House report: Dams, levees at risk from terror
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Thursday August 31, 2006
A minority report written by Democrats on the House Homeland Security Commission claiming that America’s dams and levees remain largely unprepared for natural disasters and terrorist attacks will be released today, RAW STORY has learned.
The report comes in the middle of the 2006 hurricane season, just days after the one-year anniversary of hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans. That storm, which killed over 1000 people, breached levees that are part of a system that remains almost entirely unprepared to handle another, similar disaster, the report says.
It also highlights the risk facing cities like Sacramento, whose metropolitan area is protected from flooding by Folsom Dam. A failure there, the report says, could result in billions of dollars in damage and the loss of tens of thousands of lives.
“One year after Katrina, the problems with the New Orleans levee system still remain. A recent study released by the American Society of Civil Engineers found that a similar catastrophe to Katrina could happen again, and that there are problems with nearly every aspect of the system, including overall concept, budgeting, funding, design, construction, management, and operations.”
Unfortunately, New Orleans is not the only city in the nation at great danger of flooding. The city of Sacramento, CA, could easily become the next major flood disaster. A number of factors make Sacramento a very vulnerable area for flooding. Folsom Dam, which sits above Sacramento, is ranked in the top-most bin of high-impact dams in the country, meaning that its failure would put over 50,000 people at risk, with a possible loss of life of over 4,000 and could result in over $50 billion in economic damage. In the case of Sacramento, the number of people living below the dam is over 1 million.