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Hurricane Katrina Six Years Later: The Truth Behind the Hype. Part 1

Today marks the six year anniversary of the catastrophe that hit our beloved city of New Orleans. As many folks here know it was not the hurricane that caused all the damage and flooded the city. No. What a lot of people don’t realize is that although Katrina was a category 5 hurricane when it was out in the gulf by the time it hit land it had been reduced to a category 3.

So what caused all the flooding? Were the levees overtopped? No. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the aftermath of Katrina was a manmade disaster of epic proportions not only through incompetence and negligence from the Corps of Engineers but the incredible disorganization and ineptitude of the government from FEMA and state on down to the local level.

Common Katrina Misconceptions

First. Katrina caused the city to flood, that it was a natural disaster. It was not. The Corps was at fault and almost 100% so. The failed levee system on the outfall canals built and maintained by the Corps of Engineers was faulty from the get go. Poorly designed and arrogantly defended by a bureaucracy that wasted billions of taxpayers money.

The thing of it is and what many in the rest of the country don’t yet realize is the the Corps has numerous projects around the nation that are meant to protect citizens from floods.

Sacramento, California is more vulnerable than New Orleans to mass flooding since a greater percentage of that area lies below sea level. And those systems have been built by the same incompetency that caused the flooding of our fair city.

If you want to get an in depth and shocking idea of how the Corps operates watch the documentary  The Big Uneasy by Harry Shearer

Second. New Orleans is a bowl and it all sits under sea level. The news media would like you to believe that because it makes for good drama. The truth is that fifty percent of the city lies above sea level. The oldest sections of the city, which includes the neighborhood where I live and lies closest to the river, did not flood at all because they are at or above sea level.

The parts of the city that did flood used to be swampland and if you were to look at an old map of the city and overlay it on a modern map you would see that the parts of the city that did flood were the parts that in the old city were uninhabited because they were at that time nothing but swamp.

As the population grew swamps were drained and built upon. The problem was that when they took out the water they didn’t do anything to build up that land to make it level with the rest of the city. Consequently you have whole neighborhoods that sit below sea level and are prone to flooding even during downpours that we so frequently have in this city.

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Posted in New Orleans History, New Orleans Life.

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