[StBernard] I guess it's just a little oopsie...<br>
Westley at da-parish.com
Mon Nov 19 20:33:55 EST 2007
My eighth grader is in Algebra I and when he makes that type of mistake wher you get the negative and the positive numbers jumbled up -- its called a wrong answer and he is penalized.
The Army's COE cannot be trusted. They need a high school teacher to check their work
Flooding estimates are off by 5 feet
In June, the Army Corps of Engineers proudly announced that new gates and
levee repairs meant residents returning to Lakeview and Old Metairie would
see floodwaters reduced by up to 5 1/2 feet if the city were hit by a
They were off by 5 feet.
The reason? The Lakeview data got fouled up when somebody put a minus sign
in a calculation that called for a plus sign, Ed Link, leader of the
corps-sponsored Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force, said Friday.
The Old Metairie errors stemmed from faulty assumptions about the way water
would move into and out of the neighborhood from surrounding areas, Link
In other words, flood protection in Lakeview and Old Metairie has hardly
improved at all since the neighborhoods drowned in the 2005 flood -- despite
the public celebrations of corps officials and others in releasing the maps
on Hurricane Katrina's second anniversary.
Federal Gulf Coast Recovery Chief Donald Powell had called the reduced flood
risk one of the most important events in the state's recovery. "If I were in
the real estate business, or if I were anticipating coming to live in New
Orleans, the first thing I would look at are these maps we're releasing
today," he said at a June 21 news conference.
The correct flooding estimates are listed in a table in the IPET team's
long-awaited risk study, which was released without fanfare two weeks ago.
The new numbers show only a 1/2-foot difference between the risk of flooding
in both neighborhoods before Katrina and today.
Because Lakeview sits on lower ground than Old Metairie, the water there
would be expected to rise about 5 feet higher than corps officials
originally announced. In Old Metairie, the flooding was underestimated by
about 4 feet, Link said. Today, maps for both neighborhoods on a corps Web
site contains the notation, "This data is currently under revision."
Link blamed the rush to get as much information out to the public as quickly
as possible for the release of the inaccurate draft maps in June, as well as
the failure to correct them until this week.
At the time, senior corps officials and Powell's office scheduled the news
conference for the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, even though the
risk report on which the maps were based had not been completed.
Indeed, the report has not yet undergone peer review by the National Academy
"We caught it (in the completed risk volume) and put in the right numbers,
but that didn't ensure the map got changed on the Web site," Link said. "The
depth-of-flooding maps were created by the corps. We gave them the
elevations and they turned them into flood maps.
"But we didn't give them the corrections until recently, so the maps haven't
been changed," he said.
Ironically, members of ACORN, a community group representing low-income
residents, demonstrated in front of the corps' New Orleans headquarters
Thursday, complaining that poor and African-American neighborhoods were
being shortchanged when compared with Lakeview and Old Metairie -- which, it
turns out, have no better protection than any other neighborhood.
Link said a separate set of maps, released in August, show dramatic
reductions in flooding that are expected when levees are raised to protect
the area from 100-year hurricanes, work scheduled for completion in 2011.
The mathematical errors don't affect those maps, he said.
"This isn't anything we've kept hidden," Link said. "The fact is that we are
reviewing our results over and over, and finding errors and making the
corrections is a positive step."
Indeed, during a Wednesday presentation to American Society of Civil
Engineers officials reviewing the IPET team's work, the same error popped up
in a powerpoint presentation.
"We said, 'Oh, my God! There's that stupid negative sign,'Â¤" an exasperated
Link said. "We've got too many thousands of numbers."
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