Updated: A Mississippi federal district court has held State Farm’s insurance policy form ambiguous and that State Farm must pay for wind and water damage even if tidal surge caused later caused further destruction, reports the SunHerald.
The breaches in the New Orleans levees during Katrina were caused by negligent design, construction and maintenance and parts of the system will still be flawed after current repairs are completed according to a just completed study reports the New York Times.
How FEMA’s new elevation requirements and Biloxi’s politicians ran the New Urban architects hired to plan the City’s re-construction out of town is described in the New York Times Magazine (free subscription rerquired).
Dan Hawbacker over at the Construction Law Blog points to a number of reports dealing with the collapse of the levees and other Katrina related construction defects and failures.
The Times-Picayune presents an amazing animated graphic showing the time line for the levee failures and flooding in New Orleans during Katrina.
Tests by the Sierra Club indicate many FEMA trailers in Mississippi and Louisiana have elevated levels of formaldehyde that are causing victims of Hurricane Katrina to become ill, reports the SunHerald.
Mississippi Gulf Coast homeowners have accused State Farm Insurance in a new lawsuit of pressuring adjusters and engineers to rely on an engineering report alleging Katrina’s storm surge arrived before its windd did any damage reports MSNBC.
The SunHerald, which recently won the Pulitzer Prize for its hurricane reporting, observes that the proposed new elevations are “one of the harshest realities of our recovery from Katrina.”
“We’ve got our pants down and there’s no way to pull them up” says a Pass Christian auto body shop owner in an article in The Clarion-Ledger.
A Supervisor in Katrina devastated Hancock County has proposed a tax on dirt excavated for use in re-building Louisiana levees reports the SunHerald.
Today Mexican-American construction workers, many of whom are helping re-build the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans, celebrate the Mexican army’s victory over french invaders at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
A panel of engineers has concluded “[t]he corps did not follow its own procedures in monitoring the rate of subsiding and rising of water levels around the city…and based the design of the levee system on outdated information….” reports the New York Times(free subscription).
On the eve of hurricane season home insurers are cancelling policies or refusing to write new ones in many coastal communities reports the Clarion Ledger.
McGraw Hill Construction reports on the Katrina levee failure analysis and rebuilding effort being led by the Corps of Engineers.
The SunHerald reports on an engineer’s charge that his findings were altered, his name forged and whole exhibits removed from reports he prepared for use by an insurer in deciding whether hurricane damage was caused by wind or storm surge.
David Nelson at the Louisiana Law Blog suggests everyone prepare for the next storm by reviewing their property insurance coverage.
MSNBC outlines the emerging litigation, which includes (i) Attorney General Hood Jim Hood’s ominibus case, (ii) Richard “Dickie’ Scrugg’s suits for Senator Lott, Representative Taylor and a host of others, (iii) Richard Phillips’ class action and (iv) others attorneys suits on behalf of individual owners.
From the Washington Post .
Read all about it in the Washington Post.
probonolaw links to a brief but powerful video on what winter is like on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
A uniform building code requiring structures be built to withstand Category 3 storms would save thousands of buildings and billions of dollars in economic losses, cutting total damage by 68 percent the next time such a hit the Mississippi coast, according to a LSU Hurricane Center study.
Read all about it in USA Today.
You can download the report at the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal site.
Come on Down is the message Mississippi’s representatives delivered to the construction industry at the International Builders Show, reports The Sun Herald.