The following link will help explain to those of you left wondering what the new Neil Young song is talking about "someone just not home that day". People were confused when Neil blamed the government for the Katrina flood. New Orleans never should have flooded.
In 1718 they built 3' tall levees around New Orleans (most of the city is actually 6' below sea level). In 1966 a major project to build proper levees started after Hurricane Betsy in 1965 (coincidence that we were also at war then). Now 40 years later the levees are STILL not complete. That is why so many people died. Would you have a tiger cage in your backyard where your children play with a 4 foot opening in the cage?
It's not like Katrina was a freak of nature.
New Orleans has hurricanes almost every year.
FEMA's "Clean-Up" After Hurricane Katrina
At a press conference on Sept. 28, 2008, Cynthia McKinney was videotaped saying she had spoken with a constituent whose son was a National Guardsman. The constituent claimed her son had disposed of 5,000 corpses (mostly black males, each with a single bullet-hole in the back of his head) for the Department of Defense during the week of Huricane Katrina.
The names of these men were "entered into a Pentagon computer". Cynthia thinks the bodies were prisoners who had all been shot in the head and dumped in a Louisiana swamp. McKinney said this information had been validated by various "inside" sources - including her contacts at The Red Cross.
In Katrina disaster, human error claimed heavy toll
Wednesday, May 24, 2006 @ 7:05 AM ET
Katrina's death and destruction in New Orleans were as much a man-made disaster as a natural one.
Human failures - many of them by the federal agency that built the levees meant to protect the city - allowed catastrophic floods to destroy it in Hurricane Katrina's wake.
That is the key finding in an independent report released Monday that punctured conventional wisdom and conclusions of other experts about what caused last August's catastrophe.
"People didn't die because the storm was bigger than the system could handle, and people didn't die because the levees were overtopped," said Raymond Seed, an engineering professor at the University of California at Berkeley and lead author of the study.
No, people died because government agencies, from the Army Corps of Engineers to local levee boards, failed to do their jobs properly. Safety was trumped by a desire for efficiency and saving money. Infighting among local agencies and failures in funding by Congress caused years-long delays and left life-threatening holes in the levees. Forty years after Hurricane Betsy caused major flooding in New Orleans and spurred levee construction, the project was unfinished when Katrina struck.
The new report concludes that the Army Corps made errors in the basic design and construction of New Orleans' levees. It built many of them atop sand and shell-like materials that easily eroded, letting foundations wash away. Interlocking steel curtains that might have helped stabilize levees were not sunk deep enough. The Corps' safety targets were "inappropriately low" for a system protecting a major city.
With another active hurricane season forecast this year, these failings are troubling not only to New Orleans, but to communities across the USA. The Corps, a federal agency with a construction budget of nearly $2 billion a year, is responsible for flood control projects from Sacramento to Grand Forks, N.D., to south Florida.
For years, the Corps has wasted money on projects of dubious utility, often ones that encourage development in dangerous, flood-prone areas. Congress is equally at fault: Lawmakers earmark money in the Corps budget for local pet projects, instead of setting national priorities for flood control.
Louisiana, for example, got $1.9 billion for water projects in the five years preceding Katrina but spent most of it on projects that had nothing to do with New Orleans' levees, according to a separate report by environmental and taxpayer advocacy groups.
Those decisions and errors came home with terrible result last August. About 1,100 people lost their lives in Louisiana.
The report calls for systemic changes in the Corps and in flood control planning. Given the agency's troubled history, an overhaul is in order. One sound and urgent recommendation: new federal and state authorities to oversee projects. Another priority: upgrading the Corps' technical capabilities. Perhaps more could be done to tap engineering expertise in the private sector.
Policymakers can't tame nature, but they can prevent the kind of human errors that helped sink a great city.