He then insisted that one could also criticize that FEMA isn't ready for a hurricane plus bomb attack, since that combination is equally "not reasonably foreseeable". So this is our Homeland Security chief chuckling at the absurd suggestion that a bomb attack could possibly happen while his agency was busy doing something else.
Then a reporter pointed out that the Army Corp of Engineers recently excused themselves of blame by explaining the levy was only designed to withstand a Level 3 hurricane and had weathered many of them in recent decades, but could never have been expected to withstand a Level 4. He asked Chertov in light of that, what he means by saying that the levy breaking on top of the hurricane was "not reasonably foreseeable". Chertov responded that they expected minor breaches in the levy but not a 300-foot collapse of it resulting in complete flooding of the city under a Level 4.
I guess billions of dollars of Homeland Security personnell are too busy monitoring the subversive things we check out from the local library to read stuff like weather.com's "Vulnerable Cities" webpages:
"The levees that protect the city from flooding are also a flood threat themselves. "The biggest threat that the city has is that of a slow moving Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane, which would create a surge of water that could be up to 30 feet high. Now if this (high) water comes into the city, it will top the levees. It will go over the top of the levees and actually fill up the city," said Hijuelos.
He added, "Every drop of water that comes into this city has to be pumped out. We're below sea level... but when you get a situation of a surge, the pumps would be under water. The pumps would be useless in that situation."
That happened when Betsy, a fast moving Category 3 storm, struck the city in 1965. "We experienced overtopping of the levees," Hijuelos said. Jim Singleton, the city councilman who oversees the water pumps, said it took nearly 8 hours to Hurricane Betsy get the systems back to normal.
Instead of cars and trucks, people used boats to navigate flooded streets following Betsy, as seen in the image to the right, provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."
link to www.weather.com
In other words, no collapse OR breach at all was even necessary for the massive flooding that happened in 1965 with Category 3 Betsy, and although thre levees were raised after Betsy to protect from another Category 3 like it, flooding an order of magnitude greater could happen - just from overtopping - under a slow-moving Category 4.
Mayor Ray Nagin said he expected Katrina to "topple" the levee system when he made his mandatory evacuation order last week. I guess from Chertov's view he was being "unreasonable":
"experts repeatedly cautioned that the levee system was unlikely to protect the city against a Category 4 or 5 storm.
"We're talking about an incredible environmental disaster," Marine scientist Ivor van Heerden of Louisiana State University, who has developed flooding models for New Orleans, said before the storm arrived.
He predicted that floodwaters would overcome the levee system, fill the low-lying areas of the city and remain trapped there.
So when meteorologists forecasted that Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the city, city officials ordered a mass evacuation, fearing the worst.
"We are facing a storm that most of us have long feared," New Orleans' Mayor Ray Nagin said Sunday as he issued a mandatory evacuation order.
"The storm surge will most likely topple our levee system."
Experts have long warned the network of earthen, steel and concrete barriers protecting the city were inadequate."
link to www.ctv.ca
It's absurd to say that massive flooding of New Orleans under a Category 4, slow or fast moving, was "not reasonably foreseeable". On the contrary, it was widely known to be INEVITABLE.
As for Chertov's comments about the absurdity of expecting Homeland Security to be prepared for simultaneous natural disasters and bomb attacks, I'd like to know who his contacts are among terrorist organizations in and outside our and other governments, with whom he must have made these courteous arrangements.