Kicking the fingerpointing into high gear

My father’s side of the family has deep, long roots in New Orleans. All my life I’ve heard these buzzings about the levee and have wondered how it could be that no one appeared to be doing anything about it.

So here it is, apparently I’m not alone in these musings. How could the levee be left in such a vulnerable condition with such imminent and unimaginable results? Everyone knew that not only was this possible, but that it was unavoidable. Eventually that levee was going to give way.

In September 2002, NPR ran a lengthy two-part broadcast examining what would happen if a Category 5 hurricane hit Louisiana “just right,” which “could cause the biggest natural disaster in America’s history.” As Rutten noted, in the opening sequence reporter Daniel Zwerdling interviewed LSU researcher Joe Suhayda in the French Quarter as he demonstrated how massive flooding from such a storm would reach almost to the rooftop of a building:

Zwerdling: Do you expect this kind of hurricane and this kind of flooding to hit New Orleans in our lifetime?

Suhayda: Well, I would say the probability is yes. In terms of past experience, we’ve had three storms that were near misses that could have done at least something close to this.

Zwerdling: So basically the part of New Orleans that most Americans and most people around the world think of as New Orleans would disappear under water.

Suhayda: It would. That’s right.

Read the entire report at

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