Log inskip to content

The Katrina Myth

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

...the truth about a thoroughly unnatural disaster

Please watch, rate, and share this very important, factual video.

For so long I have been saying much of this to people. I have argued that the irritation many Americans have about giving aid to "just rebuild a city that is below sea level" is misinformed and wrong; most of the city is NOT below sea level.

Furthermore, the idea that rebuilding NOLA is a waste is just plain ignorance and couldn't be more erroneous. Our New Orleans boasts an international airport and is the location of the one of the most important waterways and ports in the world. It is integral to the United States as just about anything that comes into this country via ship begins its journey into the U.S. from the Port of New Orleans.

That doesn't even begin to cover the musical, artistic, literary, and all around rich cultural atmosphere that has inspired and spawned countless artists, architects, writers, musicians, etc.

To say that New Orleans is not important - nay, integral - to this country simply could not be further from the truth.

The truth is - and many people throughout this country do not realize - that it was not Hurricane Katrina (only a Cat 3 at landfall in the city, causing mostly wind damage) that drowned New Orleans - it was the failings of the levee systems, which were the failings of the Army Corp of Engineers. Nature did not wreck havoc on this city and kill thousands - our government and the Corps did.

Please watch this video to learn more and help spread the truth.

You can also visit levees.org for more information and read up on the "Katrina whistle-blower" Professor Ivor van Heerden, the disaster-science expert who was fired from Louisiana State University (LSU) for speaking out against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their responsibility in the post-Katrina flooding that nearly destroyed New Orleans and killed thousands.

Also, for more fact-based information debunking many of the commonly-held myths, misinformation, and careless ignorance that is often bantered about concerning New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, and the tragic events that unfolded in the hours after the levees broke and our beloved city drowned, I point you to an October 2005 post of my own.  In George Carlin Isn't This Ignorant, I minced few words as I - my wounds still fresh and raw  - took on a particularly nasty email that was making its way around inboxes at the time.

Whatever you do, please continue to learn more and educate others about what happened to New Orleans due to the failings of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  As the video above states, there are 120 levees in 28 states that may be vulnerable; sadly, what happened here could happen elsewhere, too.  That is why getting the truth out and seeing justice done is so very important.

Thank you.

Gustav Churns Towards Us as Cat 3 Hurricane

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

If you look at the NEXRAD radar at Weather Underground (best weather site online, imo), you can see that we're just starting to see bands of rain - the outlying strips of Gustav making itself known - coming ashore.

Here in Baton Rouge, the weather is calm...very cloudy, slightly dark, and with intermittent sprinkles.  I started my first 12-hour shift about 30 minutes ago, and traffic was light getting here - though there were a lot of people in store parking lots making last minute supply stops.

There's not really any wind, except a weird breeze that you barely feel - otherwise the air - to me, at least - has this "pregnant" feel to it, a certain electricity as well...something is coming, and that much is obvious.

It makes me wonder how my grandfather's family knew a hurricane was on its way.  Living at a time when there was no television, and quite possibly not a radio they could afford on their small, farm home, they had to judge the threat of such a storm coming by changes in nature around them, and the weather itself.  I wonder what signs someone such as my great-grandfather, and his father before him, looked to as portents that a hurricane was eminent.

I've no word on how the evacuations are going in New Orleans, though something I read online said that they were more than 500 buses short.  I don't know if that's true or not, but it is a sobering thought.

I'll update as more happens...for now it's the "calm before the storm".  We should start seeing rain and some wind as the hours pass, but I don't expect to start seeing any hurricane-type activity until more into Monday itself.  I'll be off at 6am, and hope it isn't storming too badly for that early morning drive home.

Storm Limbo

Friday, August 29th, 2008

I've been wanting to get on here and update everyone on the insanity that has descended on the southern portion of Louisiana as it lies in the path of Hurricane Gustav.  While everyone would like to keep hopes high and believe it will not hit us, Hurricane Katrina taught us all a very important lesson about waiting 'til the last minute and hoping for the best.

In light of past mistakes, it goes without saying that the State of Louisiana doesn't screw around these days when a potential hurricane threat is eminent.  My office, which - without saying too much - is an agency within in part of the main hub of emergency preparedness, has been running like a kicked beehive since Wednesday.  The stress level is high, and everyone is determined this time to get it right.

Baret went on call last night, and will be working 12-hour shifts (6pm-6am) until sometime after the storm has passed (and depending on how long recovery efforts take).  I begin a similar schedule on Monday, 6pm-6am, providing i.t. support for a small command center that will be located here in our office.  While I'm frustrated that this all falls on a long holiday for me (I was going to have Monday, Labor Day, and Tuesday off), I am trying to stay positive - there are many more people that much more to fear at this point.

New Orleans will likely began official evacuations this weekend, and Contraflow will be started Saturday or Sunday; depending on Gustav's speed.

Though Gustav will be a weaker storm than Katrina, I do worry more for Baton Rouge this time around.  When Katrina hit, Baton Rouge was on her west side.  With hurricanes, everything to the east of its center gets the most damage and devastating effects.  If Gustav continues on the course it seems to be taking, B.R. will be on the east side of this hurricane and will suffer higher winds, more rain, and possible tornadoes.

Right now we are in what I call "storm limbo" - most of the preparations have been made and the initial scramble is over...now we sit and wait.  While the rest of the world goes with their lives - probably not even knowing about any hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico - we all sit in "limbo"; worrying about our loved ones and property, preparing to evacuate, or stocking up on supplies.  Life takes on a strange feeling, as everything is now focused on that storm system in the Gulf and little else.  It's almost surreal.

As I did with Katrina, I will post updates here as they happen and as the storm moves in.  Landfall will be sometime mid- to late-Monday or on Tuesday, from the last I checked (which has been some time).  Please keep all of us in your thoughts and prayers, especially those in New Orleans and further south as well as lower Mississippi, which is also just beginning full recovery from the devastation of Katrina.