Please visit the new home of Majikthise at bigthink.com/blogs/focal-point.

« Help the Red Cross help Katrina's victims | Main | "Dried Squid Shred" »

August 30, 2005

New Oreleans levee break pics

These gave me some idea of Katrina's destructive power: A variety of before and after illustrations of New Orleans levees and their hurricane-induced absence, courtesy of Kathryn Cramer, Flickr citizen journalist Matt Harris, and many others--especially Teresa who's chronicling events at Making Light.

Hat tip to Steve.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c61e653ef00d8348cda4169e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference New Oreleans levee break pics :

Comments

God, I love the Cresent City...

Of course looting is wrong, but if people are trapped in the city, hungry and thirsty, and the supermarkets will be condemned in a few days, should they go thirsty, or loot?

Looting condemned property for the comfort and support of humanity is a minor travesty.

Epi, remember that looting isn't always looting, as Eschaton shows;

http://atrios.blogspot.com/2005_08_28_atrios_archive.html#112545475089735235

"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/8/30/225058/062


The levees that broke weren't finished because the funds were diverted to the war in Iraq and homeland security.

The hidden costs of a billion dollar a week war and tax cuts for the wealthy is neglected infrastructure in the US. You don't see it till something goes wrong though and in this case something went very, very wrong.

"Looting condemned property for the comfort and support of humanity is a minor travesty."

The looting of retail stores for luxury items such as jewelry, expensive apparel and electronics is not required for survival and people caught doing it should be arrested. And if they shoot at law enforcement, fire should be returned.

I live in Louisiana and have access to local news and to people working directly in the relief effort. I know for a fact and have seen video tape to prove it that citizens in NOLA have been allowed to take life sustaining supplies from grocery stores under the supervision of law enforcement as the evacuation continues. The problem is... most groceries and infant supplies are either ruined or already taken.

Yesterday in NOLA two men with AK-47's fired into the main police precinct in the French Quarter and then fled into the Quarter. Also there was a report of a rescue helicopter being fired upon. These are not the acts of desperate people. These are the acts of criminals who are trying to capitalize on the misfortune of others.

We are not (contrary to popular belief) ignorant savages in the South, and we are all doing as much as we can to help refugees. However, I don't have the first problem with any governor issuing an order to shoot mindlessly partying looters (who are generally hampering the rescue of decent, helpless law abiding citizens) by shooting at authorities, smashing storefronts, deliberately damaging property further, stealing luxury items.

Re: "The levees that broke weren't finished because the funds were diverted to the war in Iraq and homeland security."

Is it logical or wise to build a large city below sea-level and trust your life to a man-made levee? I think not. This disaster is horrible, and I've felt like crying all day because I've been to NOLA many times, love the city, but at this time have absolutely no way to help. But is it truly the fault of our Iraq policy that a levee broke during a hurricane? I think not. There is no amount of money spent that could hold those levees into infinity. Please think logically. Please contemplate the power and pressure of millions (billions?) of gallons of water. Please contemplate the natural consequences of such folly as building those levees in the first place. It's just a terrible, terrible weakness of the human mind that we think such consequences will never occur, then we try to find someone to blame when they do. I'm sorry if I have offended anyone at such a raw, terrible time.

Re: "Looting condemned property for the comfort and support of humanity is a minor travesty"

And as far as the looting goes, why do people who have just lost their houses feel the need to steal TVs, DVDs and CDs? Some, not all, of the people who are left in NOLA simple thrive on chaos and depravity. Those looters who create and sustain the chaos make the hell worse for everyone. I mean, what are they going to do with a TV walking through rising flood waters? Where are they going to plug a TV in, in a city that won't have power for weeks? It's pathetic. This type of criminal looting shows the cruelty, ignorance, and low-down selfishness of the looters. They were NOT looting for the "comfort and support" of "humanity" what a joke. You just don't get what is happening.

"But is it truly the fault of our Iraq policy that a levee broke during a hurricane? I think not."

Think again... no sooner had I posted that than I went out to store. During the drive a state politician from NJ came on the radio and said that Army corp of engineer projects all over the country had been cancelled because the funds were reallocated to the Iraq war.

Further, he said that in his district a levee was in the same condition that the levees in NOLA were and that one good storm and the same situation would occurr and take out eight towns.

"There is no amount of money spent that could hold those levees into infinity. Please think logically."

I recommend logic to you... the Army corp of Engineers take care of maintenace on roads, bridges, dams and levees all over the country. They need constant maintenance and that is their job. No funds... no maintenance... and you have time bombs ticking.

How do you fight a billion dollar a week war, while giving huge tax breaks to the ultra wealthy? Easy... you begin pulling away funds from infrastructure projects like finishing the levees in NOLA and else where. They have been "robbing peter to pay paul" and the bill came due.

Now if you didn't like the quote from the head of NOLA's head of emergency management where he says ti outright:

"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.

Then you might try some more:

In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding.

It would be the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, Corps officials said.

I've been here over 30 years and I've never seen this level of reduction, said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district. I think part of the problem is it's not so much the reduction, it's the drastic reduction in one fiscal year. It's the immediacy of the reduction that I think is the hardest thing to adapt to.

QUESTION: What was the concrete impact of these cuts?

According to a July 8, 2004 article (via Josh Marshall), the project basically stopped:
For the first time in 37 years, federal budget cuts have all but stopped major work on the New Orleans area's east bank hurricane levees, a complex network of concrete walls, metal gates and giant earthen berms that won't be finished for at least another decade.
[....]
"I needed $11 million this year, and I got $5.5 million," Naomi said. "I need $22.5 million next year to do everything that needs doing, and the first $4.5 million of that will go to pay four contractors who couldn't get paid this year."

QUESTION: Why were there such drastic cuts?

The Army Corp of Engineers comes out and says it:
The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/8/31/163230/120

a little fact checking goes a long way!

Everyone knows; looting for food and survival supplies is ok. Looting tvs is bad. Can we move on now?

George Bush just said, and I quote:

"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."

Bush's statements goes right up their with Condi Rice's "who would have expected terrorist to use airplanes to attack the world trade center", when they knew of plots to use airplanes for exactly that purpose.

FEMA and the Office of Emergency Management did predict it:

http://www.hurricane.lsu.edu/_in_the_news/houston.htm

By ERIC BERGER
Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle Science Writer


"New Orleans is sinking. And its main buffer from a hurricane, the protective Mississippi River delta, is quickly eroding away, leaving the historic city perilously close to disaster.
So vulnerable, in fact, that earlier this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters facing this country.

The other two? A massive earthquake in San Francisco, and, almost prophetically, a terrorist attack on New York City. The New Orleans hurricane scenario may be the deadliest of all.

In the face of an approaching storm, scientists say, the city's less-than-adequate evacuation routes would strand 250,000 people or more, and probably kill one of 10 left behind as the city drowned under 20 feet of water. Thousands of refugees could land in Houston. Economically, the toll would be shattering."


The comments to this entry are closed.