Of Taste and Levees ...
One of the pleasures of living in Cincinnati is being able to get together with Susan’s brother Harley and his wife Jascia. The major discussion topic was politics, lately the source for a lot of laughs.
They visited with us last night for a going away party for Matt, who is going back to the University of New Orleans (UNO) for his senior year. Matt has been staying with us for a few months and leaves Thursday for UNO. He will get to experience dorm life for the first time.
Later today we are going to the “Taste of Cincinnati.” At Fountain Square, we get to taste samples of food from some of Cinci’s finest restaurants. We will then do some campaigning for Dr. Victoria Wulsin, Democratic candidate for Congress, handing out campaign literature at the “Taste.”
Meanwhile, on the New Orleans front, fears are being fanned on the flood protection front. Below are excerpts from an article by Cain Burdeau,of the Associated Press:
Leaky New Orleans levee alarms experts
NEW ORLEANS — Despite more than $22 million in repairs, a levee that broke with catastrophic effect during Hurricane Katrina is leaking again because of the mushy ground on which New Orleans was built, raising serious questions about the reliability of the city's flood defenses.
Outside engineering experts who have studied the project told The Associated Press the type of seepage spotted at the 17th Street Canal in the Lakeview neighborhood also afflicts other New Orleans levees and could cause some of them to collapse during a storm.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has spent about $4 billion so far of the $14 billion set aside by Congress to repair and upgrade the metropolitan area's hundreds of miles of levees by 2011. Some outside experts said the leak could mean billions more will be needed and some of the work already completed may need to be redone.
"It is all based on a 30-year-old defunct model of thinking, and it means that when they wake up to this one — really — our cost is going to increase significantly," said Bob Bea, a civil engineer at the University of California at Berkeley.
The Army Corps of Engineers disputed the experts' dire assessment. The agency said it is taking the risk of seepage into account and rebuilding the levees with an adequate margin of safety.
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