Army Corps of Engineers admitted it was their design failure that caused the levees to breach
New Orleans is a major port for the US and South Louisiana is a major provider of natural gas, oil and refineries for that oil. The area has assumed great risk (coastal wetland destruction, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet) to provide goods and energy to the country. (for more go here) It all came crashing down on them with Katrina. Particularly the federal levees came down. The Army Corps of Engineers admitted it was their design failure that caused the levees to breach which in turn flooded the city.
The people of New Orleans had assumed they were protected. They weren’t. Having assumed risks to meet the needs of the country they believed there would have been a recovery response equal to the destruction they have endured. It hasn’t. They thought we were all in this together only to be met this past 462 days with neglect and abandonment. Worse they have endured the slings and arrows of the Why Live There, Why Rebuild Below Sea Level crowd and ask are we truly alone in this? Does the rest of the country not realize the importance of our port and off shore resources? Was there not a social contract? Is this not the UNITED States of America?
The questions go unanswered. It ought to frighten us all. If a city of such economic importance, rich in cultural and historical significance can be laid to waste and perhaps laid to rest from lack of will and commitment to make the part whole again, then who among us is safe? The new Congress could go along way in demonstrating we indeed share in the risk and responsibility by addressing the rebuilding of the levees to Cat 5 protection and restoring Lousiana's wetlands.