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NOLA: will Bush pull the plug on it?

Scout at First Draft is on top of the machinations going on to “save” New Orleans. I’m using quotes because it looks like the rebuilding effort, with only a short time away from the next hurricane season, is dealing with cronyism, corruption, inattention and failure at many levels.

The issue of shoring up and repairing the levees is at a critical juncture because Dear Leader is waffling over putting the dollars into the project:

If ever there was a time to blog about saving New Orleans now is the time.

The Army Corps of Engineers announced last week that another $6 Billion is needed to rebuild the levees for the NOLA area. Here’s a breakdown

But more than $3 billion in improvements are needed to bring Algiers, eastern New Orleans, the Lower 9th Ward, West Jefferson and most of Jefferson Parish’s east bank, St. Charles Parish, Belle Chasse and Lower Coast Algiers to the appropriate protection levels. And $3 billion more would be needed for Plaquemines Parish.

Donald Powell who is Bush’s point man on Katrina reconstruction has said Bush is making no promises regarding the needed $6 billion. The decision will be made this week or next. Powell indicated that Plaquemines Parish is on the chopping block as few people live there. This would be a disaster eventually for NOLA as Plaquemines with its wetlands is a natural buffer to the city. But there is no guarantee that the $3 billion for NOLA metro area will be forthcoming either.

Without levee protection residents and business will not return. It is that simple.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding