Great story about adversity and survival (“Henry Brooks overcomes Katrina, knee injury”). Your characterization of the 2005 destruction of my lovely city on the other hand cracks me up: “lost everything to Hurricane Katrina,” “how much damage Katrina had caused to New Orleans,” “the damage Katrina had wreaked on their home,” “destruction that Katrina brought.”

In a time of ubiquitous and instantaneous communication, how could this slip through your editorial cracks? Hadn’t you got the memo? Damage, destruction, deaths, etc. was in fact the result of federal levee failures after the storm. Trust me, I was there: before, during and after. Levees that were promised to be righteous against a much more powerful storm than Katrina was when she passed by New Orleans. Levees that were designed built and maintained by our (yours and mine) very own Army Corps of Engineers.

This distinction is obviously important to me but indeed should be to you as well because over 50 percent of the American population is protected by their flood protection projects. Ours was a case of Army Corps incompetence and deception. How’s the flood control system in your area? Might be worth a check.

Al Duveray III is a resident of New Orleans, La.

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That such a talented young man as freshman Henry Brooks had to leave New Orleans is our loss and Penn’s gain (“Henry Brooks overcomes Katrina, knee injury,” 1/17/2012).

We like to be crystal clear about why New Orleans saw so many of her best and brightest displaced. It was the flood, not the hurricane.

Katrina, the weather event, was survivable. The flood was a catastrophic engineering failure — definitely a man-made disaster — that revealed failures by the Army Corps of Engineers to design, build and maintain the federal levees, although they maintained to the public that those very same levees were up to the job.

R. Raymond Land is also a resident of New Orleans, La.

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