A devastating misconception

Around the middle of May, CNN reporter Kinsman interviewed local chef John Besh. She had this to say:

After Hurricane Katrina devastated his city in 2005, Besh rallied the teams at his flagship restaurant August to feed the Police Department, National Guard troops, evacuees, refugees and medical personnel.

This was an on-air report, there is no link to a written transcript.

If you need an illustration

Both sides of the 17th St. Canal were bulging and on the brink of collapse.  Only by sheer luck, the Orleans side broke first. Bad luck in Orleans. Very, very good luck in Jefferson, since most of Metairie has an elevation roughly comparable to the lowest neighborhoods of Gentilly.  The Corps built the levee on the Jefferson side too.

In Kat Kinsman’s interview with New Orleans chef John Besh, she attributes 2005’s devastation of this city to a weather event of that August.  In fact, as documented by court records, independent civil engineers, and Congressional testimony from then-Corps Commandant Lt. Gen. Strock, faulty design and slipshod improvements to the levees made in the 1980s led to their catastrophic failure.  It’s worth noting that in neighboring Jefferson, where the levees held, the flooding was minor by comparison.  We in New Orleans know well what to do when hurricanes threaten.  We were the victims of USACE duplicity; CNN does the general public welfare a great disservice every time it fails to attribute the devastation wrought on New Orleans to its true cause: Corps of Engineers’ irresponsibility and failure to discharge their legal mandate to provide suitable flood protection for a major American city.

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