That is the title of a Seattle Post-Intelligencer article on post-Katrina levee issues in New Orleans (by way of ASCE Smart Brief). I think the article is somewhat sensationalized, but they do cite some interesting parallels between the levee reconstruction efforts made after Katrina and the levee construction/reconstruction that occurred after Hurricane Betsy in 1965.
The article also discusses a recent US Army audit with some disturbing although not unexpected findings:
An initial September 2010 target to complete the $14.8 billion in post-Katrina work has slipped to mid-2011. Then last September, an Army audit found 84 percent of work behind schedule because of engineering complexities, environmental provisos and real estate transactions. The report added that costs would likely soar.
A more recent analysis shows the start of 84 of 156 projects was delayed – 15 of them by six months or more. Meanwhile, a critical analysis of what it would take to build even stronger protection – 500-year-type levees – was supposed to be done last December but remains unfinished.
LANCASTER — Months of explosive blasting are expected to begin at the site of Center Hill Dam next week as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prepares to begin construction work at the aging dam in Lancaster.
"The blasting will be to excavate a platform for construction, about 40 feet wide and will look similar to a road cut through a hill," [Corps Project Manager Linda Adcock] said. "Just the nature of how we grout, and moving equipment back and forth on the current slopes, which are as much as 40 percent and greater, is just really difficult. So for these reasons, for safety, quality, the accuracy and the consistency of the drill holes are much better done from a platform, they proposed this road cut type of a platform."
The US Army Corps of Engineers has issued a report that indicates the eastern portion of the levee system that protects Bernard Parrish will need to be raised by 11-ft to 29-ft to protect against the 100-year hurricane. Levees along Lake Pontchartrain were designed in the 1960s for what was then considered to be 200-yr and 300-yr hurricanes. Now they are judged sufficient for the 100-yr event. More at NOLA.COM.