Our Hearts and Prayers go out to all KATRINA Victims and Survivors.
“Exactly ten years ago today, levees designed and built by the federal government failed catastrophically during Hurricane Katrina and flooded New Orleans and nearby St. Bernard Parish. Since then, the survivors were often blamed for their misfortune. In response, Levees.org has been doggedly correcting the myths and pushing the facts.
The flooding during Katrina was not due to 1) a monster storm, 2) the city’s geography or 3) local corruption.
The flooding was due to mistakes in levee design and construction by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Storm surge exposed human mistakes much like an iceberg exposed that the Titanic was crossing the Atlantic with too much hubris and too few lifeboats.
Post disaster, the Corps re-wrote the standards for levee building just as maritime safety laws were changed post Titanic.
In May of this year, and not a moment too soon, a New York Times Sunday story reported that experts had retracted wrong statements they made about who is responsible for the New Orleans Flood. The article retracted the prior conclusion: that local officials had “forced” the Corps to build the inferior system that failed in fifty places. The article appropriately fingered the Army Corps of Engineers as the culprit.
Since that day, the myths simply stopped. Vanished without a trace. Now, all media acts like they knew all along who flooded us. This week, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in an email to his constituents described “federal levee failure” that caused “unspeakable devastation.”
An Associated Press (AP) story this week writes the “Corps took responsibility for the flooding.”
That’s not true, of course. Up until May of this year, the Corps has cast blame on everything and everyone except itself. But, for the AP to say this is in sharp contrast to the past.
And it’s due to Levees.org’s unrelenting drive to bash the myths and put the vetted facts before the American people.
In our Kick-off rally January 2006, we said we will not stop until the facts of the Flood become mainstream.
The NYT story, the AP story, Mayor Mitch’s letter, and others are clear evidence of reaching that goal.
There’s still some mopping up to do, but I think we won.