Schwarzenegger and Chertoff meet
|Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff came to California today, as promised, and toured California's levees with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.|
Here's the AP pool report:
RANCHO CORDOVA -- After their helicopter tour, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger received a 15-minute briefing on what causes levees to fail and how to fix. Les Harder, acting deputy director of the Department of Water Resources, and Lester Snow, the agency's director, made the presentations.
The governor and Chertoff mostly listened quietly, although at one point Schwarzenegger questioned a figure Harder gave for how much it costs to repair levees. Harder said they cost $5,000 per square foot. Schwarzenegger said he'd heard figures as low as $300. Harder said that was what repairs cost 30 years ago, but today they cost from $1,000 to $9,000 and $5,000 is the average.
Harder said Sacramento had a lower level of flood protection than New Orleans did before Katrina. He said if the Central Valley levee repairs are not sped up, there will probably be a levee failure before the work is done. When Harder requested federal assistance, Chertoff nodded his head but said nothing.
Expect some pithy Democratic comment about "only a nod" to follow.
UPDATE: As predicted, here's the chairman of the California Democratic Party, Art Torres,' statement:
“Arnold will go to Washington D.C. for yet another fundraiser and photo-op and we’re here in California praying to St. Patrick that the governor will deliver the money to fix our levees.”