AP IMPACT: 7 years after Katrina, inspectors finding dangerous deficiencies in US levees

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Inspectors taking the first-ever inventory of flood control systems overseen by the federal government have found hundreds of structures at risk of failing and endangering people and property in 37 states.

Levees deemed in unacceptable condition span the breadth of America.

Of those the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has rated, 326 levees covering more than 2,000 miles were found in urgent need of repair. An Associated Press analysis found the problems include earthen walls weakened by trees and shrubs, houses built dangerously close to levees and decaying pipes.

Some local officials say inspectors are exaggerating the dangers.

A Corps official says the agency is giving a straightforward accounting of the system's good and bad points.