Dallas Levees Rated Unacceptable

Our fate_0001

Our fate is your fate…

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has just delivered a bombshell to
the city of Dallas, rating the integrity of the Trinity River levees
unacceptable in a draft inspection report .

The rating means that Dallas’ primary flood protection, the massive
berms of earth that run along the Trinity floodway, do not meet current
standards set out by the corps after the disaster of Hurricane Katrina
in 2005.

“It means that some of the items of our levee system must be fixed
and on others we must do further testing and analysis to determine if
they need mitigation,” city manager Mary Suhm wrote in a memo to
council members.

George Bush on a roof awaiting rescue would signal the rebirth of irony (which his administration all but killed). But for the sake of all the other Dallas residents let’s hope they fix the levees and that never comes to pass.

7 thoughts on “Dallas Levees Rated Unacceptable

  1. I don’t know Dallas geography much. But in a certain morbid fashion, I am hoping that the areas of Dallas that are at risk are more affluent than the NOLA lower 9th.
    This could finally be the item to cut some of the bigotry (both racial and economic) that has been leveled at NOLA.

  2. I lived in Dallas area for 12 years. The river flows right between the downtown area and the Oak Cliff area, predominantly AA and hispanic and poor (although there are some affulent old neighborhoods). A nasty flood might wash all the way to the fairgrounds and up into the heart of downtown.
    Three guesses as to which side of the river is going to receive any improvement dollars. The first two don’t count.

  3. They’re just warming up for when Ray Nagin leaves office here in New Orleans and goes to Dallas for good. Get ready, big D!

  4. From WFAA’s story on this:

    DALLAS – After the Army Corp of Engineers deemed the levees in Dallas “unacceptable,” delays may be down the road for the Trinity River toll road.
    It may also mean higher flooding insurance for nearby owners
    And as questions arose Tuesday over the impact of the call made on the levees, the city didn’t seem to have any answers yet.
    The levees over the Trinity River are 80 years old and have yet to be problematic. However, that was what they said about the New Orleans’ levees prior to Hurricane Katrina.
    Since Katrina, the Corp of Engineers – which is responsible for flood prevention – changed the rules and that could mean big changes for plans to build the toll road.
    The Santiago Calatrava designed bridges over the Trinity River are among the reason the levees have been deemed unsafe. Under its old rules, the Corp of Engineers allowed bridge supports to be drilled right into the levees.
    Aldo Jaramillo, who is raising his daughter just a block from the levees, said the news has him concerned.
    “I feel it might be a little too low and it might come down,” he said.
    Adding to the problem is the city’s Trinity River Corridor Project, which would drill into the levees once again to build the toll road. One city council member, Angela Hunt, said she sees it as an insurmountable problem.
    “That we would want to pour millions of tons of concrete into that system and further exacerbate the lack of safety, it’s irresponsible,” she said.
    But Mayor Tom Leppert said he believes the levees can be fixed at the same time the toll road is built
    “We are also committed to making the corrections that need to be made to get our levees to an acceptable level,” he said. “And also, to stress again, the Trinity River project is moving forward.”

    This could be good news for Texas. If the Trinity Corridor toll road project can be stopped, that may lend strength to anti-toll road movements (and the opposition to the imbecile Trans Texas Corridor project Rick Perry dreamed up to benefit his buddies and sell our highways to overseas investors). That the Calatrava bridges’ abutment/supports were drilled into the levees is … well, about par for Dallas.
    A map can be found here:
    The Oak Cliff neighborhood surrounds the North Texas VA medical center.
    The North Texas VA medical center is home to one of the satellite campuses of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy.
    Larry Powell, formerly of the Dallas Morning News, lives in Oak Cliff. You can read about his neighborhood at http://www.readlarrypowell.com, where he maintains a daily newsletter-column concentrating on animal rescue and pet news.

  5. By definition, if you increase the standards then instantly and automatically everything built to the prior standard is now sub-standard. I think this is the responsible thing to do: standards are increasing and the Corps is not going to just pretend like prior work is okay.
    FEMA and local governments routinely “grandfather” existing homes that are below the base flood elevation so that people can continue to live at dangerous elevations and get flood insurance at the discounted rate. That’s bad policy.
    I work for the Corps but I have nothing to do with levees in Texas. So often the politicians want to hide the danger or downplay the risk to the public. I’m proud that Corps officials are speaking up and telling it like it is. Now the problems can be addressed and the proper repairs will follow.

Comments are closed.