Thompson pushing Congress for levee-repair program

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The top Democrat on the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee says Congress must establish a program to help state and local governments repair levees across the nation.

Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi says he issued his statement in response to a report by The Associated Press that showed 326 levees covering more than 2,000 miles are in urgent need of repair. AP found that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has yet to issue ratings for a little more than 40 percent of the 2,487 levees, which protect about 10 million people.

Thompson says since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005, he has been “appalled by the magnitude of levee deficiencies discovered across the country.”

He says failure to repair levees puts lives in danger.

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