Myth Buster #6 New Orleans is First in Nation to Place Experts on Local Levee Boards

Sheet piling from failed Industrial Canal I-wall in Lower 9th Ward. Photo/Francis James

One year after the levees broke, Louisiana made national headlines when 81% of its voting residents favored consolidating the New Orleans area levee boards from ten to two.

It was called Levee Board Reform, and it made the Governor-appointed individuals on the pre-Katrina levee boards look – wrongly – like they were responsible for the deadly flooding on August 29, 2005.

Media never reported that Louisiana was the very first state in the nation to require experts in flood control on its local levee boards. Or that Louisiana had to write the legislation from scratch because no models existed in the entire country to use as a starting point.

In fact, Louisiana is a model for the United States. Shortly after the impressive voter turnout, California followed suit and voted on a historic package of Flood Bills that put requirements on professional backgrounds of its board members similar to those in Louisiana.

And with the majority of the American population living in counties protected by levees, its likely that more states will join Louisiana’s example.

Click here for our oped in the New Orleans Times Picayune.

Our other Mythbusters can be seen here.

One Response to “Myth Buster #6 New Orleans is First in Nation to Place Experts on Local Levee Boards”

  1. Nickie Barnard says:

    Hi Sandy, I’m in London but used to live in the US and of all the places I’ve enjoyed, found New Orleans the most enchanting. The devastation of Katrina was bad enough without the added tragedy of BP on your doorstep and the politicians both here and there will happily sweep it all under the carpet IF YOU LET THEM. They wear any unwelcome opposition out by sending it through’channels’ so they can stonewall. I just hope you have enough determination and support to shout louder because their self-interest is usually stronger than the will of people suffering adversity. Your city is a gem and shouldn’t be sidelined thus. It has a cosmopolitan feel unlike anywhwere else in the States, an independent character all it’s own; maybe that’s what they don’t like. Keep going. Nickie

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