Permanent method of flood control ignored

Re “Levees Weakened as New Orleans Board, Federal Engineers Feuded,” Dec. 25

Your article described only the tail end of a tragic story that began long ago. For more than a century, the Army Corps of Engineers clung stubbornly to one method of flood control: building (and repairing) levees. A permanent and more effective method would have been upstream engineering -- dams and reservoirs to control the flow of rivers before the water reached the vulnerable regions.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, created in 1933, provided both flood control and hydroelectric power, and contributed to the economic restoration of one of the most impoverished areas of the country. This solution also requires the support of members of Congress. Beholden to the agricultural and industrial interests of the Mississippi Valley, they have consistently opposed anything that might impede river traffic. The residents of the Mississippi River delta are now paying the price.