Some critics are suggesting President Bush was as least partly responsible for the flooding in New Orleans. In a widely quoted opinion piece, former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal says that "the damage wrought by the hurricane may not entirely be the result of an act of nature," and cites years of reduced funding for federal flood-control projects around New Orleans.
Our fact-checking confirms that Bush indeed cut funding for projects specifically designed to strengthen levees. Indeed, local officials had been complaining about that for years.
It is not so clear whether the money Bush cut from levee projects would have made any difference, however, and we're not in a position to judge that. The Army Corps of Engineers – which is under the President's command and has its own reputation to defend – insists that Katrina was just too strong, and that even if the levee project had been completed it was only designed to withstand a category 3 hurricane. [Continue]
Let's look at the future.....Time to heal, time to rebuild. N'Awlins. The Big Easy.
As I heard someone on NPR say, "When we can clean up the Mardi Gras mess, we can do this too before the next Mardi Gras is around the corner."
New Orleans should start looking at how European countries and Bangladesh are tacking the problem of hurricanes and flooding. There is something to be learned. There are some very innovative technologies being used.
"You'll never be able to control nature," said Rafael L. Bras, an environmental engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who consults on the Venetian project. "The best way is to understand how nature works and make it work in our favor."