November 3, 2005

Who Could Have Imagined? (Part 538)

The NYT reports:

Malfeasance Might Have Hurt Levees, Engineers Say

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 - The head of a team of engineering experts told a Senate committee on Wednesday that malfeasance during construction might have been one reason for the catastrophic failure of the levees that were supposed to protect New Orleans from hurricanes.

"These levees should have been expected to perform adequately at these levels if they had been designed and constructed properly," said the expert, Raymond Seed, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

"Not just human error was involved," Professor Seed said. "There may have been malfeasance."

Professor Seed, whose team was financed by the National Science Foundation, did not offer hard evidence to back up his accusation. But he said after the hearing that the team had been contacted by levee workers, contractors and, in some cases, widows of contractors who told stories of protective sheet pile being driven less deeply than plans called for and corners cut in choosing soils for construction, among other problems.

His group is trying to confirm the accounts, he said, and he cautioned that even if proved, they might not be a major contributing factor in the disaster, which killed 1,000 people and left 100,000 without homes.

Corruption and feckless negligence in New Orleans? I'm sh-- ... ehhhh, forget it ...

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

No comments: