Corps of Engineers Alters Levee Strategy

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

As the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced new measures to prevent another levee failure. The Corps says it will start assessing projects based on risk instead of cost.


As New Orleans works to rebuild its justice system, the Army Corps of Engineers is working toward preventing further levee failures. The Commander of the Corps, Lieutenant General Carl Strock, has announced several new measures. Chief among them is a better review system.


Experts agree that more reviews, better materials and smarter designs could have prevented the breach of the levees and saved New Orleans from flooding. Other changes include assessing projects based on risk and not cost, looking at inspections of public works for the entire life-span of the infrastructure, and doing more to communicate with the public about the dangers they face.

MONTAGNE: One long-time critic with the National Science Foundation team studying the levee failures says the changes are a step in the right direction but that real improvement will only come from more fundamental changes to the core bureaucracy.

General Strock has been criticized for the Corps's failures in New Orleans, as well as the slow pace of reconstruction in Iraq. He announced his retirement earlier this month, citing family and personal reasons.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.