Little Progress on At-Risk Levees: Feds
State and local governments have done little despite post-Katrina crackdown
By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2008 10:22 AM CST
After a July earthquake in the Los Angeles area, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the state was assessing levees, bridges and more. California has yet to fix 15 levees previously identified as damaged.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – More than half the 122 US levees cited for being in disrepair after Hurricane Katrina still need to be fixed, according to Army Corps of Engineers data obtained by USA Today—with 18 states and Puerto Rico having levees considered unreliable in major floods. The worst offenders are Washington and California, where levees with “unacceptable maintenance deficiencies” protect densely populated cities like Seattle and Sacramento.

State and local authorities were given a year to correct problems after a February 2007 federal review. The Corps, looking to speed repairs, is barring access to recovery funds should problems occur. Residents of the affected areas, who could be forced to buy flood insurance, “have every right to be concerned,” the levee-safety program’s director said. “Those deficiencies need to be corrected.”