Not a Bomb Louie, just a Barge

As you should have heard by now, Louis Farrakhan made the charge that levees were blown up to drown poor black people:

But actually it seems like it was just a Barge that was blown into the levy by the wind. This excerpt is from a September 7th article posted on

"The storm approached the coast early Monday, the easterly winds from its northern quadrant pumping a rising surge into the marshy Lake Borgne area east of St. Bernard. There, two hurricane levees come together into a large V-shape. Storm surge researchers say that point acts as a giant funnel: Water pouring into the confined area rises up — perhaps as much as 20 feet in this case — and is funneled between the levees all the way into New Orleans.

The water likely topped the levees along the north side adjacent to eastern New Orleans, which average only 14 or 15 feet, according to the Army Corps of Engineers’ New Orleans project manager Al Naomi.

The surge reached the Industrial Canal before dawn and quickly overflowed on both sides, the canal lockmaster reported to the Corps. At some point not long afterward, Corps officials believe a barge broke loose and crashed through the floodwall, opening a breach that accelerated flooding into the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish.

The floodwaters moved quickly.

By around 8 a.m., authorities reported rising water on both sides of the Industrial Canal, in St. Bernard and eastern New Orleans. The Coast Guard reported sighting residents on rooftops in the Upper Ninth Ward. “Water is inundating everywhere,” in St. Bernard, Parish Council Chairman Joey DiFatta said.

At 9 a.m., there was 6 to 8 feet of water in the Lower Ninth Ward, state officials said. Less than two hours later, most of St. Bernard was a lake 10 feet deep. “We know people were up in the attics hollering for help,” state Sen. Walter Boasso, R-Arabi, said that morning. By 11 a.m., water was covering Interstate 10 at a low point near the high-rise over the Industrial Canal."

This is the "legend" that has been floating around since the first days of Katrina. Incidently, the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish are were some of the poorest of the poor live.

You can shore up a levee against "overflow" and breaches - but if this is true it's the cause of flooding in the poorest section of New Orleans was simply a Maritime accident.

The question is, "Who's barge" and why was it not secured?

UPDATE: Rich Lowry, National Review OPED on the Levees h/t Blogs for Bush

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