Finally, the People of New Orleans Can Throw Off Their Cloak of Shame

It's been exactly 10 years since the worst civil engineering disaster in U.S. history when levees built by the federal government failed catastrophically during Hurricane Katrina and flooded New Orleans and nearby St. Bernard Parish.

However, for the past 10 years, the survivors were often blamed for their misfortune. In response to that, has been doggedly and repeatedly correcting the myths and pushing the facts.

The flooding during Katrina was not caused by a monster storm, the city's geography or local corruption.

The flooding was caused mistakes in design and construction by the Army Corps of Engineers when they built the levees.

Storm surge exposed human mistakes much like an iceberg exposed that the Titanic was crossing the Atlantic with too much hubris and too few lifeboats.

Post disaster, the Corps re-wrote the standards for levee building just as maritime safety laws were changed post Titanic.

In May of this year, and not a moment too soon, a New York Times Sunday story reported that experts had retracted wrong statements they made about who is responsible for the New Orleans flooding.

The article retracted the prior conclusion: that local officials had "forced" the Corps to build the inferior system that failed in fifty places. The article appropriately fingered the Army Corps of Engineers as the culprit.

Since that day, the myths simply stopped. They have vanished without a trace. Now media big and small acts like they knew all along who flooded us.

This week, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in an email to his mailing list described "federal levee failure" that caused "unspeakable devastation."

An Associated Press (AP) story this week writes the "Corps took responsibility for the flooding."

That's not true, of course. Up until May of this year, the Corps has cast blame on everything and everyone except itself. But for the AP to say this is in sharp contrast to the past.

And it's due to's unrelenting drive to bash the myths and put the vetted facts out there before the American people.

In our Kick off rally, we said we will not stop until the facts of the flood become mainstream.

The NYT story, the AP story and Mayor Mitch's letter, taken together are all hard evidence that our voices were heard.

Finally, the citizens of New Orleans can throw off their cloak of shame.

And don a mantle of pride.