Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Army Corps of Engineers/Orleans Levee District Death Toll: 588 Dead

From Knight-Ridder:

Majority of New Orleans deaths tied to floodwalls' collapse

NEW ORLEANS - Nearly 600 people who died because of Hurricane Katrina might have survived had floodwalls on two New Orleans canals not collapsed, a Knight Ridder analysis of where bodies were found after the storm indicates.

The bodies of at least 588 people were recovered in neighborhoods that engineers say would have remained largely dry had the walls of the 17th Street and London Avenue canals not given way - probably because of poor design, shoddy construction or improper maintenance - after the height of the storm.

In contrast, 286 bodies were recovered in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans East and neighboring St. Bernard Parish, where Katrina's storm surge poured over levees and flooded neighborhoods.

The role of the 17th Street and London Avenue canal floodwalls in the destruction of New Orleans has been hotly debated in the four months since the storm. Engineers who are investigating their collapse think that floodwaters generated by Katrina never rose high enough to pour over the walls, and they blame flawed design, construction or maintenance for the walls' failure and the flooding that followed.

Today Big Media is agog about the Sago mine disaster. In three months it will be forgotten by the MSM, as it has forgotten and ignored the aftermath of the much greater American disaster, Hurricane Katrina and the collapse of the New Orleans levees. Pay no attention to the pious pronunciations by blow-dried anchors that they will follow this story in the days and weeks ahead. There will be another missing white woman, another fake war (War on Easter? War on Valentine's Day? War with Iran?), another White House press statement to be delivered verbatim, without questioning or analysis.

Look for coverage of the flawed levee story on TV. I dare you. You won't find it.

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