Yeah, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, What'd a Tree Near a Levee Ever Do To You?
The Corps has been saying for the last two years that trees near the levees weakens them: Eric Halpin, the Corps' Special Assistant for Dam and Levee Safety U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, says the agency has "this body of decades of experience that says you shouldn't have trees on your levees." To which a former Corps employee -- George Sills, ex of the Corps' Engineer Research and Development Center in Mississippi -- says, Hogwash. As in: "If trees are a problem, why aren't we having problems with them? There's never been a documented problem with a tree."
Incidentally, for those interested in the subject (cough, Schutze, cough), on May 19 the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment held a hearing titled "Recommendation of the National Committee on Levee Safety," at which Halpin testified. No Dallas reps were present, but there was one from Houston.