Updated: 9/15/21. Levees.org founder Sandy Rosenthal was featured by multiple national media for her commentary on the New Orleans levee system and Hurricane Ida.
On August 31, Rosenthal’s remarks were included in a story by the Washington Post’s senior editor Marc Fisher.
Julie Rose with Top of Mind interviewed Rosenthal on September 1. This national radio show states on its website that the show is “smart, informative, unflinching conversations that go beyond mere headlines and sound bites.”
Philip Kiefer with Popular Science also reached out to Rosenthal for her comments on September 10.
And on September 13, Rosenthal’s comments were featured in a story by Business Insurance written by Matthew Lerner.
In all the interviews, Rosenthal’s goal was focusing on the human cost of the current levee system in place when Hurricane Ida arrived, built by the Army Corps of Engineers.
For those wanting to help the victims of Hurricane Ida, click here.
Today, it’s five days after Hurricane Ida, and I am compelled to offer up some stark differences between the outcome of this storm and the storm exactly sixteen years ago.
Five days after Hurricane Katrina exposed design flaws in the New Orleans levees, these were the conditions:
- Between 12,000 and 15,000 survivors were at the Superdome and the Convention Center.
- The astrodome in Houston was filled to bursting with evacuees.
- Untold numbers of people were still waiting on their rooftops.
- Families were torn apart and remain so for months, even years.
- News anchor Garland Robinette raged at the indignities.
- Mayor Ray Nagin went on WWLAM radio and said “Don’t tell me 40,000 people are coming here. They’re not here!”
- Flabbergasting horrible rumors were swirling in a city completely cut off from the rest of the world due to FEMA’s errors.
- 40,000 – 50,000 families needed to find a place for their kids to go to school.
- 1,000 troops finally arrived under the direction of Lt. Gen Russel Honore
These were the condition five days after H. Katrina’s surge triggered failures in poorly designed levees.
In contrast, a top story today, five days after H. Ida on WWLTV is that “historic oak trees at the Oak Alley Plantation in St. James parish are damaged.” I love Louisiana live oaks as much as the next person. But this very well illustrates the stark difference between the two August 29th events sixteen years apart.
The path of Hurricane Ida
On August 29, 2021, Levees.org reached out to its national supporter base of which two thirds is outside of Greater New Orleans. We could do little more than offer warm thoughts and prayers to those in Hurricane Ida’s path.
Yesterday and today, we’ve been closely monitoring the news reporting on the Army Corps of Engineers’ new levee protection system in New Orleans.
News stories no longer blame the people of New Orleans, or the pre-Katrina levee board commissioners, for the levee catastrophe 16 years ago. That victim blaming has ended and that’s good. That progress.
However, while news reports have announced that the Army Corps’ new system had held, only one has focused attention on the reason the Army Corps’ system failed 16 years ago.