Flooded House Museum

Photo/Cheryl Gerber

Levees.org is converting a flooded residence – steps away from the London Avenue Canal breach site – into an educational memorial.

The museum quality plaques accompanying the exhibit in the house will tell the chronological story of the flood, starting with the day before the levees broke.

Like a diorama, the final exhibit will be visible through the windows.

The Flooded House Museum is a unique project that required a special permit from the New Orleans City Planning Commission.

In 2016, Levees.org purchased the gutted house and – in partnership with the neighborhood residents –obtained the special permit.

Volunteer contractors installed walls, a doorway and a foyer to give dimension to the flooded remains. Then, volunteer artists staged the room using donated furniture, fixtures and items from dozens of Levees.org supporters.

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Levees.org wins victory with History Channel

Levees.org scored a victory last week with History (formerly called the History Channel).

Levees.org mobilized its national support base to contact History and request a correction to its anniversary photo gallery.

History‘s gallery text stated that levees in New Orleans “proved to be no match against the intensity of Katrina.”

Such journalistic ‘shorthand’ gives the culprits – the Army Corps of Engineers – a free pass.

Here is what Levees.org’s Call to Action generated:

  • Over 1,300 Levees.org supporters reviewed our eBlast communication about the mistake.
  • Over 200 Levees.org supporters viewed the erroneous photo gallery.
  • Over 50 people (that we know of) wrote to History and requested a correction.

The editors responded to each writer with this:

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Levees.org’s Public Letter to the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Levees.org’s position: When a New Orleans newspaper discusses the 2005 breach of the 17th Street or London Avenue Canal, the story should indicate that design flaw is the proximate cause. Here’s why:

1. The design flaws were egregious and are uncontested,
2. The resulting breaches caused $27 billion in damage and hundreds of deaths,
3. Dozens of changes to national policy were passed by Congress in response, and
4. People outside the city refer to the T-P as an authoritative source on the catastrophic breach event.

The corps-sponsored levee investigation (IPET) even admits to the design flaws.

But, on May 27 and again on September 21, the New Orleans Times-Picayune did not indicate the existence of design flaw in their stories which discussed the breaches.

After both stories, Levees.org brought its concerns to the T-P editors. Our first letter was ignored. Our second letter – sent with a cover letter from our attorney – received this reply:

“The cause of the 17th Street Canal levee breach has been reported extensively (and accurately) in our pages for years and will continue to be. Sandy’s input is always appreciated.” ~Mark Lorando, Times-Picayune news editor

In response, Levees.org mobilized its substantial local membership to ask the T-P news editor to discontinue a practice which tends to protect the Army Corps of Engineers.

Over 300 people so far have joined Levees.org’s campaign.

If you haven’t joined yet, click here: https://go.levees.org/TP

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