the Mississippi River, the city was originally 125 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Sadly for the City, the consequences of engineering decisions that benefited the rest of the nation greatly increased the vulnerability of the region. Dams and flood control structures north of New Orleans have starved Louisiana of land building sediment. Also, 10,000 miles of navigation canals dug into Louisiana coastal wetlands for oil and gas exploration have damaged or killed the state’s natural barriers to storm surge. But environmentalists and business interests agree that this is reversible and cost-feasible. With proper coastal management and a robust commitment from the Corps and Congress, New Orleans levees can and should be rebuilt.
The majority of the United States population lives in counties protected by levees.
The reported drive-by levee inspections pre-Katrina were irrelevant in the catastrophic flooding in New Orleans.
Half of New Orleans is at or well above sea level.
Source: Tulane and Xavier Universities
- The United States District Court in Louisiana placed responsibility of the collapse of the 17th Street and London Avenue Canals squarely on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Source: US District Court
- The federal government’s study of the failed levee system during Katrina was convened and managed by the agency responsible for its performance – the Army Corps of Engineers.
Source: US Army Corps of Engineers
John McQuaid: To label the 2005 New Orleans Flood a natural disaster is a distortion. And it is quite convenient for those who screwed up
Source: Forbes Magazine