DC Endangered by Crappy Levees, Go Figure

Jul 25, 2008 by

A reader in Cincinnatti, OH who used to live in New Orleans Pre-Katrina graced my in-box with the following email message. I will write about this later once I have more time. In the meantime the RadiantAchangelus pretty much sums it all up:

Wait, Washington D.C. is below sea level? And filled with historic monuments? And barely protected by crappy old levees? Gee, sounds like a city I know. But quick – don’t fix the levees – they should just move too!!

Gaps in aging levees leave D.C. landmarks exposed – Yahoo! News

Of course if that is not enough here is a teaser from the article itself:

The small berm is part of an inconspicuous levee system designed to protect world-famous museums, the National Archives and federal office buildings from flooding.

But the nearly 70-year-old levee is at risk of failing during a major storm — a catastrophe that could swamp portions of downtown in up to 10 feet of water and cause $200 million in damages, according to federal officials.

Dozens of communities coast to coast are facing similar warnings as authorities re-examine the nation’s outdated flood-control infrastructure.

And one final ominous bit of foreshadowing I was heretofore unaware of (emphasis mine):

During six previous floods, officials placed sandbags on 17th Street, which cuts across the National Mall near the Washington Monument. Had there been more serious flooding, plans called for erecting an 8-foot earthen embankment with dirt taken from the grounds of the Washington Monument, said Steve Garbarino, the Corps’ project manager for flood protection in the Washington region.

This is Your Nation. This is Your Nation surrounded by failing levees. Any Questions?

Thanks R! We miss you down here!

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