To help inform that process, Matt McBride has spent the past six or seven months FOIAing the Corps for emails related to the operation of the pumps and gates on the outfall canals. In the first what he says will be a multi-part report on his findings, McBride concludes,
The Corps entered Isaac with five of the eleven gates at the London Avenue site not completely secured, including one that was utterly unsecured; the Corps was relying on gravity to keep it in place. Put simply, the Corps had closed the barn door at the London Avenue canal (the weakest canal structurally speaking), but they hadn't bothered to lock it. The possibility of storm surge loosening the gates was apparently too inconceivable for the people directly responsible for making sure the city was protected. Procedures - such as calling out divers that were supposed to be on call, or failing that, dropping massive sandbags - were simply brushed off. It is in-the-moment exchanges like this that undermine whatever bluster the Corps puts out about safety being their top priority.For someone like me who has to consider evacuating in a car that's basically 75% duct tape right now the decision matrix has a high tolerance for these sorts of improvised safety features built into it. In other words, I'm still not going anywhere unless Ronal Serpas sends a whole SWAT team of bomb robots in to root me out. Your mileage may vary, of course. And this is just one more thing to consider.