"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Tale of Two Cities

In 1973, a flood in Bound Brook, New Jersey resulted in loss of life and the evacuation of people from their homes. In response to the disaster, the Army Corps of Engineers began studying the problem and by 1980 the Crops submitted a report recommending a plan for protecting the Green Brook Sub Basin. The project plan was authorized for construction by the Water Resources Act of 1986.

The project plan kicked around for another 11 years when in 1997 the Corps completed a General Reevaluation Report and proposed a new plan to fix the flooding problem in Bound Brook. This new plan recommended a number of remedies, including the construction of levees and floodwalls along the Green Brook to provide flood protection.

In June of 1999, a Project Cooperation Agreement between the U.S. Government and the state of New Jersey was signed. In September 1999, Hurricane Floyd swept through New Jersey, flooding Bound Brook, again resulting in loss of life and evacuation of people from their homes. The 1999 flood was the most damaging on record for an area that had long been identified as vulnerable. In September 2000, the initial phase of the flood control project began and the entire Green Brook Sub Basin project is now slated to be completed in 2012 – assuming all goes well.

By the time the project is completed it will have been: 39 years since the Crops began studying the problem, 32 years since the Corps submitted its original flood control plan, 26 years since congress authorized the project's construction and 13 years since the final construction plan was approved.

It hard to imagine, but just think, during this period the country will have been led by Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (GHW), Clinton, Bush(GW) and one or two more Presidents we’ve yet to elect.

Very interesting you think, but why are you guys relating this saga? This ridiculous article by Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton advisor, begged for a little perspective. In "No One Can Say they Didn't See it Coming", Blumenthal writes:

In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war.

With its main levee broken, the evacuated city of New Orleans has become part of the Gulf of Mexico. But the damage wrought by the hurricane may not entirely be the result of an act of nature.

A year ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed to study how New Orleans could be protected from a catastrophic hurricane, but the Bush administration ordered that the research not be undertaken.
Let’s see, Blumenthal wants his readers to believe a year ago the Corps proposed a study on how to protect New Orleans from a hurricane and if Bush President hadn’t gotten in the way, “the Big Easy” would be high and dry today. Uh, huh.

You probably didn’t need to read our little story about the Corps’ Bound Brook project to realize this is one of the most outrageous and blatant partisan attacks ever. However, let’s assume Blumenthal was telling the truth about the Corps proposing a study in 2004. Based upon our experience in New Jersey, the New Orleans flood protection project would be completed somewhere between 2017 and 2043 – just in time to save the city from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.




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