An advocacy group formed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to keep tabs on the U-S Army Corps of Engineers has launched a Florida chapter. Levees – dot – Org is a non-profit, grassroots organization whose mission is to hold the U-S Army Corps of Engineers accountable for the design, construction and performance of the projects it builds. The group wants state and federal lawmakers to closely scrutinize the Corps and its many projects. Florida Atlantic University professor of urban and rural planning – Joyce Levine is the group’s new Florida Director. She says there are correlations between New Orleans and the area south of Lake Okeechobee…
“What we’re seeing here with the dike is an independent review group comes in, looks at the dike, goes over all the information about it and says you know folks, this is at very high risk of failure – particularly in a stronger hurricane. And we’re getting the same response from the Corps that we got before Katrina, which is Oh there’s nothing wrong with the dike, yeah it needs a few repairs but it’s got a lot of good years in it…this report is alarmist.”
Levine says after what happened in New Orleans…there’s no such thing as alarmist anymore.
An organization formed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina has expanded into Florida. Its mission: to hold the U-S Army Corps of Engineers more accountable for its work. The state office of “Levees-dot-Org” is headed by Joyce Levine, a professor of urban planning at Florida Atlantic University. She points to a recent independent review of the dike around Lake Okeechobee as the primary reason for the expansion. The review concluded the dike had a 1 in 6 chance of failing if faced with a strong hurricane. Corps officials have called it ‘alarmist’.
“You know we’ve got a clash here of threat and protection, and the threat is getting bigger and the protection is getting weaker. So for them to say it’s alarmist and nothing more needs to be done than routine maintenance and repairs seems a little suspicious to me.”
The Corps is working to shore up parts of the dike that are leaking. The 300-million-dollar, 25-year project began earlier this year…but has been delayed because of complications.
Friday, 29 September 2006 01:00
Levees.orgWritten by WGCU Newsroom