Thursday, October 13, 2005

Louis Farrakhan on New Orleans

Louis Farrakhan: Levees Were Blown Up

"Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is telling his followers that the levees in New Orleans may have been deliberately "blown up" to kill the city's black population.

The influential preacher was in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday, where he detailed his Hurricane Katrina conspiracy theory.

"I heard from a very reliable source who saw a 25 foot deep crater under the levee breach," Farrakhan explained. "It may have been blown up to destroy the black part of town and keep the white part dry."

Farrakhan didn't say who he thought was behind the plot to blow up New Orleans' levees.

The Muslim minister also blasted both FEMA and the Red Cross, saying their response to Katrina victims after the levees were blown up was inadequate."

Actually Mr. Farrakhan has a very good point:

The levees were blown up for the following reason:
The corrupt political leadership in New Orleans had a lot of money to gain in form of federal aid estimated at 100 billion dollars. Hurricane Katarina actually never hit New Orleans. It changed its course on Tuesday and bypassed New Orleans. The levees were broken on Wednesday a day after when the full force of Hurricane had already passed. Blowing up the levees serves many purposes. Firstly the federal aid for reconstruction of New Orleans ends up in the pocket of the mayor and its cronies. Secondly it also serves as a springboard to spead out african americans to other parts of the country where they make a social base for voting fraud on behalf of democratic party. Voter fraud in the sense of moving people for political reasons. You should see the press conference by the Black Caucus in Washington in the aftermath of the Hurricane. It is available on Also it may force a tax raise on the Bush administration which will weaken it politically. Mr. Brooks from New York Times even talks about the big bang and the start of race war in US.

DAVID BROOKS : The Bursting Point:
Katrina means that the political culture, already sour and bloody-minded in many quarters, will shift. There will be a reaction. There will be more impatience for something new. There is going to be some sort of big bang as people respond to the cumulative blows of bad events and try to fundamentally change the way things are.

Here is report from Associated Press before the Hurricane Hit:

Mandatory evacuation ordered for New Orleans
8/28/2005, 10:48 a.m. CT
The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) * In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin.

Acknowledging that large numbers of people, many of them stranded tourists, would be unable to leave, the city set up 10 places of last resort for people to go, including the Superdome.

The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should. He exempted hotels from the evacuation order because airlines had already cancelled all flights.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.

Despite all warnings the local authorities did not take any concrete action to evacuate the population.

Here is the pictures of Busses under wanter which were supposed to be used for evacuation of New Orleans. They were never used.

The following article shows that the causes of failure is not clear to authorities.

Engineers Probe Cause of Levee Failure
By MATT CRENSON, AP National Writer 43 minutes ago

Hoping to prevent past mistakes during the rebuilding process, civil engineers gathered in New Orleans to determine how Hurricane Katrina breached the city's levees, flooding 80 percent of the Big Easy.

The central issue they grappled with: Did Katrina overwhelm the city's flood defenses with a torrent they weren't designed to contain? Or did faulty construction or maintenance cause them to burst open at water levels well within their capacity?

"The whole rebuilding of this infrastructure is, I think, a critical issue for us to come to grips with," said Robert Bea, a University of California, Berkeley, civil engineer who is part of an investigation team sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Experts who gathered in the city last week say it is too early to know exactly what caused the barriers to fail Aug. 29. But much of what they saw suggests that better design and construction might have prevented the catastrophe.

If that is the case, then public institutions or contractors involved in building and maintaining the levees around New Orleans could be vulnerable to billions of dollars in lawsuits.

Government agencies are notoriously difficult to sue for damages, because federal law grants them various forms of immunity. But any case that could show the storm surge from Katrina never exceeded the walls' specifications "might have a chance of getting somewhere," said Mark Wasser, a Sacramento, Calif., attorney who has successfully litigated several cases against state and local flood control agencies.

Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have said the barriers were never intended to withstand a storm as powerful as Katrina. Congress had instructed them to build a network of levees and floodwalls that could withstand a Category 3 storm similar to Hurricane Betsy, which flooded New Orleans in 1965. Katrina was a Category 4 hurricane when it hit, so it would be expected that floodwaters would pour over the levees.

That is evidently what happened on the east side of New Orleans, where an earthen levee was overwhelmed in numerous places by floodwaters surging in from the Gulf of Mexico. But farther west, along the 17th Street and London Avenue canals, engineers have seen few signs that the water ever got high enough to pour over the storm barriers.

Now, experts are asking if the levees failed because the floodwaters rose above them, or if they crumbled when the water was still well below their tops. The issue is critical because engineers do not want to repeat mistakes when they rebuild New Orleans' flood defenses.

Because taller levees need broader bases, the earthen mounds along the 17th Street and London Avenue canals are topped with concrete walls that are designed to increase the barriers' height without taking up land in adjacent neighborhoods. Up to 11 feet high, the walls are anchored to the ground by steel sheets driven into the earthen levee.

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, Army Corps of Engineers officials hypothesized that parts of the wall had been undermined as the flood poured over them, cascading down the barrier's landward side like a waterfall. The force of the falling water would have scoured out dirt along the wall's foundation and undermined it.

Many of the levee breaches appear to have happened that way, said Raymond Seed, a University of California, Berkeley, civil engineer who headed the National Science Foundation team.

"That was a very common mode, and one lesson there is to prevent the erosion," he said. "I anticipate a number of wall sections will be armored for that in the future."

But Paul Kemp, a professor at the Louisiana State University School of the Coast and the Environment, and a number of colleagues are convinced that in many locations the water never reached the tops of floodwalls.

They appeal to evidence such as the bathtub ring-like high-water mark that can be seen in many places, indicating that the water never rose more than partially up the walls. They point out that the water never got over the levees along Lake Pontchartrain, where the walls are the same height.

Computer simulations of Katrina performed by researchers at the LSU Hurricane Center also suggest the water never rose high enough to pour over the walls, though in some places it could have gotten close.

A number of engineers suspect a process known as heaving undermined the floodwalls in the London Avenue and 17th Street canals. The pressure exerted by water in the canals would have squeezed soil out from underneath the floodwalls. In some places, Seed said, entire sections of levee embankment appear to have moved as much as 35 feet.

Engineers would be expected to consider heaving when designing the walls and reinforcing the soil beneath them, said J. Michael Duncan, Virginia Tech geotechnical engineering professor.

"You would design against it, and you would use factors of safety to try to ensure that this wouldn't happen," Duncan said. "But there are always uncertainties involved."

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