BREAKING News from Levees.org
Sandy at Levees.org
The Truth about the New Orleans Flood
In a surprise development, the commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers post Katrina, Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, has come clean over statements made to the New York Times.
After the 2005 flood, the Corps commander told NYTimes reporter John Schwartz that while the Corps was ultimately responsible for the levee failures and flooding, he also fingered New Orleans officials by saying they played a contributary role in the failure of two major outfall drainage canals.
Strock claimed local agencies forced the Corps to build an inferior system for the two canals. This message was repeated for years by other Corps brass including Maj Gen Don Riley and Corps PR spokespersons.
Now, remarkably, Strock has admitted to Mark Schleifstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune that there was no documentation or data to support his statement.
“Throughout our response to Katrina I emphasized how critical it was to be transparent and honest if we were to regain the trust of the public,” he said. “I might have illustrated my description with things I had heard but not personally researched..."
And that's not all.
We made a public-records request this year for documents that supported the corps’ allegations that they were pressured to build an inferior system. Ken Holder, chief of public affairs for the corps’ New Orleans District office, responded in a letter that we released yesterday at our press conference. The corps could not produce the documents that Strock and his second-in-command, Major Gen. Don Riley, used to make the claims.
Levees.org has long believed that unsupported defamatory statements made by senior corps officials suggesting that New Orleans agencies played a role in the 2005 flooding may have harmed southeast Louisiana’s recovery by alienating the nation’s citizens and ultimately prejudicing members of Congress.
So Levees.org will continue its mission to revise the initial inaccurate template until one day, the truth about the worst civil engineering disaster in U.S. history becomes household knowledge.
Click here for the featured story in the New Orleans Times Picayune.
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