Corps Category 5 Study Released: Late and Useless

Mar 15, 2008 by

This content is syndicated from the email by Matt McBride, formerly at the helm of Fix The Pumps. -Loki

Dear New Orleanians,

The Corps has released the preliminary version of their category 5 study:

or the direct link:

They had promised this to the public (after missing their 12/31/07 deadline) on February 8th, as seen here:

I went and checked on March 7th, and it hadn’t yet appeared on the LaCPR site. But it’s there now.

By the way, the study doesn’t actually make any recommendations. In fact, here’s an excerpt from the end of the report:

“Efforts to date do not point to a single effective risk reduction strategy. No single strategy for comprehensive hurricane damage risk reduction, other than entirely abandoning communities in South Louisiana, will guarantee safety for the population along the coast.”

Basically, what this study has done is just collect all the alternatives, so that more meetings can be held. The Corps has placed a paragraph in the report meant to blunt criticism that the public was expecting recommendations from this report, and there are none (and, yes, I am aware that was reported earlier, but that doesn’t mean that every member of the public in South Louisiana will remember or care about it):

“Congress also directed a technical report rather than a reconnaissance or feasibility report as described by normal USACE policy. The technical report will contain many of the same components as a reconnaissance or feasibility report, such as presenting the results of the formulation and evaluation of alternatives. As outlined by the Congressional direction, the technical report will contain a ‘comprehensive hurricane protection analysis and design…to develop and present a full range of flood control, coastal restoration, and hurricane protection measures…for comprehensive Category 5 protection.'”

Expect to see that argument when people start asking, “why are there no recommendations other than, ‘have more meetings?'”