By Dan Shapley
Even if levees in New Orleans had been built adequately -- which countless investigations have found they were not -- Hurricane Katrina was powerful enough to have overwhelmed them, according to a new analysis. They American Society of Civil Engineers study reinforces the conclusions of the Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for building and maintaining the levee system, and which has been under constant fire for the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. However, the loss of life and property would have been blunted by better levees. The report has two over-arching lessons: Adequate and competent preparation for storms is essential, and even the most prepared community can suffer in the face of overwhelming natural force, according to a story in the June 12 Times-Picayune.