NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Inspectors are finding hundreds of levees in danger of failing in the U.S., seven years after Hurricane Katrina.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hasn't yet rated about 40 percent of levees in the country, but of those it has inspected, some 326 are found to be in urgent need of repair.
Those levees cover more than 2,000 miles and are in every region and in cities and towns, such as Washington, D.C., Sacramento, Calif., and Brookport, Ill.
The Associated Press requested, under the Freedom of Information Act, details on why certain levees were judged unacceptable and how many people would be affected in a flood. The Corps wouldn't give that information on grounds that it could heighten risks of terrorism and sabotage.
Local governments are responsible for upgrading unacceptable levees and some local officials say that the Corps is exaggerating the dangers.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina's rain and storm surge toppled levees in New Orleans and tore up the Gulf Coast, leaving 1,800 people dead.
080-a-12-(Sacramento Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby, in AP interview)-"on this levee"-Sacramento Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby says California officials have raised half of the billion dollars needed to repair the Natomas Basin levee, but they need the federal government to pitch in the rest of the funding. (17 Jan 2013)
<<CUT *080 (01/17/13)>> 00:12 "on this levee"
078-a-16-(Patrick Lester, resident of the Natomas Basin just steps from the Sacramento River, in AP interview)-"serious potential issue"-Natomas Basin resident Patrick Lester says he is worried about the condition of the levee that's the only thing keeping the Sacramento River from flooding his home and others. (17 Jan 2013)
<<CUT *078 (01/17/13)>> 00:16 "serious potential issue"
079-a-08-(Sacramento Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby, in AP interview)-"in New Orleans"-Sacramento Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby says a breach of the 42-mile levee on the Sacramento River would be a major disaster. (17 Jan 2013)
<<CUT *079 (01/17/13)>> 00:08 "in New Orleans"