U.S. Army Corps… A Contributing Factor in Hurricane Katrina?

In a recent case in Louisiana, a federal judge ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was to blame for the flooding of part of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 due to the fact that they had failed to maintain and upkeep the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (MRGO). “Plaintiffs contended in the class action lawsuit that continuing environmental damage resulting from construction by the Corps of the MRGO, a 75-mile, man-made shipping channel dubbed “hurricane highway,” left the area vulnerable to flooding. Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. opined that the Corps did have many opportunities to ease the deterioration but they failed to do so. He stated that the Corps brought no evidence forth in their favor. The judge awarded $700,000 to plaintiffs but this incident poses likelihood that the government may be legally responsible for billions of dollars of damages that affected many businesses and residential areas that filed related cases after the horrific hurricane. In this specific case, the judge ruled that the Corps failed to maintain the MRGO but this was not a contributing factor in the flood in New Orleans in 2005.

Source: Insurance Journal

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