Unheeded lessons from another great urban catastrophe.:
The hurricane has destroyed New Orleans and damaged smaller cities in addition to killing people. Yet the parallels are striking. Federal officials ignored several urgent pleas—from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, members of Congress, Gulf Coast politicians, and scores of disaster experts—for major infrastructure improvements to prevent catastrophic flooding on the Gulf Coast. Paul Krugman reports in the New York Times that FEMA rated this crisis one of the top three threats to American security. Yet the White House denied requests to shore up levees or build larger drainage systems for the lower Mississippi River.