In 2006, director Spike Lee created an astonishing record of the cataclysmic effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans with his epic award-winning documentary, When the Levees... See full summary »
In August 2005, the American city of New Orleans was struck by the powerful Hurricane Katrina. Although the storm was damaging by itself, that was not the true disaster. That happened when the city's flooding safeguards like levees failed and put most of the city, which is largely below sea level, underwater. This film covers that disastrous series of events that devastated the city and its people. Furthermore, the gross incompetence of the various governments and the powerful from the local to the federal level is examined to show how the poor and underprivileged of New Orleans were mistreated in this grand calamity and still ignored today. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Spike Lee is certainly not correct about levees being blown,but the truth is even worse.He is certainly nearer to the truth than people who blame "the force of the hurricane".As one who rode out both Katrina and Hurricane Betsy in the same house in Gentilly,it was obvious at the time that Katrina was no worse.The lake levees,which were properly built,though exposed to the full force of the storm,came through unscathed.What collapsed and flooded the main part of the city west of the Industrial Canal were those worthless,cracker box,stage-prop "flood walls" along the drainage canals that folded up and collapsed like cheap card tables the minute the water rose.
Besides the Corps of Engineers,we can blame former Mayor "Slimy Sidney" Barthelemy"The Man Who Murdered A City".He deliberately forced out the veteran engineers of the Sewage & Water Board,so that no one would object to those worthless (but profitable) frauds.AND he had the valuable assistance of the alleged "newspaper",the Times Picayune which covered up his criminality. The incompetent stooges that Barthelemy replaced the experienced engineers with not only approved those worthless flood walls that the old engineers knew were disasters waiting to happen,but, still infesting the Sewage & Water Board to this day,insanely dredged the drainage canals in such a way as to remove what little foundations those flood walls had.The 17th St. Canal shows this graphically.This sits astride the parish line.Jefferson Parish engineers refused to allow this lunatic dredging on THEIR side of the canal, which is why only the Orleans side collapsed.A year before Katrina, people living along the drainage canals complained of salt water seeping into their yards, killing plants.To a COMPETENT,HONEST engineer this a clear sign that something was dangerously wrong with the levee foundations.But the Barthelemy "engineers" swept it under the rug,telling people that they were "imagining things".
And as for blaming those who wouldn't evacuate,If one thing was proved, it is that evacuating a city this size IS NOT PRACTICAL.New Orleans could and should have been an impregnable fortress against hurricanes.The vast bulk of the misery caused by Barthelemy's Flood was the destruction of the homes,and LIVES of the "survivors",who now have to live,or rather EXIST in this horror.The empty city was picked clean by looters despite the presence of thousands of police and National Guard,which shows that it is the PEOPLE who are the real crime deterrents.Telling people,"Get out, let the hurricane and the looters destroy your homes and businesses,and we will give you sardine can trailers to live in" is typical of the garbage we hear from the government.
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