Monday, September 12, 2005

President Johnson signed into law plan to protect New Orleans

"If we had built the barriers, New Orleans would not be flooded," said Joseph Towers, the retired chief counsel for the Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans district.

Towers' view is endorsed by a former key senator, along with academic experts, who say a hurricane barrier is the only way to control the powerful storm surges that enter Lake Pontchartrain and threaten the city. Other experts are less sure, saying the barrier would have been no match for Katrina.


The project faced formidable opposition not only from environmentalists but also from economic interests and local government officials outside of New Orleans who argued the barriers would choke commerce and harm marine life in ecologically sensitive Lake Pontchartrain.

The barrier would have protected New Orleans from storm surges that barreled into Lake Pontchartrain through two narrow passages, the Rigolets and the Chef Menteur Pass.

In Hurricane Katrina, the lake, swollen 12 feet, was slammed by 135-mph winds against New Orleans' storm walls and levees. They failed in five places and flooded the city. On the city's eastern flank, the surge approached the city through a network of canals from Lake Borgne, also swollen and raging.

After Hurricane Betsy, the Army Corps of Engineers designed and began clearing sites for the so-called Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Barrier Project. It required miles of levees and two massive storm gates that could close off Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass if a hurricane was approaching.
Derailed plan to construct New Orleans storm wall raises haunting questions
Sooooo we had a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President who chose to protect New Orleans.

Veeerrrryyyy Interesting... But not funny.


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