Wednesday, September 14, 2005

New Orleans: The levees did not fail?

The Katrina story is one for the generations. It is a story that is at times horrible, compelling, heartbreaking, hopeful. As an attorney what I do see is slipshod reporting at times. There is a rush to judgment before all facts are known. I have watched how of the five reported failures, at least one "levee" was damaged by a barge. Now, I see that the vernacular is changing:


"Why did we have no hurricane levee failures but five separate places with floodwall failures?" asked Joseph Suhayda, a retired LSU coastal engineer who examined the breaches last week. "That suggests there may be something about floodwalls that makes them more susceptible to failure. Did [the storm] exceed design conditions? What were the conditions? What about the construction?"

So, while the rest of the TV media merely concludes that the "levees failed" there is more to this story.