Fady Sabry stands outside the Paraiso Grocery on Banks Street in New Orleans Sunday, May 12, 2019, after mopping up after a heavy downpour flooded his store.

Your recent headline about New Orleans flooding noting, "It doesn't seem to be getting ... better" could well have continued with "after all that federal money spent!" Competing with the flooding itself as a paramount issue is the fiscal outrage of the recently completed, massively expensive tearing out and revamping of the canals under several major neutral grounds to no evident good effect. Not to mention the countless hours over years of torturous vexation endured by anyone trying to navigate the major street closures and gridlocked detours "necessary for progress." And the loss of Jefferson Avenue's heirloom palms. Oh, well.

Now, unfortunately, the question needs to be asked: What progress? That gargantuan extensive buried canal replacement should have been engineered by highly educated, skilled, experienced people working toward well-considered, holistic interface with the pumping system and the open canals to the lake. But are those canals perhaps not large enough to receive all the water from the enlarged subsurface canals project? Does Robert Mueller have any friends who can focus on all-too-real issues resulting in really massive government funds being spent with precious little to show for it? All citizens — and the media — should zero in on pressing a thorough inquiry and getting answers. One thing can be ruled out: Putin likely had better things to do than keep New Orleans swamped. But this situation is no joke.

Doug Roome

retired clinical social worker