"It's scary," says Tom Jackson, a regional levee commissioner and engineer, of the admission by the Army Corps of Engineers that a section of lakefront levee in East Kenner (a western suburb of New Orleans) is contaminated with construction waste, and will have to be lopped off, before scheduled improvements can begin.
Says Brett Herr, who now supervises those regional improvements:
"I don't want people to read this and think the corps is building levees with landfill material," Herr said. "That isn't accurate."
The corps did not respond to requests for the names of the 2000-01 contractor and corps inspector on that job.
Herr said he couldn't explain how this amount of debris got through the safeguards designed to keep such contamination from happening.
He wasn't there then, and those people aren't here now. Crazy how accountability works at the US Army Corps of Engineers. How many other such mistakes have gone undiscovered...yet? But I don't want people to read this and think the corps is building levees with landfill material; they're letting their contractors do it.
BTW: Last night on Countdown, in introducing his piece on a one-day free medical clinic at the New Orleans Convention Center, Keith Olbermann said "last time we were here it was because of a natural disaster". He's correct, nature built flimsy floodwalls.