NEW ORLEANS (January 17, 2013)--The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hasn't yet rated about 40 percent of levees in the country, but of those it has inspected, some 326 are found to be in urgent need of repair.
Those levees cover more than 2,000 miles and are in every region and in cities and towns, such as Washington, D.C., Sacramento, Calif., and Brookport, Ill.
The Associated Press requested, under the Freedom of Information Act, details on why certain levees were judged unacceptable and how many people would be affected in a flood.
The Corps wouldn't provide the information on the grounds that it could heighten risks of terrorism and sabotage.
Local governments are responsible for upgrading unacceptable levees and some local officials say that the Corps is exaggerating the dangers.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina's rain and storm surge toppled levees in New Orleans and tore up the Gulf Coast, leaving 1,800 people dead.