Category Archives: Hurricane Rita

New Orleans Levee Break In Progress

New Orleans Floodwall Breach After KatrinaThis is what happens, and what can be created with no experience, time on your hands, and don’t want your mind to be a devil’s workshop. Some folks like to put themselves out there. I’d rather put out a creation that speaks for itself as I work from behind the levee.

For those who don’t know, almost six years ago, I started this website, intended to show the struggles, strength, determination, & resiliency of people affected by Gulf Coast hurricanes. But soon, the site was lonely. I decided to start building a network. So this blog was born.

Just like any aging old institution (me), I looked and saw this network needed to be remodeled, renovated, renewed, resuscitated, rejuvenated, and rebuilt.

The old theme was starting to look outdated and causing too many technical issues. With a fresh, bold new look and a brand new name – The Levee Break - the new KC blog is in progress, using the latest in themes and technology, aiming to be more relevant, contemporary, and socially engaging. So I made this blog better.

Some websites and blogs don’t last 5 years. A website is never really “finished”. It’s in progress. The tweaking is all to make it better. I’ve put countless (and sleepless) hours & hundreds of my own dollars since 2007 keeping this thing online, I expect (nor receive) nothing in return, I publish this site simply because of an inner passion – a love for helping others that embodied me after August 28, 2005. I’m not about to give up on it now. I’ll be doing more posting (took me two weeks to write this one) and looking for your comments. So we can make this blog mo’ better.

I need your support to polish it; to find the niche to make this a relevant resource for storm & storm survivor information, networking, and post-Hurricane Katrina news anywhere. If you didn’t already, register for this blog now, so we can start some meaningful conversations. Let’s talk about issues like flooding, FEMA, housing, blight, crime, schools, employment, or whatever’s on your mind – go ahead & vent. This is a good place for it. It’s about more than just a hurricane. Together, we can make this blog one of the best!

Wayne Filmore, Publisher/Editor, Inc

Coastal Areas Threatened By Flood Insurance Cost

Next year, flood insurance rates are set to go through the roof for many local homeowners. Some will have to pay more than $25,000 a year. A Senate sub-committee chaired by Sen. Mary Landrieu voted to delay the rate increases for homes that are “grandfathered” into existing flood insurance.

New Orleans Schools Show Big Changes Since Katrina

New Orleans area public schools have seen dramatic changes sincce hurricane Katrina, spurred on by an influx of teachers, a charter school district, a Recovery School District, and an emphasis on improving the quality of education.

Before Katrina, the graduation rate was less than 50 percent. Now it’s more than 75 percent. In some schools test scores are up 33 percent.

CBS News anchorman Scott Pelley reports on the transformation of New Orleans schools. Watch the video here

Survey: Many East Coast Residents May Not Evacuate For Hurricane Sandy

Unless time or experience has changed the perceptions of East Coast residents over the course of the past four years, a 2008 study (less than three years after Hurricane Katrina) commissioned by Allstate Insurance Company found cause for evacuation concerns.

Hurricane Evacuation Survey.

Hurricane Survival Tips From Katrina Survivors

satellite image of Hurricane Sandy

As Sandy descends, tips from Katrina survivors –

Hurricane veterans know when a bad one’s coming…

New Predictions: Busy Hurricane Season

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season got off to a busy start, with 6 named storms to date, and may have a busy second half, according to the updated hurricane season outlook issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The updated outlook still indicates a 50 percent chance of a near-normal season, but increases the chance of an above-normal season to 35 percent and decreases the chance of a below-normal season to only 15 percent from the initial outlook issued in May.

Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the season – June 1 to November 30 – NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook projects a total (which includes the activity-to-date of tropical storms Alberto, Beryl, Debbie, Florence and hurricanes Chris and Ernesto) of:
•12 to 17 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
•5 to 8 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
•2 to 3 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

The numbers are higher from the initial outlook in May, which called for 9-15 named storms, 4-8 hurricanes and 1-3 major hurricanes. Based on a 30-year average, a normal Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

“We are increasing the likelihood of an above-normal season because storm-conducive wind patterns and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures are now in place in the Atlantic,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. “These conditions are linked to the ongoing high activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995. Also, strong early-season activity is generally indicative of a more active season.”

However, NOAA seasonal climate forecasters also announced that El Niño will likely develop in August or September.

“El Niño is a competing factor, because it strengthens the vertical wind shear over the Atlantic, which suppresses storm development. However, we don’t expect El Niño’s influence until later in the season,” Bell said.

“We have a long way to go until the end of the season, and we shouldn’t let our guard down,” said Laura Furgione, acting director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Hurricanes often bring dangerous inland flooding as we saw a year ago in the Northeast with Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Even people who live hundreds of miles from the coast need to remain vigilant through the remainder of the season.”

“It is never too early to prepare for a hurricane,” said Tim Manning, FEMA’s deputy administrator for protection and national preparedness. “We are in the middle of hurricane season and now is the time to get ready. There are easy steps you can take to get yourself and your family prepared. Visit to learn more.”

New Orleans Homeless Hole Up In Abandoned Buildings

Since so many have been pushed from their sleeping posts under bridges and overpasses, New Orleans’ homeless seek out blighted and abandoned buildings.

New Orleans Homeless Hole Up In Hurricane Katrina’s Abandoned Buildings.

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Are Seniors At Risk In Hurricane Season?

Are seniors at risk in hurricane season?.

Census Statistics Show Rebuilding Struggles

Census Data Reveals Struggles To Rebuild – New Orleans News Story – WDSU New Orleans.

The American Housing Survey surveyed 60,000 people on housing conditions, repair costs and their rebuilding experience following Hurricane Katrina.

Judge: Barge did not cause Katrina flooding

Judge: Barge did not cause Katrina flooding.

A federal judge has ruled that the infamous barge that washed ashore atop several houses during the Katrins levee breaks was not the culprit and did not cause the floodwall break in the 9th ward.

Bush Burn – Kanye West Was Right

To put it mildly, I’m incensd. George W Bush (remember him?) has the nerves of a jackass gone wild. In an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC, he says things that prove, in a not so subtle way, that Kanye West was on to something in his famous ‘black people’ rant.

Kanye just had to change the word ‘black’, and used either ‘poor’, ‘Louisiana’, or just said ‘people’. After all, let’s remember Bush had Condoleeza Rice & Colin Powell on his staff, so it wouldn’t be fair to say he cared less of blacks than others.

The EX-President – who so desperately told us about and went after ‘weapons of mass destruction’, and saw to it that his daddy’s arch-enemy was dead while our soldiers fought in a war we shouldn’t have been in, in the first place – says things that could make any true, caring American citizen shiver.

In the interview, Bush acknowledged the infamous picture of him sitting in Air Force One flying over New Orleans after Katrina was a “huge mistake”.


But the most blatant, insulting, insensitive, comment of the whole interview was what he said next: “I should have touched down in Baton Rouge, met with the governor, walked out & said ‘I hear you, I mean, we, we..know, we understand, and then we’re gonna, you know, we’re gonna help the state, and help the locals..governments with as much resources as needed’, and, uh, and then got back on a flight up to Washington. I did not do that and I paid a price for it”, Bush says in the interview.

Why didn’t he do what any other human being in his position would have done, and what the Red Cross, and thousands of other caring volunteers did – touched down in New Orleans?

Bush goes on to talk about his “heck of a job” comment to then-FEMA Director Michael Brown, and also about what he felt from Kanye West saying he “doesn’t care about black people”, calling Kanye’s comment the “low point” in his entire presidency. Well, we all know one of his low points should have been in just watching the images of destruction & despair and the tears it brought to the eyes of people around the world. Or the war in Iraq.

In all of the ex-president’s persona, and certainly not in his words does he show the emotion of compassion or talk about his feelings for the people on the ground suffering, but how he felt himself, his feelings about himself, and what he should have done for himself.

Like they say, hindsight is 20-20, and woulda, coulda, shoulda, won’t cut it. We know he’s promoting his new book of memoirs, “Decision Points”, but the talk of the town is not about the book but the Matt Lauer interview.

So, maybe Kanye felt something and said something many, if not most of us in the New Orleans area began to feel back then – that Bush didn’t really care about poor people, and was – like Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” – out of touch with the reality of poverty.

After watching this, what do you think?

Cable Network Looking For Katrina Women

Are you a woman who lost everything to the levee breaks after Hurricane Katrina? Still haven’t built back up to the full wardrobe you had before Katrina? Then listen up, and maybe you can pack your bags for a trip to New York and come back with a new look.

Casting producer Cara Weissman, working for BBC, is searching for female Hurricane Katrina survivors (between the ages of 24-48) who lost everything and still need help rebuilding their wardrobe. In particular, they need women whose wardrobe is keeping them from getting back into the workforce or women who have trouble finding appropriate clothing for their current job.

Ms Weissman said they will fly up to four lucky females to NYC for a week, put them up at a 5-star hotel, and provide them with a new look that can help to change their life around. Their amazing $5,000 makeover will air on TLC’s hit makeover show “What Not to Wear.”

To nominate someone, send the following information to with a few (at least 3) pictures that show your nominee’s poor style choices.


Also, describe her personality, her style in detail, and how it’s holding back her life, along with interesting anectdotes about consequences of her poor style (things that happened because of her style). Make sure to include your name, phone number and relation to the nominee.

General Honore’ To Speak At Civil Rights Awards Banquet

General Russell Honore'

Gen. Russell Honore'

Retired Lt. General Russel Honore’ will deliver the keynote address at the Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr., Civil Rights Awards Banquet presented by the Louisiana Justice Institute (LJI) this Thursday, August 26, 2010, at 7pm in the University Ballroom at Xavier University.

“We are grateful that Gen. Honore’ join us to honor Civil Rights Leaders who have stood on the frontlines in the fight for social justice, and they are devoted to the protection of civil rights, said Tracie Washington, Co-Director of the LJI. “It is especially appropriate that Gen. Honore’ will be our speaker on the historic fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,” Washington added.

2010 award nominees are: U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), Oleta Fitzgerald (Director, Southern Regional Office-Children’s Defense Fund), Shirley Sherrod (former U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture official), Alden McDonald (Pres. & CEO-Liberty Bank and Trust Co.), Bishop Charles Jenkins (Ret., Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana), Rev. Tyronne Edwards (Zion Travelers Cooperative Center-Phoenix, Louisiana), Mary Joseph (Director, Children’s Defense Fund Louisiana Office), Atty. Bill Quigley (Center for Constitutional Rights), Jerome Smith (Treme’ Community Center), & Don Hubbard (civic and business leader), and The Katrina Citizens Leadership Corps.

General Honore’, commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, is credited with restoring order in the chaotic wake of Hurricane Katrina, and for coordinating military relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina-affected areas across the entire Gulf Coast before launching the region’s recovery from the epic disaster that followed Katrina.

A native of Pointe Coupee Parish, General Honore’ is a graduate of Southern University and earned a Master of Arts degree from Troy State University. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University. He retired from 34 years of military service after serving with distinction in a variety of command positions in South Korea, Germany and Washington, DC, and currently resides in southeast Louisiana.

General Honore’ is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Survival: How Being Prepared Can Keep You and Your Family Safe”.
Tickets and sponsorships are still available for event online at: or by calling (504) 872-9134.

The Louisiana Justice Institute (LJI) is a nonprofit, civil rights legal advocacy organization, devoted to fostering social justice campaigns across Louisiana for communities of color and for impoverished communities.

We Want Our Lives Back Too

BP Chairman Tony Hayward

In the recent movie “Brooklyn’s Finest”, actor Don Cheadle, as an undercover cop, tells his superiors that he “wants his life back”. When I first watched this scene, I couldn’t help but be distracted from the storyline and think of someone named Tony Hayward. This post is long overdue.

Did the BP CEO watch this movie before the oil spill, and had it leave a profound effect on his persona? Or is it just a eerily ironic, stupid statement made by someone who had and still HAS a lush albeit complicated life?

That life he never lost will continue on in all its pompous, plush glory, even if he is replaced and no longer running BP, while those who so much depended on nature destroyed by Mr Want My Life Back’s business must continue a struggle to recover their lives. And in the midst of hurricane season, worry about complications from more than just a possible hurricane. We want our lives back, too, and many are still rebuilding from the devastation of hurricanes Katrina & Rita.

A fitting life for Mr Want My Life Back would be a US government imposed life on the waters of the Gulf Coast, where as much as he claims to care about the people, he can work side by side with the cleanup workers, and eventually the fishermen, shrimpers, and others in the seafood industry, to EARN his life back.[