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Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Orleans newspaper takes Rep. Steve King to task for his ‘heartless’ contempt of Katrina victims.

In an interview with The Hill this week, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) boasted that “the best vote” he ever cast while in Congress was to deny $52 billion in aid to Hurricane Katrina victims. Yesterday, the Times-Picayune, New Orleans’ award-winning newspaper, calls King’s comments “heartless” and “appalling,” especially because he is from “a state that’s also vulnerable to flooding“:
Greater New Orleans suffered catastrophic destruction not only because of a powerful storm but because the flood protection system built by the federal government failed.
While some lawmakers from other parts of the country showed a lack of concern and understanding after Katrina — even questioning the wisdom of rebuilding our community — it’s hard to understand how a lawmaker from Iowa, a state that’s also vulnerable to flooding, could be unwilling to help.
Even now, officials in Des Moines are complaining about a slow and inadequate response to their flood recovery — including the lament that FEMA is underestimating the amount of money needed to replace public buildings. That’s something that South Louisianians can understand, and in fact, we feel for Iowans
Unfortunately, when it counted, Rep. King didn’t feel for us. LinkHere


Blogger Ray Broussard said...

I believe many people base their views on New Orleans and Katrina on misinformation and myths.

Do people know that 90% of the metro area evacuated before the storm? It was the most successful evacuation of a metropolitan area in this country's history. Could their city do as well?

Do they know that the Lower Ninth Ward is but only 2 of the 140 square miles (in just Orleans Parish) that flooded when flood control structures fell down.

Do they know that 70% of New Orleans home owners had flood insurance? - a rate higher than almost anywhere else in the country.

Do they know that the flood, proportionally, killed just as many rich, middle class and poor as well as black, white, Hispanic and Asian New Orleanians? The only demographic that suffered more than the rest were our elderly who suffered the worst, by far. Did you know many thousands of New Orleanians died in the months after the storm from stress and depression, and are still dying?

Do they know that 50% of New Orleans is above sea level?

Did you know ships must travel 96 miles upriver from the Gulf to reach New Orleans? - we are not a 'coastal' city.

96 miles upriver!!!

Do they know the Corps is mostly responsible for the losses of our wetlands that use to serve as a storm surge buffer for New Orleans?

Do they know that New Orleans has a higher percentage of residents that remain lifelong residents of their home town than any other major metropolitan area in the US?

Do they know the vast majority of New Orleanians are honest, hard working, tax paying, law abiding US citizens and deserve their respect?

Why do outsiders believe these myths?

The myths seemed to stem from journalists parachuting in with preconceived notions and lazy but flowery language and they typically reported it all wrong. Countrymen and politicians used our problems as partisan political fodder. New Orleans and its residents have been ruthlessly slandered like no American city has ever experienced. Lazy media reported a 'natural' disaster and too many of our countrymen feel we deserved our disaster and should even be denied the right to exist. It is plenty enough to hurt your feelings. Our fellow US citizens, even folk from all over the world, don't care that all the misinformation has seriously disillusioned and disturbed so many.

Also, our outfall canal floodwalls fell down without even being overtopped by storm surge water (at less than half their design loads) because of negligent engineering in the design of those floodwalls' foundations by engineers employed with the US Army Corps of Engineers as reported in the official levee failure investigation reports and reported to Congress by Corps leadership in June of 2006 and as decided by US 5th District Judge S. Duval in January 2008.

i.e. it was not a 'natural' disaster! The classification is 'MAN MADE'! - human error, engineering mistakes. New Orleanians deserve vindication on this issue.

The levee failures and subsequent flooding were NOT because of our corrupt local levee boards and politicians or because of weak soil, barges, wind, rain, land elevation, levee heights, subsidence, budgets, democrats, republicans, crime, an act of God, school buses, our culture, environmentalists, neighborhood groups. It wasn't even caused by FEMA, our Sewage and Water Board or our state's Department of Transportation, or our poverty, lack of education or any of the other red herring issues very successfully promoted by so many. It was not the fault of flood victims.

Blaming levee and floodwall failures on Katrina is like saying a bridge collapse was because of traffic. Would you blame the drivers?

27/9/09 6:39 AM  
Blogger Kangaroo Brisbane Australia said...

Sadly I will never forget the devastation of those weeks after Katrina hit, and the total neglect by the Federal govt, as I see it.

Thank you for your comments Ray, it puts a lot into perspective for me. Christy who started this site with me lives in Louisiana, and we were in constant contact about what was going on at the time.

My nephew stayed in New Orleans for 6 months, arriving back Down Under just before Katrina hit thank the Lord, and he absolutely loved his stay there, wanted to go back again, We talked a lot about New Orleans because he knew I really wanted to visit there on my next trip.

I often wonder how you all are coping now 4 years later, and sadly what I would find if I do get to visit.

28/9/09 4:24 PM  

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