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Defender Picks


Storm Stuff: Levee Was Dry

New Orleanians were busy cleaning up their courtyards after last night’s heavy storms. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – West (SLFPA-W) also has a yard to tidy up, our levee system. The Authority announced measures following the wet weather today.

Memorial in Music

Songs of the Storm, Flood, & Recovery

New Orleans is a city built on music. It is no surprise that after Katrina anger about the Federal Flood and love for the Crescent City was manifest in music by artists both local and national. Ten years later, NoDef is looking back at some of the best compositions inspired by the Storm, the levee breach, and the recovery.

FEMA Accredits New Orleans Levees

The upgraded levees surrounding New Orleans are officially FEMA-certified. his week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted accrediation to the flood protection system in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and parts of other parishes. The designation means that FEMA believes the system can defend against flooding in a "100-year storm" as designed. 

Rising Mississippi River Puts Army Corps in Flood Fight Mode

The Mighty Mississippi hit one of its magic numbers on Monday. As water flees the midwest for the summer, the Mississippi River is comin' up. The feds' Carrollton gauge showed river levels at 12.05 ft. at 9 a.m. Tuesday, with the highest stage expected at 14 ft. on May 11. Despite the flooding in Illinois and Missouri last week, the Big Muddy is expected to stay well below flood stage of 17 ft. in New Orleans. Still, the Army Corps of Engineers is taking precautions, entering Phase I of a flood fight on Monday.

Shelter from the Storms?

Welcome to hurricane season. As we haven't had enough weather-caused queasiness already this year, today marks the official opening of the Atlantic storm season. Among eggheads, the coming of the named storm interval is setting off a maddening scramble to determine how we'll fare. This year, however, the bedlam isn't focused on the shadowy art of predicting storms. Instead, we're focused on how well the levees will hold. The microscope is once again on the Army Corps of Engineers this week. As they herald improvements to the flood protection system that is supposed to protect us from a 100-year storm event, everyone else is left to try to figure out what's actually been done.

Uneasy Way Out

Q & A with Harry Shearer

With named storms likely around the corner, and his film seeing nationwide release last week, Harry Shearer talks to NoDef about the state of our levees now, the Army Corps of Engineers and why making mockumentaries helps with making documentaries.

Corps, Watchdogs to Discuss State of the Levees

As hurricane season gears up (Wait, wasn't that enough disaster news for one year), inquiring minds can't help but wonder: Will the levees even hold? Luckily, the Louisiana State Museum is one of those inquiring minds, and they are in a position to beckon people who are in the know to discuss such topics. Tonight, at the Presbytere on Jackson Square, the Museum will hold a panel discussion on the state of our levees.

Spilling the Beans

Morganza Opening Live Blogged

With flooding on the way, the normally camera shy Army Corps of Engineers has decided to open up for two press conferences this afternoon. Plans call for theMorganza Spillway to open at 3 p.m. to prevent flooding in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. As the Corps briefs and water moves through the Spillway, we're writing what we hear, and what we see.

Mastering Disaster

Honoré, Nungesser Survey Lessons of Katrina

MID-CITY - While a disaster response workshop that featured panels with many of the people who have been on the front lines of the response to Hurricane Katrina inevitably brought about familiar refrains of glaring social inequities and a lack of preparation, there was not the sense that anyone was prepared to offer their complaints merely for catharsis.

Over The Sign

On the drive to MSY, a forlorn gaze cast out the window on the landscape of wide drainage canals and sprawling boulevards reveals a different land than our own. What is this place where street lights function and strip malls have all their storefronts occupied? Why, it's the mystical land of Jefferson, where many of our own already fled because the city was getting a bit too, um, stuffy. Fine, so you left and took your infrastructure with you. But do you have to rub it in? Recently, the Parish government sought only to reinforce their exceptionalist trope, unveiling billboards that ask such questions as, "Who builds better levees?" and "Who lowered crime rates?" 

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


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Michael Weber, B.A.


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Linzi Falk

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Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

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