The Corps of Engineers looks to be in full cover-up mode in response further revelations of the levee system. Weak soils have been the center of debate in the investigation. At the 17th Street Canal breach, a layer of peat beneath the broken wall is the prime suspect and heaving soils below the London Avenue Canal is primarily suspected. No one is supprised to find out that that is the main reason for the failures at MR-GO.
While other levee systems failed during the storm at specific weak spots, much of the Gulf Outlet levee simply disintegrated under the impact of Katrina's storm surge and waves, a clear indication it was built of weak materials, probably loose organic soils from nearby marshes, investigators said.
But the Corps thinks that nothing went wrong.
The corps said no problem exists. Project supervisor Kevin Wagner, who will guide investigators on an inspection of the area today, said on-site personnel are carefully monitoring material being used from the adjacent borrow holes in the marsh, separating strong clays from weaker organic soils, just as corps officials in Washington said. He said an outside inspector is working with a corps staff inspector each day, backed up by the corps' on-site supervisors and periodic visits from project's engineering design firm, Waldemar S. Nelson Co. of New Orleans, and soil investigators Eustis Engineering of Metairie. Those are backed up by the periodic lab tests, Wagner said.That's like the proverbial doctor saying the the operation was a success but the patient died only in this case, the doctor thinks the patient is still breathing.