Blame engineers for flooding in New Orleans
In the personal finance column "Weigh the costs, benefits of flood, earthquake insurance," the writer states: "You might recall a little storm called Katrina that flooded much of New Orleans."
The fact is, the Army Corps of Engineers knew the levee systems were flawed, but instead of correcting this, they lied about the status of the levees while squandering hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Had the engineers done their job, Hurricane Katrina would have made much less news and would not be called a terrible "natural" disaster. Rather, it should be labeled a terrible engineering disaster.
With the dissemination of correct information, the blame for the flooding of New Orleans will eventually shift from the hurricane to the agency that allowed it to affect the people of New Orleans. This information will get out only if the media start acknowledging where the fault for the destruction truly lies.
As a Hurricane Katrina survivor, allow me to correct some statements that were included in a column on flood and earthquake insurance.
■ Hurricane Katrina did not flood New Orleans. The failure of the levees and floodwalls that were built and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers has been found to be the true cause of the devastation and destruction of the New Orleans metropolitan area.
■ Fifty percent of Orleans Parish is above sea level. And more than half of New Orleans residents had flood insurance pre-Katrina.
■ You might recall a little storm called "Betsy" in 1966. This storm was the cause for the National Flood Insurance Program, created by Congress in 1968. My family home was flooded by Betsy.
When the NFIP became available, my mother took the flood insurance then and every year since until my dad retired and they moved to Oklahoma in 1984.
■ In March, 2004, I bought my first house in Arabi, La., in St. Bernard Parish. My homeowner's insurance agent looked at a flood zone map and told me that I didn't need flood insurance. Since it was less than $300, I took it anyway. Real good choice.
James Roy III
Katrina did not flood New Orleans. The levees and walls designed and built by the Army Corp of Engineers failed. Also, the reason many people did not have flood insurance is that they assumed the Corps had built high-quality flood protection. The Corps continues to build inferior protection, and its PR campaign assures people they are protected, all paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
Why not outsource and privatize this work since the Corps' structures failed in 2005?
The insurance companies manage the federal flood program, and they blamed all damage on flooding so they would not have to pay.
One cannot take risks with one's property. Unfortunately the writer fails to understand or mention that the Army Corps of Engineers did just that to the people of the New Orleans metro area.
He mentions "a little storm called Katrina that flooded ... New Orleans."
Please don't blame Mother Nature for what happened on Aug. 29, 2005. Point the finger of blame at the Corps, which designed, constructed and maintained the levee system that failed on that fateful day.
San Leandro, Calif.