A “coming soon” sign is installed at the site of the east London Avenue Canal breach. Photo/Sandy Rosenthal
There is a sure sign of progress at 5000 Warrington Drive, the site of one of the worst levee breaches in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
A large “coming soon” now stands at the east-side breach of the London Avenue Canal in Gentilly announcing that an Open-air Levee Exhibition and Garden will soon be built.
Working with the the Gentilly Civic Improvementy Association and other neighborhood communities, the grassroots group Levees.org will build a series of exhibits that tell the full vetted story of why the levees broke nine years ago.
Sandy Rosenthal (front 2nd from left) with international visitors through the U.S. State Department
Today, Sandy Rosenthal, founder of Levees.org met with a group of seven international visitors in a special program with the U.S Department of State who were in New Orleans to focus on empowering civil society.
The group included representatives from Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Burma, the Czech Republic, Serbia, the Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
Ms. Rosenthal met the group at the site of the east side London Avenue Canal breach which will soon also be the site of a Open-air Levee Park. She spoke on Levees.org’s work in holding the federal government accountable for the levee failures.
On this day, we wish to share some encouraging news.
Working in partnership with residents from the neighborhood of Gentilly, Levees.org will soon unveil the first ever Open-air Levee Exhibit and Garden in New Orleans.
The exhibit and garden will be installed on a now-empty lot at the site of the London Avenue Canal where flood walls–designed and built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers–cracked open in a moderate amount of surge during Hurricane Katrina.
The Open-air Levee Exhibit and Garden will be a memorial to the trauma of the levee breaches, a commemoration of a pivotal moment in American history, and a symbol of the residents’ determination to return.
At a minimum, it will transform an illegal dump into a thing of beauty for the neighbors nearby.