A friend just congratulated me for being part of the reason the federal government must be held responsible for (some) of the flooding on August 29, 2005 in metro New Orleans. “That must be a huge reward for you!” she wrote.
To me, the reward is helping the American people understand that the 2005 levee failures in metro New Orleans were indicative of a national problem, and not a symptom of local corruption.
Cambell Robertson with New York Times said it well.
“…It was the first time that the government has been held liable for any of the flooding that inundated the New Orleans area after Aug. 29, 2005, vindicating the long-held contention of many in the region that the flooding was far more than an act of God….”
With over half the American population living in counties protected by levees, the true issues should hopefully be more clear not just to Americans, but to our nation’s Congress.
Dramatic changes must take place in the way water projects are approved, funded, and implemented. And it took someone like Judge Duval to drive that point home.
UPDATE: David Conrad, Senior Water Resources Specialist with the National Wildlife Federation says in an email to me, “…the finding that the Corps is not shielded from liability for damages caused by their projects is a giant decision which may ultimately and fittingly cost the government billions and billions of dollars. This agency certainly needs to be reformed….”