Category Archives: Texas

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The old theme was starting to look outdated and causing too many technical issues.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

KatrinaConnection.com, 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 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 www.ready.gov to learn more.”

Are Seniors At Risk In Hurricane Season?

Are seniors at risk in hurricane season?.

It’s Ludacris To Get Books For New Orleans Schools

Over 80% of schools in New Orleans were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. In some areas, there’s reportedly one book for every 300 children.

If you like to read, and want to help New Orleans’ schoolchildren, then rap star Ludacris wants you. He’s teamed up with Better World Books for an “Epic Book Drive” on dosomething.org to have books donated or sold to raise funds for school libraries in the New Orleans Recovery School District.

But hurry – you must sign up by June 1st to start helping. Collect 150 or more boxes, and Better World Books will even pick them up from your school.

The school with the most books collected wins a $1000 donation to their school library, and a pizza party for the whole school. Also, they’re even having a photo contest where each of two people who submit outstanding photos by text will win a $500 college scholarship.

Here’s Luda to tell you all about it:

Britney Spears Helps Out

Our Louisiana homegirl helped out the St Bernard Project with a fundraiser on the coast last week. The event reportedly raised $200,000. Check out the ap raw video here:

Britney Spears Hosts Katrina Fundraiser

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.

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”.

AnotherBigMistake.jpg

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 cwei...@bbcnyproduction.com with a few (at least 3) pictures that show your nominee’s poor style choices.

HER NAME:
AGE:
SIZE/HEIGHT:
ADDRESS:
OCCUPATION:
MARITAL STATUS:

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.


Hurricane Katrina:The Rebirth – 5 Year Commemoration

Events in and around New Orleans and the Gulf Coast have been happening all this past week and weekend. Here’s some great video we shot at the Katrina 5th anniversary second-line commemoration march at St Bernard & Claiborne Aves in New Orleans, and we posted some Houston anniversary second-line video, too. (If you’ve got photos, events, or info you want to share, feel free to register and post):

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: www.louisianajusticeinstitute.org 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.

Good Morning America Looking For Katrina Hero

Where y’at, Larry? The morning show on ABC has an APB out for a young man named Larry Thomas, who they say rescued people and saved lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, after the levees broke. According to Good Morning America, he even delivered a baby on a bridge. Check him out in this clip (courtesy Ochsner Medical Center “Team Katrina” DVD):

If you know Larry or have information about him, CLICK HERE to tell “GMA.”

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.[

Ida Thought You Were Leaving

As Hurricane Ida reminds us, where we choose to work, pray, play and to call home can be a perilous area, even in November.

Along the awe-inspiring coast of the Gulf of Mexico, millions of Americans enjoy pleasures like coastal breezes, outstanding food, fishing, boating, and many other unique amenities of life.

But (the word that’s always in the back of our minds), no matter where you choose to live, there always will loom the possibility of disaster albiet catastrophe.

The unexpected fire, unprecedented blizzard, unparalelled earthquake, or the monumental flood just hasn’t happened yet.

Emergency experts say the key to survival is preparation. And, as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and others before have taught us, prayer, vigilance, preserverance, and resilency are just as important. Some folks have it, and some don’t.

I’m not knocking those waiting for the next disaster so that they can give up on the place they were born, or who no longer want to call the Gulf Coast home. But (the word again), for some of us – NO, we’re not leaving – at least not until the next mandatory evacuation followed by the predicted doomsday scenario, when the forces of nature force us out.

Water Still Troubled

Just a reminder that the Academy Award-nominated, Sundance Film Festival Best Documentary “Trouble The Water” was released on DVD a few weeks ago, on August 25.

This remarkable piece of work is unlike any other Katrina-themed documentary ever made, and is raw, inspiring, surrealistic, and subtly sensational, but that’s only a part of what makes it one of the best documentaries of any kind produced in recent memory. It’s so good, I watched it twice already.

Anyone connected through Hurricanes Katrina and Rita should make it a point to see this movie, if you haven’t already (apologies to Kim, Scott, Tia, Carl and even Brian for taking so long to spread the word). Register and leave your opinions below.

The DVD is on sale at most major disc outlets. It’s also available for rent or sale from New Orleans DVD at its DVD machines in Laplace and Harvey, LA. Watch the trailer here: