Bush Administration Had Reason To Know About Levee Problems

Bush said this morning, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” That’s not true at all. A quick review of headlines from national and regional papers over the course of the Bush presidency demonstrate that the federal government was very much aware of the problem.

New Orleans CityBusiness, 6/6/05:

New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faces $71.2M in federal cuts

Times-Picayune, 5/28/05:


As federal aid wanes, local leaders are trying to find ways — including movable barriers to ward off storm surge — to protect the metro area from the fiercest hurricanes

Times-Picayune, 12/3/04:

Levees don’t measure up, corps warns; Many not as high as previously thought

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/17/04:

New Orleans In Danger of Drowning; Hurricane Ivan Passed It By, But a Direct Hit By Another Storm Would Swamp Its Levees and Leave Thousands Dead

Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/8/04:

New Orleans’ growing danger; Wetlands loss leaves city a hurricane hit away from disaster

Times-Picayune, 10/6/04:

Taxes will rise to pay for levee work; Feds no longer paying for it

Houston Chronicle, 9/15/04:

Hurricane Ivan; Direct Hit Could Spell Doom for New Orleans; Residents Fleeing Deluge That Could Sink Low-Lying City

Times-Picayune, 6/11/04:

Flood-project firm left high, dry; Federal dollars are tapped out

Times-Picayune, 6/8/04:

Shifting federal budget erodes protection from levees; Because of cuts, hurricane risk grows

Times-Picayune, 4/13/04:

Levee money falling short; Corps says millions needed to close gaps

New York Times, 7/4/03:

New Orleans’s Hurricane Problem

Lafayette Daily Advertiser, 10/14/02:

Hurricane levees talked about for decades

Times-Picayune, 10/10/02:

La. needs new plan to survive big storms; Put politics aside, Army Corps warns

CBS Evening News, 10/2/02:

Damage that a major hurricane could do to New Orleans

AP, 8/5/02:

Louisiana sinking: One state’s environmental nightmare could become common problem

Times-Picayune, 6/27/02:

Cost of survival; New Orleans and south Louisiana will always be vulnerable to a catastrophic hurricane, yet there are ways to make the area safer. But implementing the proposals may be prohibitively expensive.

Times-Picayune, 5/31/01:

A study shows that coastal Louisiana is sinking more than thought, and that could spell trouble as hurricane season rolls in