Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #526 An Interview with Ed Haslam

About Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na and the Dev­as­ta­tion of New Orleans

Record­ed Sep­tem­ber 11, 2005

1. This pro­gram descrip­tion dif­fers sig­nif­i­cant­ly from oth­ers, in terms of form, length and con­tent. In light of the grav­i­ty of the cri­sis atten­dant on the dev­as­ta­tion of New Orleans by hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na and the wild rumors cir­cu­lat­ing on the inter­net about the dis­as­ter, New Orleans native and long-time res­i­dent Ed Haslam set forth the facts con­cern­ing the city, its environmental/historical sit­u­a­tion and what actu­al­ly caused the dev­as­ta­tion. The author of Mary, Fer­rie and the Mon­key Virus, Ed has been fea­tured in numer­ous past pro­grams, includ­ing FTR#’s 16, 19, 62, 63, 76, 198.

2. In the broad­cast, Ed draws upon his inti­mate, author­i­ta­tive knowl­edge of the city and his mar­itime expe­ri­ence as a com­pet­i­tive sailor on Lake Pon­char­train to illus­trate how the fail­ure of the New Orleans author­i­ties to react to the damming of the 17th Street Canal caused the city’s “mor­tal wound.” Caused by wood­en wreck­age from boats and build­ings, the block­age of the canal at the Buck Town Bridge caused the canal to over­flow. Ed explains that the 17th Street Canal is the pri­ma­ry drainage con­duit for the flood-prone city. In the 19th cen­tu­ry, engi­neer Bald­win Wood illus­trat­ed how such a canal, com­bined with some of the world’s most pow­er­ful pumps, could be used to keep the city from flood­ing. That canal and the pumps were built, and, in com­bi­na­tion with one anoth­er, they have kept the city func­tion­al for years. (The pumps are capa­ble of pump­ing an amount of water equal to the vol­ume of six ele­phants per sec­ond.) When the canal became blocked, that enor­mous inflow of water caused the sluiceway’s lev­ee to break, flood­ing the city.

3. Ed “walks” the audi­ence through the web­site maps.google.com in order to show them the pre­cise images of what hap­pened. Using the search func­tion on that site, type in “Drifter Lane New Orleans” to get an overview of the neigh­bor­hood in which the destruc­tion took place. Then click on “satel­lite” once the image comes on the mon­i­tor. This will give the satel­lite overview of the neigh­bor­hood. Using the “zoom” func­tion, zoom in to get a clos­er look. Then click on “Kat­ri­na” to get a satel­lite pic­ture of the neigh­bor­hood after the hur­ri­cane wreaked its hav­oc. The dam caused by the wreck­age of the build­ings and boats clear­ly vis­i­ble in the satel­lite pic­ture tak­en before the storm is very evi­dent. The breach in the 17th Street Canal is clear­ly vis­i­ble in the “Kat­ri­na” pic­ture as well.

4. Ed points out that sheer human incom­pe­tence was respon­si­ble for the over $100 bil­lion in dam­age result­ing from the storm. In addi­tion, he under­scores the fact that the Gulf of Mex­i­co has tremen­dous impor­tance for the nation’s ener­gy sup­ply. In addi­tion to the off-shore oil rigs that were destroyed or closed down, the only port facil­i­ties that can off-load petro­le­um from super­tankers were shut down by Kat­ri­na.


One comment for “FTR #526 An Interview with Ed Haslam”

  1. Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 21, 2013, 11:26 am

Post a comment