Evidence suggests there were "cracks" in levees that were intentionally
ignored, questions over how they failed.
Could the levees in New Orleans have been INTENTIONALLY blown
out in order to save sections of the city deemed to be more important?
The locals certainly seem to think so, yet, as usual, the mainstream
media is barely picking up on this wave of opinion, so it is left to
us once again to bring the issue into the open.
When Katrina hit, it drifted 15 miles to the east of where forecasters said it
would strike. Therfore it wasn't quite the monster described. The storm passed
through with relatively minor damage, it was the the storm surge from the Gulf
that caused Lake Pontchartrain to rise three feet and the subsequent flooding.
Katrina hit early on Monday 29th August, the levees broke in three places - along
the Industrial Canal, the 17th Street Canal, and the London Street Canal.
The main storm surge from Hurricane Katrina washed into Lake Pontchartrain
at around 7AM on August 29th when the counterclockwise motion of Katrina was
pushing water from the Gulf of Mexico into the lake.
Some are questioning
the timeline of the levee failures, suggesting that there was a 21 hour discrepancy
between the storm surge and the collapse of the levees . This is not the case.
The first levee broke just
a few hours after the hurricane hit on the same morning.
This confusion may have arisen due to the fact that Homeland Security Chief
Michael Chertoff has said that the levees broke overnight between Monday-Tuesday,
and theat he was not informed
of this til midday Tuesday.
The breach of the 17th Street Canal levee resulted in the failure of a crucial
pumping station nearby, according to a statement made by New Orleans Mayor Ray
However, it seems that this exact scenario was expected and ignored. In an
with New Orleans radio station local radio station WWL-AM, Nagin revealed
how irate he was that this had been allowed to happen:
Nagin: You know what really upsets me, Garland? We told everybody
the importance of the 17th Street Canal issue. We said, "Please, please
take care of this. We don't care what you do. Figure it out."
WWL: Who'd you say that to?
Nagin: Everybody: the governor, Homeland Security, FEMA. You
name it, we said it. And they allowed that pumping station next to Pumping Station
6 to go under water. Our sewage and water board people ... stayed there and
endangered their lives. And what happened when that pumping station went down,
the water started flowing again in the city, and it starting getting to levels
that probably killed more people. In addition to that, we had water flowing
through the pipes in the city. That's a power station over there. So there's
no water flowing anywhere on the east bank of Orleans Parish. So our critical
water supply was destroyed because of lack of action.
It has emerged though that some kind of work was carried out on the 17th Street
Canal levee. Reports
have suggested that the funding was not there to complete the job, but some
work had been done:
"The Senate was seeking to restore some of the SELA funding cuts for 2006.
But now it's too late. One project that a contractor had been racing to finish
this summer was a bridge and levee job right at the 17th Street Canal, site
of the main breach on Monday."
Of course we know that it was the White
House that slashed funding for such projects in order to pump more money
into the war in Iraq.
to the New York Times, Dr. Shea Penland of the Pontchartrain Institute
was surprised because the break was "along a section that was just upgraded.
It did not have an earthen levee, it had a vertical concrete wall several feet
It also seems that the broken section of the Industrial Canal levee
having "construction" work done on it recently.
New York Times science reporter Dr. Andrew Revkin has
stated of the 17th Street Canal that "officials and [Army Corps] engineers
said that after they had found the widening gap in the concrete wall on the
eastern side of the canal, they had no quick-response plan to repair it."
Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, commander
of the corps, said "plugging the gap was a lower priority." The
corps is directed by FEMA. "It is FEMA who is really calling the shots
and setting priorities here,"
Alfred C. Naomi, a senior project manager for the corps, was quoted in the
same article as saying "there were still no clear hints why the main breach
in the flood barriers occurred along the 17th Street Canal, normally a conduit
for vast streams of water pumped out of the perpetually waterlogged city each
day and which did not take the main force of the waves roiling the lake. He
said that a low spot marked on survey charts of the levees near the spot that
ruptured was unrelated and that the depression was where a new bridge crossed
the narrow canal near the lakefront."
This would refute the speculation that a dip in the retaining levee or walls
might have allowed water to slop over and start the collapse. So we
have an unexplained crack in several feet of concrete. FEMA decided not to plug
it and let the water flow until a US city was flooded and thousands had drowned.
Dynamite? History repeating itself?
Many locals have come forward to suggest that the levees were breached
on purpose by the authorities. Resident Andrea Garland, now re-located to Texas,
wrote in her
"Also heard that part of the reason our house flooded is they
dynamited part of the levee after the first section broke - they did this to
prevent Uptown (the rich part of town) from being flooded. Apparently they used
too much dynamite, thus flooding part of the Bywater. So now I know who is responsible
for flooding my house - not Katrina, but our government."
This scenario is not so crazy as it sounds, in fact this exact thing
has happened before in the same city. In 1927, the Mississippi River
broke its banks in 145 places, depositing water at depths of up to 30ft over
27,000 square miles of land.
The disaster changed American society, shifting hundreds of thousands
of delta-dwelling blacks into northern cities and cementing the divisions and
suspicions that benign neglect has ensured remain today. New Orleans’
(mainly white) business class pressurised the state to dynamite a levee upstream,
releasing water into (mainly black) areas of the delta. Black workers were forced
to work on flood relief at gunpoint, like slaves.
Two parishes, St. Bernard and Plaquemines, which had a combined population of
10,000, were destroyed. Just before Katrina, these parishes had about 10 times
the 1927 population. Both parishes are now under many feet of water.
This information is covered in depth in a book by John M. Barry entitled Rising
Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and how it Changed America, 1997 which
has incidentally become
heavily in demand after Katrina.
Furthermore, levees were also intentionally broke after Hurricane Betsy
struck New Orleans in 1965, admittedly with less of an impact. The
tactic of breaking the dikes is not uncommon, as this
CNN report on China's floodplains highlights.
Engineers have now punched holes in several levees in parts of New Orleans
where flood levels were higher than the water in drainage canals leading to
Pontchartrain, in order to let water flow out.
Did the authorities decide to sacrifice the poor folks and blow the
levees in order to save the French Quarter of New Orleans which houses the richer
residents, the lucrative historical buildings and thousands of businesses?
There were reports of many explosions heard in New Orleans, officials say they
were transformers blowing up. Total
Information Analysis has reported a claim by intelligence expert
Tom Heneghen that 25 earwitnesses cited explosions immediately before the levee
Similar reports are now appearing in many web blogs:
"He also mentioned that right before the mass flood there was
a loud sound like an explosion." - News
from St. Bernard
"I'll tell you the worst thing I've heard and I heard it from
my mother. She said she heard several blasts - big booms - right before the
levees broke. Several blasts and then all the water came pouring in." -
Although these are obviously not authoritative sources of information, it
is interesting to note how many local people are reporting this. So interesting
in fact that the mainstream has picked up on it in places.
Washington Post reported on the comments of a retired school teacher:
"Mullen has a schoolteacher's kindly demeanor, so it was jarring
to hear him say he suspected that the levee breaks had somehow been engineered
to keep the wealthy French Quarter and Garden District dry at the expense of
poor black neighborhoods like the Lower Ninth Ward -- a suspicion I heard from
many other black survivors."
Globe and Mail is also carrying a similar story.
ABC World News Tonight carried a report which contained an
interview with a local, who described how a flloating barge had rammed the levee.
The man seemed convined that the levee was purposefully broken.
A transcript of which has appeared
on the net:
David Muir: “Was it solely the water that broke the
levee? Or was it the force of this barge that now sits where homes once did?
Joe Edwards says neither. People are so bitter, so disenfranchised in this neighborhood,
they actually think the city did it, blowing up the levee to save richer neighborhoods,
like the French Quarter.”
Muir to Edwards as they stand on a bridge: “So you're
Edwards: “I knows it happened.”
Muir: “-that they broke the levee on purpose?”
Edwards: “They blew it.”
Muir: “New Orleans’ Mayor says there's no credence
Mayor Ray Nagin: “That storm was so powerful and it
pushed so much water -- there's no way anyone could have calculated -- would
dynamite the levee to have the kind of impact to save the French Quarter.”
Muir concluded: “An LSU expert who looked at the video
today, says that while the barge may have caused it, it was most likely the
sheer force of the water that brought the levee, along the lower 9th ward, down.”
The mysterious barge story has also been
reported by many other local residents. "The evacuees who witnessed
the barge striking the levee also want to know why the major media is not covering
Observer carried an intriguing story of a man named Correll Williams, a
19-year-old meat cutter. The article states that:
"Williams only left his apartment after the authorities took the
decision to flood his district in an apparent attempt to sluice out some of
the water that had submerged a neighbouring district. Like hundreds of others
he had heard the news of the decision to flood his district on the radio. The
authorities had given people in the district until 5pm on Tuesday to get out
- after that they would open the floodgates."
So it's clear that barriers WERE being broken in an attempt to protect
areas of the city.
Some final intruiging footage reveals a journalist questioning former President
Bill Clinton as to why many locals feel that the levees were purposefully broken.
This was during the press conference with Clinton and George Bush Snr announcing
their combined "relief effort" for New Orleans. Ignore the first 15
minutes of sickening joking and backslapping between the two and skip to the
last minute of footage. Upon hearing the question Clinton appears to be surprised
and then simply walks off.
here to view the footage
We will track this story as it develops and cover any further updates.
UPDATE: After discovering the above mentioned video this morning
(9th Sept) and posting this article, it now appears to have been removed by
CSpan. The video link is now dead and the description no longer appears on their
website, although it can still be seen on the cached Google page here. Watch
this space to see if it returns.
Also, see from Looking Glass News
Unconfirmed Reports of Explosives Being Used to Blow Up Levees