Cassandra Syndrome

Jan 30, 2007 by

Cassandra Syndrome, I feel like I have had it for years now. From my speculation that Iraq was going to become a sociopolitical morass akin to Viet Nam, to my fears about the direction of the New Orleans rebuild I always seem to be written off as an extremist. Like Cassandra I have been both correct and disbelieved for quite some time now.

So here is the latest confirmation of something I have been screaming from the roofops since the day the Corps admitted culpability. You see, everyone is under the impression that the levee failure is a New Orleans problem, that it does not affect them directly, which is patently false. My refrain has been, “what if it happens to YOU next?” Well here is some groovy news for our neighbors across the US, it IS your problem as well:
Peter Eisler over at USA Today says 146 LEVEES ACROSS THE US MIGHT FAIL.

WASHINGTON — The Army Corps of Engineers has identified 146 levees nationwide that it says pose an unacceptable risk of failing in a major flood.

The deficiencies, mostly due to poor maintenance, are forcing communities from Connecticut to California to invest millions of dollars in repairs. If the levees aren’t fixed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could determine that they are no longer adequate flood controls.

Maybe some people will pay attention now, but I am begining to doubt it. Those that have an interest and those with compassion have already been at our sides from the begining. The ill informed often perk up and pay attention when told the realities down here, but rarely does it seem to have a lasting effect. In this era soundbites are gospel, and attention spans are shorter that Ross Perot.

So I guess we will have to wait for catastrophic flooding in Connecticut, or a levee failure in sunny California before people start to get it. I’ll bet FEMA will be there with bells on, don’t you?

(hat tip to GentillyGirl)

EDIT: Here is a nice little video on Weather.Com adressing the subject. If you live here you already know the drill, if you don’t you should watch it. It could be your levees next..

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