Facts to Keep Handy as Flood Anniversary Nears

Volunteers in the Lower Ninth Ward on January 28, 2006. Photo/Andy Levin

Volunteers in the Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina on Jan 28, 2006. Photo/Andy Levin

Here’s the facts: Myth Busters of the Federal Flood

You’ll need them to be ready for the anniversary of the worst Civil Engineering Disaster in our nation’s history.

For example, did you know that half of New Orleans is at or well above sea level?

And that the Army Corps of Engineers has never accepted responsibility for the flooding of New Orleans without also saying they were “forced” to build the system that failed?

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Katrina levee expert named ASCE fellow

J. David RogersDr. J. David Rogers was recently named ASCE Fellow.

Dr. Rogers is the go-to whenever major media needs expert commentary on dam failure, levee failures and landslides. He also very well known in New Orleans Louisiana.

He was the lead researcher on a paper published in 2015 in Water Policy journal titled “Interaction between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Orleans Levee Board preceding the drainage canal wall failures and catastrophic flooding of New Orleans in 2005.”

This article, featured in a 2015 Sunday New York Times article, focused attention on the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and its lack of external peer reviews that allowed for faulty flood walls to be installed in the city.

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Fish or foul: Was the 17th Street Canal seepage a red herring? or the canary in the coal mine?


Map is created by Dr. Ezra Boyd. Click to enlarge

With hurricane season upon us and already a second named storm, residents in New Orleans are asking about the condition of their protective hurricane levees. This is especially true for residents whose yards back up to levees.

After all, it is household knowledge in the Big Easy that just prior to Hurricane Katrina’s arrival in 2005, residents living next to the 17th Street Canal (the city’s most important outfall canal) had reported water pooling in their yards. Records show that the city tested the water six months prior to Katrina and determined the seepage was coming from the canal.

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