From Factcheck.org's article titled Is Bush to Blame for New Orleans Flooding?
Our fact-checking confirms that Bush indeed cut funding for projects specifically designed to strengthen levees. Indeed, local officials had been complaining about that for years.
It is not so clear whether the money Bush cut from levee projects would have made any difference, however, and we're not in a position to judge that. The Army Corps of Engineers – which is under the President's command and has its own reputation to defend – insists that Katrina was just too strong, and that even if the levee project had been completed it was only designed to withstand a category 3 hurricane.
Basically, yes, Bush cut funding to the levee projects. But, the Army Corps of Engineers states that even had the projects been completed, they were only designed to withstand a Category 3 hurricane. Also, the project's estimated completion date was in 2015. Probably due to bureaucratic delays, but still. When Katrina hit land, it had weakened from a Category 5 to a very strong Category 4, with wind speeds upward of 140 mph.
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