Letters to the editor


New Orleans flooding caused by poor levee system

To the editor:

Regarding the article “'Hours' is an underrated suspense thriller” (http://www.sealynews.com/stories/hours-is-an-underrated-suspense-thriller,78492): The post states, "The situation escalates when it’s revealed this is all happening at a hospital in New Orleans in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina rips apart the city."

The fact of the matter, according to the experts, is that the flooding of New Orleans was overwhelmingly the fault of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which was responsible for designing and building the levee system—not the hurricane itself.

An irregular, flawed federal funding process led to a piecemeal levee system that included some low-cost solutions that compromised the quality, safety, and reliability of the designs, according to a 2007 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers Hurricane Katrina External Review Panel, as well as a 2015 study by the International Water Association.

Had there been no design defects present in the levees in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina would have made much less news and would not now suffer the fate of being referenced only as a terrible “natural” disaster.

Rather, it would be labeled a terrible “engineering” disaster. It is my hope, as a former resident of New Orleans, that with wider dissemination of correct information, blame for the city’s flooding will eventually shift from nature to the failed infrastructure.

Thank you for your time,

Dr. William Ferguson

Denver, Colo.


Just a minor detail but it means a lot in the big picture. In the above-mentioned piece the writer, Tad Desai, makes a reference to New Orleans in 2005, stating that "...Hurricane Katrina rips apart the city." This is just simply not true. Katrina did the bulk of her damage in Mississippi. What did the damage in the Big Easy was a failed federal levee system, a system that was put in place by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Thank You,

Jamie Radley

Alameda, Calif.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment