Responses to Katrina article

I would like to clarify one very important point in the article written by Keith Hovis entitled âÄúA disaster revisited: Hurricane Katrina.âÄù First, let me say it is a good article, and I appreciate the attention it draws to the issue in New Orleans. However, the damage to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina was not devastating to the city. It was, however, the catastrophic and widespread failure of our federal governmentâÄôs own levees that destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes. These levees failed not because they were overwhelmed by natural forces. The forces that the levees encountered from Hurricane Katrina were well below what these levees were supposedly designed and built to withstand. Certainly, a higher standard of accountability should be held for a man-made disaster such as what happened in New Orleans. Thus far, that accountability hasnâÄôt happened. I suspect that Hovis is aware of this circumstance, and I know that it is an easy trap to fall into to just say âÄúKatrinaâÄù when trying to describe the cause of the devastation; however, I believe that this distinction âÄî the actual cause of the damages and the lack of accountability âÄî is an important distinction to make. Roy Arrigo New Orleans This is a good article, despite the absence of the word levee. The article implies the damage to New Orleans was from a hurricane. Yes, there was hurricane damage, but only a trivial amount in the city. A huge number of engineering errors, omissions and general negligence by federal government engineers were the direct cause of the structural failures of the federal levees in more than 50 locations that caused billions of dollars of damage in our city. Ray Broussard New Orleans