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By Larry Adams
The tragedy is biblical in nature. Water rising. Thousands feared dead. Lawlessness in the streets. But, could the damage been mitigated?
Not entirely, certainly. Hurricane Katrina was a force that exceeded Hurricane Andrew, Hugo and Alicia and other major hurricanes in its ferocity. Damage and death seemed unavoidable.
But that doesn't mean that the devastation couldn't have been less severe.
The post-Katrina fallout is just beginning. Like Sept. 11, 2001, more and more information is being released that showed that not only were warning signs missed, but warning signs were ignored.
I've heard the term "bathtub" in reference to New Orleans. I have seen the computer models on how it happened. Walled by earthen levees between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, the city's basin filled like a bathtub.
On its face, it seems hard to imagine that this might occur, unless one realizes that this was a known possibility. The federal government had flooding concerns since the 1960s, funding various projects throughout the years. Recent funding dried up as money was diverted to Iraq and other ends.