The Los Angeles Times reported that Despite Warnings, Washington Failed to Fund Levee Projects on 2005-09-05.

The story describes how New Orleans and its champion Senator Mary L. Landrieu were betrayed by US FEMA cuts by the Bush administration and Senate floor budget politics. It details the role of the US Army Corps of Engineers and how their response had been undercut, and low probability high impact events ignored systematically.

"Over the years, several projects either were short-changed or never got started. The Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project was authorized by Congress after a rainstorm killed six people in May 1995. It was to be finished in 10 years, but funding reductions prevented its completion before Katrina struck."

"The Army Corps of Engineers did spend $430 million to renovate pumping stations and shore up the levees. But experts said the project fell behind schedule after funding was reduced in 2003 and 2004."

"The Lake Pontchartrain Project was a $750-million Corps operation for new levees and beefed-up pumping stations. Because of funding cuts, it was only 80% complete when the hurricane hit."

"The project that never was started was an examination of storm surges from large hurricanes. Congress approved the study but did not allocate the funds for it."