This morning, on Fox News, Don Powell, federal coordinator of Gulf Coast Rebuilding, had this to say about the levee situation in New Orleans as Ernesto nears:
...There is a widespread coordination, and I think we're ready. There's no question in my mind, we're ready.... There's been an extraordinary amount of effort by the Corps of Engineers on restoring and repairing the levees, and I believe that the levees are ready for the hurricane season.
But just yesterday, AP had this to report from Lt. Gen. Carl Strock of the Army Corps of Engineers:
Corps not promising levees would holdNEW ORLEANS -- Despite aggressive efforts to repair the New Orleans levee system, it isn't clear whether it would withstand a hurricane with heavy storm surge this year, the head of the Army Corps of Engineers conceded Saturday.
..."To pinpoint it to one thing and say 'yes' or 'no' is very difficult," Strock said.
So there you have it: You can choose to put your trust in a political appointee of Bush's, spinning on a Fox News Sunday show who has "no question" in his mind that the levees will hold - and whose previous experience in disaster management is heading the FDIC - or you can go with the judicious, cautioned assessment of the head of the Army Corps of Engineers.
Either someone was very, very busy overnight in levee restructuring or we're once again being subjected to gut-feeling, faith-based happy talk.