Thursday, December 01, 2005

"The costliest engineering mistake in American history"

Another left-wing Bush-bashing theory goes up in smoke: that the New Orleans levees failed because of budget cuts made by the Bush Administration.

Michelle Malkin has the background on why the levees failed (quoting from the New Orleans Time-Picayune):

The floodwall on the 17th Street Canal levee was destined to fail long before it reached its maximum design load of 14 feet of water because the Army Corps of Engineers underestimated the weak soil layers 10 to 25 feet below the levee, the state's forensic levee investigation team concluded in a report to be released this week.

That miscalculation was so obvious and fundamental, investigators said, they "could not fathom" how the design team of engineers from the corps, local firm Eustis Engineering and the national firm Modjeski and Masters could have missed what is being termed the costliest engineering mistake in American history.


The corps has long claimed the sheet piling was driven to 17.5 feet deep, but Team Louisiana recently used sophisticated ground sonar to prove it was only 10 feet deep.

Van Heerden said Team Louisiana's latest calculations prove investigators' claims that a depth of 17 feet would have made little difference. He said the team ran the calculations for sheet piles at 17 feet and 16 feet deep, and the wall still would have failed at a load of 11 to 12 feet of water.

Thus, the levees were faulty from the design & construction stage, long before Bush was elected.

Watch for the massive media response: Bush skipped out on National Guard service to sabotage levees!


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