Friday, March 03, 2006

Breaching, overtopping, whatEVAH.

Oyster lays it out here. The fact is that there was virtually no discussion of levee breaches in the months leading up to Hurricane Katrina -- if anyone had thought the levees would buckle, there would have been an outcry, if for no other reason than ass covering. But the notion of a catastrophic flood, either through levee overtopping or rain and storm surge, was widely known to be a likely result of a large hurricane. The larger point is that the Bush team were warned of flooding, warned of overtopping, had pictures and reports, and were aware of the possibilities days before the storm made landfall. It's technically sort of almost true that no one anticipated the beach of the levees -- no one in Louisiana or Washington had made specific predictions or specific, levee-breach contingency plans -- but the meat of the argument is horseshit. Floods were well anticipated. Catastrophe was anticipated. And believe me, the pathetic incompetence of the federal response (coast guard excepted) was anticipated by more than a few.

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