Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 14 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H2'ed 6/13/15

Ten Years After Katrina: NOLA Can Finally Throw Off the Cloak of Shame

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Georgianne Nienaber
Become a Fan
  (47 fans)

"Finally, the people of New Orleans can throw off their cloak of shame."

Sandy Rosenthal, founder of the grassroots group Levees.Org, is celebrating the publication of a recent New York Times story. The analysis, combined with another research paper, will contribute to the historical record of New Orleans. Rosenthal hopes this information will obliterate the urban myth that blames the Orleans Levee Board (OLB) for the levee system that failed catastrophically during Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005.

On a bike bike tour, Sandy Rosenthal discusses the breach courtesy of

Exhaustive research by Rosenthal and others has revealed the truth behind myth. The flooding of New Orleans was not due to political pressure put on the Army Corps of Engineers by the OLB. The answer is profound in its simplicity and found in the details of an engineering study. Human error, subsequent finger pointing and the inability of the Army Corps to admit mistakes, contributed mightily to the post catastrophe suffering of the citizens of New Orleans.

In tragedy born of hubris, the Corps admitted culpability but then shirked complete responsibility and blamed local officials for the levee design process. The buck should have and does ultimately stop with the Corps.

Civil engineering experts David Rogers and Raymond Seed wrote the research paper cited by the NYT. It is scheduled to appear in the August 2015 issue of Water Policy, the official publication of the World Water Council. In a striking reversal, the engineers retract statements they made in a National Science Foundation-funded investigation they co-chaired in 2006 for the University of California, Berkeley.

The truth of history is often lost in the minutiae. The muddy floodwaters of Katrina crept around the truth and almost drowned fact. It took ten years of dogged research by Rosenthal, and the bravery of two engineers who were willing to step up to the plate and breathe veracity into history, to resuscitate those facts. It was not political pressure and backroom deals that ultimately drowned New Orleans. Yes, politics played a part, but human mistakes made by engineers in the interpretation of engineering studies were the root cause.

In the extensively vetted article, the "cloak of shame" is finally removed from the OLB.

The Army Corps of Engineers recommended raising the canal floodwalls for the 17th Street Canal, but recommended gated structures at the mouths of the Orleans and London Avenue Canals because the latter plan was less expensive. The OLB convinced Congress to pass legislation that required the Corps to raise the floodwalls for all three canals. Furthermore, the Corps, in a separate attempt to limit project costs, initiated a sheet pile load test (E-99 Study), but misinterpreted the results and wrongly concluded that sheet piles only needed to be driven to depths of not more than 17 feet instead of between 31 and 46 feet.

$100 million was saved.

Property damage was $100 to $200 billion in the greater New Orleans area.

Ninth Ward 2008

The human cost was unspeakable and incalculable. Over 1600 people were killed, and most of them were elderly persons living near levee breaches in the Lower 9th Ward, Lakeview and throughout the city.

Here is what is important to know.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 2   Valuable 2   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Georgianne Nienaber Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram Page

Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill Magazine, the Huffington (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Recently Leaked Documents Confirm Clinton Haitian Gold Scheme

Dian Fossey and the Gorilla Killings

Should the World Boycott the Beijing Olympics? The Horrific Story of the Falun Gong

Haiti Watch: Disease Threatens Infants and No Plans to Stop It

Murder, Mayhem and Mexican Mafia Stalk the Bakken Oil Fields

Bakken Oil: Fighting for Control of Fort Berthold and the Three Affiliated Tribes

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend