So many outsiders were continuing to talk about the flooding of New Orleans as if it were an unavoidable weather event that I began using an analogy that I hoped would help them see it as the engineering failure it was.
You expect bridges to hold up when you drive across them, don't you? Well, the faith you put in those concrete and steel structures is the same faith New Orleanians put into the concrete and steel the federal government erected and promised would keep the water out.
To say that we should have known better, that we should have expected to drown, is like saying that motorists who want to get from one side of a body of water to the other are reckless.
Wednesday evening, a Mississippi River bridge in Minnesota fell down during the Minneapolis-St. Paul rush hour. It was unknown Thursday afternoon how many people had died.
What is known is this: They shouldn't have died.
-- Columnist Jarvis DeBerry, New Orleans Times-Picayune, August 3, 2007