The Associated Press (AP) has issued an alert to its reporters all over the world. The alert is a guidance for the precise wording they must use when writing about Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
The guidance dictates that when reporters write about the catastrophic flooding during the 2005 storm, they must note that levee failures played a major role.
Most noteworthy are these passages (italicized material is the AP’s):
The late August 2005 hurricane was the deadliest storm to strike the U.S. since 1928 with a death toll that far outweighs any other storm during the modern era of weather forecasting. As of 2022, it was also the costliest storm on record to strike the United States with an inflation-adjusted cost of $186 billion in 2022 dollars. Levee failure played a large part in the destruction in New Orleans, while storm surge was a key factor elsewhere….
… When writing about the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, it is important to note that levee failures played a major role in the devastation in New Orleans. In some stories, that can be as simple as including a phrase about Hurricane Katrina’s catastrophic levee failures and flooding. Some stories may require more detail.
Some basics: In New Orleans, flaws in the design and construction of the federally built levee system led to multiple levee breaches and catastrophic flooding….
This change arose from a conversation that Levees.org initiated with the AP in March of 2022. The AP agreed on the need for a change and issued the change in September 2022.
UPDATED: One week after this post, Audubon Nature Institutes (ANI) announced there would be no deal with Tulane University over the use of public space at ANI’s tennis courts.
On Memorial Day Weekend two years ago, founder Sandy Rosenthal dusted off her community rallying skills to pursue an issue of public space.
Rosenthal created a petition decrying a deal between Audubon Nature Institutes (ANI) and Tulane University to build a new tennis complex at the site of ANI’s ten public clay courts in Uptown New Orleans.
From Rosenthal’s viewpoint, this appeared a plan to wrest usage of public space away from the public and give it to a private institution. The plan would reduce the number of clay courts available to the public at large from ten to six.
Levees.org founder Sandy Rosenthal was recently featured on Nan McKay’s new podcast called Trailblazers Impact.
Rosenthal discusses how she and her group Levees.org took on the organization responsible for the engineering design flaws in New Orleans’ levees –– the US Army Corps of Engineers.
In addition she provided these takeaways:
- How to take it upon yourself to fix a problem in your community without fear
- Don’t be afraid to take on the big guys when fighting for a good cause, even when they go after you
You can see the full interview here and information on how to download the podcast.