Are we ready? Oh hell no.
… Water is believed to be leaking beneath or through new, deeper sheet piling on which the eastern wall along the canal was built after Hurricane Katrina.
Corps officials contend a combination of gates and pumps at the northern end of the canal prevents the wall from failing again during a hurricane, as the gates would prevent surge from Lake Pontchartrain entering the canal, and procedures are in place to shut down pumping into the canal if rainfall drainage water becomes too high.
Another sign that we are doomed:
… President George W. Bush has taken a personal interest in preparations for the upcoming hurricane season.
How far have we come?
… For all of the money, for all of the rhetoric, all you have to do is take a stroll down Banks Street in mid-city to see the formaldehyde FEMA trailers, blighted, abandoned, rat-infested buildings, pot-hole filled side streets, and enough mufflers and hub caps along Carrollton Avenue to open a small auto parts store. And this was a middle class neighborhood before Katrina.
… The Times-Picayune reports that LRA money is still untapped. Officials said they are working with the Nagin team to plan the expenditures. “161 recovery projects have reached the drawing board, with some minor jobs under way. Other projects, such as rebuilding libraries, police stations and playgrounds, are in design or contracting phases,” the Times-Picayune said in a mid-term assessment of Nagin’s job performance.
People still in trailers while the levees are still leaking and recovery is still at Phases 1 and 2 out of 9. Mission accomplished.