hurricane season is 2 days away and the 17th street canal levee is seeping water

On the front page of the Times Picayune today is a story and picture of the water seepage on the east side (read: New Orleans side) of the 17th Street canal. The Orleans levee district wants to commission a 3rd party to assess exactly what the heck is going on since the ACoE and UC Berkeley engineer Bob Bea cannot seem to agree on exactly what is going on.

There was a second article buried in the Metro section highlighting Sandy Rosenthal’s efforts behind Levees.org and her continued vigilance to provoke someone, anyone to take protection of New Orleans area seriously. The interview follows and embedded in there is a very telling statement, highlighted with the link to the article. Its time that someone step it up and do their damn job and stop blaming the citizens of New Orleans for the levee failures after Katrina. You got to love Sandy Rosenthal, dragonslayer extraordinaire of all things levee…

Juliet Allen is looking forward to moving into her newly completed home in the Lower 9th Ward, but is still fearful of another flood like the one that destroyed her old house during Hurricane Katrina.

That’s why she agreed to appear in one of two 30-second public service announcements released Thursday by Levees.org aimed at galvanizing support for an independent “8/29 Investigation” of the failure of the New Orleans levee system.

“I’ve been living on that piece of property since I was 16,” Allen said. “Most of my neighbors are not back yet, but I hope to be a beacon. ‘If that little lady can make it, we can come back, too.’ ”

The second video focuses on a home in St. Bernard Parish, juxtaposing photos of the owner and children in the front yard with the empty shell and sediment-strewn lawn that remained for a short time after Katrina before it was torn down.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu introduced legislation earlier this year that would create the independent “8/29 Investigation,” similar to a congressionally sponsored investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The bill has yet to be passed by the Senate, and to urge its passage, Levees.org is releasing the videos and holding three rallies on Saturday in Lakeview, eastern New Orleans and St. Bernard.

“It’s been 2 1/2 years since Katrina and we’re still vulnerable,” said Levees.org executive director Sandy Rosenthal. “We’re being told to get over it and move on. But we’ll decide when it’s time to get over it.

“This entire region was destroyed because of a failure of the civil engineering profession and also our very own federal government,” she said, but outside officials keep saying it’s the public’s fault for living in such a risky area.

Rosenthal said such “blame the victim” ideology is spurred in part by what she called a flawed corps-sponsored study of the causes of levee failures.

That Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force report is flawed because of the inherent conflict of interest of having key corps engineers participating in the study, and by its sponsorship by the agency that built the levee system, she said.

Two independent studies of the levee failures — one sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the other by the state Department of Transportation and Development — came up with conflicting analyses for five of the seven major failure mechanisms cited in the task force report, Rosenthal said.

And an independent ethics panel formed by the American Society of Civil Engineers has yet to conclude its study of potential ethical concerns about the participation of ASCE-sponsored engineers in the study.

“The levee investigation was a sham, a coverup, masquerading as an investigation,” she said. Corps officials and IPET leaders have defended their investigation, saying it was conducted with a mix of independent engineers and scientists, in addition to corps employees, and that it represents state-of-the-art investigative and engineering techniques.

The “Day of Action” rallies will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the intersections of Canal Boulevard and Harrison Avenue in Lakeview, Bullard Avenue and Interstate 10 in eastern New Orleans, and Paris Road and Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette.

Indeed…

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~ by maringouin on Friday, May 30, 2008.

 
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