Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In Over Our Heads

Alright four readers. Go get ya a Guiness and sit down. This is bad news, unless you're just in New Orleans to exploit us for a story . . . you know, it's so exciting.

Matt McBride is leaving. Matt McBride, author of Fix The Pumps is the person who has been watchdogging the Army Corps since last year to be sure they do the work they promised. The work necessary for this city to survive. Matt McBride was sort of my only hope. When I found out I was nauseous, Karen, my partner on Squandered Heritage felt faint. For days we had this ominous feeling we couldn't shake. Without a functioning drainage system, which depends, not just on the popular and overused L-word, but heavily on the floodwalls which line our drainage canals and our mammoth pumping system, we are, uh, fucked. Nothing matters. I do not need to explain the necessity of monitoring the Army Corps.

Last night there was a meeting of a small group of citizens to try to reorganize behind him, to keep his work going. At least to focus on one major issue at a time. Matt sent out an 800 lb reading list (aka Head Explosion) today and some Actions for the Field Work:

National Historic Register nomination study of S&WB pump stations

USACE Project Information Report for rehab of outfall canals;
Revision 1

Revision 2

Revision 3

Revision 4

USACE PIR for rehab of Orleans Parish Pump Stations

IPET report, final version, chapters 5 and 6 (including sections of appendices dealing with Orleans Parish failures)

Team Louisiana final Katrina report

NSF-sposored Katrina investigation, based out of Cal-Berkeley

FEMA-sponsored study of flood mitigation in Broadmoor, as well as
other documents available at UNO Floodhelp portal

Every entry on my blog (including everything I've linked to)

Every entry on thread titled "Thanks Flood Advocacy!" on discussion board.

Floodgates Operating Manual

View my September PowerPoint presentation (requires free PowerPoint viewer,available at Microsoft's website), which, while it is wildly out of date, still contains important introductory information.

Read sections of Broadmoor and UNOP plans dealing with flood mitigation

I would estimate this as at least two weeks of solid reading, but
probably more like a month.

1 comment:

rcs said...


This is easily a full-time plus job, and that's assuming it's being done by someone who actually knows anything about this stuff. I don't care how concerned/motivated Volunteer X is, I don't see how anyone who isn't a trained engineer could possibly duplicate Matt's work. I mean, how would you possibly know what to look for?

Hey, city? This would be a nice position to fund: City Engineer in charge of Keeping on the Corps' Ass.