Judge: Corps Caused Katrina Flood

Citing “monumental negligence” by the Army Corps of Engineers, a federal judge ruled the U.S. government must pay damages to New Orleans residents whose homes were flooded after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The judge offered a “scathing critique” of the Corps’ maintenance of a shipping channel called the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, which was widened at the cost of protective wetlands that could have slowed Katrina’s storm surge. (The Corps had said it was immune from liability and had properly maintained the channel.) Four people and a business were awarded $720,000.