Levees.org hero receives major award

Dr. J. David Rogers

Dr. J. David Rogers was recently awarded the Schuster Medal for his decades of work in geohazards (geologic conditions capable of causing widespread loss of property and life).

“Robert Schuster inspired me to deepen my involvement in the field,” says Rogers, the Karl F. Hasselmann Missouri Chair in Geological Engineering at Missouri S&T. “I want to help the world define problems and find solutions.”

Dr. Rogers is also a major Levees.org hero.

In 2015, Dr. Rogers was lead author in the eye-opening paper laying bare who was responsible for the levee breaches during Hurricane Katrina.

This watershed paper retracted wrong conclusions made in the initial levee investigation reports about what caused the levee failures during the 2005 storm.

The paper––published in the official journal of the World Council––describes how the levees failed mainly due to mistakes the Army Corps of Engineers made in the 1980s when interpreting the results of their levee load test study.

A story about the paper appeared in a front page above-the-fold New York Times story on Sunday May 24, 2015

Learn more about Dr. Rogers and the prestigious award.

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Founder Rosenthal on 50 episodes of hosting her weekly Beat the Big Guys podcast

Sandy Rosenthal on Beat the Big Guys.

On August 8, 2022, founder Sandy Rosenthal interviewed her 50th guest on her weekly podcast, Beat the Big Guys.

Every week except on holidays, Rosenthal has coached her national base of listeners on how to take on the Big Guys in their own communities. Using an interview format, Rosenthal asks each of her guests to tell their stories. Then she identifies the tools, tricks and tips her guest used and then helps listeners take on their own Big Guys.

After interviewing 50 knowledgeable and heroic guests, Rosenthal discovered that all the Big Guys shared a common characteristic. In every story, the “big guys” were no different from the typical bully in the playground in the 4rd grade.

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Questions Still Not Answered About Faulty Pump at London Avenue Canal

These people are 24 feet below sea level at the London Ave pump station. Photo/Sandy Rosenthal

Six weeks ago, we learned at the board meeting of the Levee Authority East that there’s a problem with the new pump station at the London Avenue Canal.

The problem is one of the larger pumps; the bearing at the bottom was found to be overheating when operating. And there is no back up.

We immediately sent an email to the Chief of Public Affairs for the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) New Orleans District, Ricky Boyett. We had three questions about the faulty pump. We did not receive a response.

So next we filed a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act and again, asked our three questions about the faulty pump. The corps responded exactly three weeks later; to wait longer would have been against the law. In the response the corps said we were asking questions as opposed to requesting documents. Therefore we needed to contact the Public Affairs office and just ask.

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