People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Where’d we put that barrel of tar?

Posted by schroeder915 on November 26, 2005

“So … what exactly are you doing to inspect the levees?”

“Ahh … we’re doing … something.”

Jerry Colletti, a Corps of Engineers operations manager for completed works, quoted in The Times-Picayune:

Our maintenance people, when they’re in the area, our field folks, our construction division people — they’re keeping an eye out for certain things.

Certain things?! So, basically, you’re saying that the guys who cut the grass are qualified to know whether the levees are structurally sound? Nobody actually checks water table levels, does soil samples, or does structural integrity checks, or any of the other things that engineers are supposed to do? Oh, you say that happens during the annual inspection? Okay … so what exactly do you do in that annual inspection?”

“Well, now that’s a big job. See, me & the boys git out there with our trucks and go around. Oh, yeah, it’s a regular convoy. 30 ve-hicles. And we go out and have a look-see. You know, kinda eyeball the sit’iation. But we get pretty hungry doin’ all that drivin’ around and lookin’. So we plan to wrap things up and get to lunch by 1:15.”

The Times-Picayune:

Records of the annual Levee Board and corps inspections show that they are fairly hasty affairs, with dozens of officials piling onto a convoy of vehicles to drive along the levees, stopping at various points for visits of 15 to 30 minutes. They review areas between stops from the cars.

Residents around the New Orleans area might be excused if they got a little bit angry for picking up the lunch tab … and then some.

Good work Gordon Russell, staff writer at The Times-Picayune!


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