A Brief Report On Hurricane Katrina

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Taehyun Chang
July 28 2014 Postmortem Report on Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flood were the most costly natural disaster in the history of the United States. Nearly 2,000 people died in the entire area where the hurricane and flooding occurred, though this area included vast regions outside of New Orleans metropolitan area. This ethical analysis examines the role of levee design and maintenance, which was under the primary authority of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The system lacked redundancy, and the various components of the system did not meet the same design standards. For example, some of the levee walls did not meet required standards of height or the proper foundational materials, creating weak spots, while redundancy could have been achieved if the pumping system was adequate to handle a severe hurricane. An ethical analysis guided by the ethical concepts, approaches, and theories of descriptive/normative judgments, virtues, absolutism, and utilitarianism results in two recommendations:
1. The Corps of Engineers should have aggressively lobbied for federal funding for infrastructure improvement, including replacement of low levees, reinforcement of levees made with weak foundational materials, and an improved pumping system. Aggressive lobbying should have included the district officials at the Corps of Engineers potentially resigning their positions in protest if funding was not provided. This would have sent
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