Of all the questions being asked about New Orleans’ progress 10 years after the disaster that killed nearly 1,500 residents and clouded its future, the most persistent has been this: Is it safer now? Interviews with storm experts resulted in answers filled with caveats. The best summation: It’s safer for houses, but not necessarily for the people who live in them.
Like many Hurricane Katrina survivors, former Louisiana State University research scientist and instructor Ivor van Heerden sometimes tears up at certain memories. He didn’t lose a house or a family member. He lost his career. That still hurts because it was taken from him by the people he was trying to help.
Louisiana will get almost $8 billion for restoration projects from BP.
He said he'd direct it for hurricane protection, but he has since backtracked.
The levees wouldn't collapse in a powerful hurricane, but storm surge probably would push over the top.
Oceanographer serves on consolidated levee board for the east bank.
He'll speak at our Breakfast with the Newsmakers event at 8 a.m. Aug. 20.
If local levee boards had followed inspection rules before Hurricane Katrina, they may have known about weaknesses before parts of the flood protection system collapsed in the storm. Now 11 employees work full-time inspecting and testing levees, floodwalls and equipment around New Orleans.
For years we've heard that 80 percent of New Orleans flooded in Katrina. Is it true? Yes, if you include flooding from the storm surge and the levee breaks.
The settlement provides assured, quick money, but far less than advocates hoped.