George W Bush - Nova: Storm that Drowned a City - Chris Rose & Judy Deck - Bob Dylan - Ruta Sepetys - Wynton Marsalis - Grace King - American Society of Civil Engineers - Sam Trammell - Tennessee Williams - When the Levees Broke 2006 - Trouble the Water 2008 - Aftershock: Beyond the Civil War TV - Michael Kurtz - David Kaiser - Did the Mob Kill JFK? TV - Carlos Marcello - Robert Kennedy - G Robert Blakey - Ed Becker - Drugs Inc TV - Mobsters TV - Gangland TV - Scam City TV - Gangsters: America’s Most Evil TV - Battle-Ax -
I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. George W Bush, Good Morning America 1st September 2005
Her name is all too familiar. Katrina. The storm that ravished New Orleans. She left in her wake about thirteen hundred dead, hundreds of thousands homeless and one of the most vibrant cities in America drowning and nearly destroyed. Nova: Storm That Drowned a City, PBS 2005
Was the storm a predictable disaster? Who knew? And who refused to listen? ibid.
Is Katrina a taste of what’s in store for the future? ibid.
2005 Hurricane season has begun ... Roughly half of tropical storms become hurricanes. ibid.
The storm surge ... an unnaturally high tide. ibid.
At 6.10 a.m. Katrina strikes land. ibid.
Something has gone wrong with the levees. ibid.
The New Orleans Bowl is filling up. ibid.
The chaotic official response means that there is still no food or water available to the crowds of people in the city. For many there is no way out. Civilisation is breaking down around them. ibid.
Hurricanes come in cycles. ibid.
To encapsulate the notion of Mardi Gras as nothing more than a big drunk is to take the simple and stupid way out, and I, for one, am getting tired of staying stuck on simple and stupid.
Mardi Gras is not a parade. Mardi Gras is not girls flashing on French Quarter balconies. Mardi Gras is not an alcoholic binge.
Mardi Gras is bars and restaurants changing out all the CDs in their jukeboxes to Professor Longhair and the Neville Brothers, and it is annual front-porch crawfish boils hours before the parades so your stomach and attitude reach a state of grace, and it is returning to the same street corner, year after year, and standing next to the same people, year after year – people whose names you may or may not even know but you’ve watched their kids grow up in this public tableau and when they’re not there, you wonder: Where are those guys this year?
It is dressing your dog in a stupid costume and cheering when the marching bands go crazy and clapping and saluting the military bands when they crisply snap to.
Now that part, more than ever.
It’s mad piano professors converging on our city from all over the world and banging the 88s until dawn and laughing at the hairy-shouldered men in dresses too tight and stalking the Indians under Claiborne overpass and thrilling the years you find them and lamenting the years you don't and promising yourself you will next year.
It's wearing frightful color combination in public and rolling your eyes at the guy in your office who – like clockwork, year after year – denies that he got the baby in the king cake and now someone else has to pony up the ten bucks for the next one.
Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once. Chris Rose, 1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories
If there was no New Orleans, America would just be a bunch of free people dying of boredom. ibid. Judy Deck, email to Chris Rose
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds – the cemeteries – and they’re a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres – palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay – ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who’ve died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn’t pass away so quickly here.
You could be dead for a long time. Bob Dylan
New Orleans is unlike any city in America. Its cultural diversity is woven into the food, the music, the architecture – even the local superstitions. It’s a sensory experience on all levels and there’s a story lurking around every corner. Ruta Sepetys
What, other than injustice, could be the reason that the displaced citizens of New Orleans cannot be accommodated by the richest nation in the world? Wynton Marsalis
We wander through old streets, and pause before the age stricken houses; and, strange to say, the magic past lights them up. Grace King, French Quarter Guidebook
Large portions of Orleans, St Bernard, and Jefferson parishes are currently below sea level – and continue to sink. New Orleans is built on thousands of feet of soft sand, silt, and clay. Subsidence, or settling of the ground surface, occurs naturally due to the consolidation and oxidation of organic soils (called ‘marsh’ in New Orleans) and local groundwater pumping. In the past, flooding and deposition of sediments from the Mississippi River counterbalanced the natural subsidence, leaving southeast Louisiana at or above sea level. However, due to major flood control structures being built upstream on the Mississippi River and levees being built around New Orleans, fresh layers of sediment are not replenishing the ground lost by subsidence. American Society of Civil Engineers report
There’s also the tradition of voodoo, the Haitian magic arts, in New Orleans. And because New Orleans is below sea level, when they bury people in New Orleans, it’s mostly above ground. So you have this idea that the spirits are more accessible and can access you more easily because they’re not even buried. Sam Trammell
Blanche: Don’t you just love these long rainy nights in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour – but a little bit of Eternity dropped in your hands – and who knows what to do with it? Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire
Today, the people living along the Gulf Coast continue in their daily struggle to rebuild, revive and renew in these United States of America. When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, director Spike Lee, caption, 2006
Betty Nguyen: Are your team – is FEMA ready for this?
Mike Brown: We are ready. We are going to respond … ibid. CNN news 28th August 2005
Every person is hereby ordered to immediately evacuate the city of New Orleans. ibid. mayor
We heard some explosions, two three … something popping in the distance. ibid. victim
These people that live along where it was flooding that believe it was dynamited have a long experience of being ripped off. ibid. Professor Doug Brinkley, author The Great Deluge
What do you mean they’re not taking any calls? I’m dying. ibid. victim
… in water up to their friggin’ necks. And they don’t have a clue what’s going on down there. They flew in one time two days after the doggone event was over … I am pissed. ibid. radio call 1st September
You would have thought we were in the middle of a war. ibid. victim
They were treating them like slaves in a ship … babies literally ripped out of the arms of their mothers and fathers. ibid.
We’ve come all the way from New Orleans by way of Katrina. ibid. Hot 8 brass band in New York
Why don’t you give them a ticket back home? ibid. woman’s question to FEMA
Nothing but destruction everywhere you look. ibid. elderly woman’s drive-through
No public transportation is organised to evacuate the city. Trouble the Water, caption, 2008
100,000 are still here in the city. ibid. news
In the meantime America will pray. ibid. George W Bush
At this time they’re not rescuing. ibid. emergency response
The New Orleans Massacre of 1866 is just the first of five street battles to break out in the city during Reconstruction. Aftershock: Beyond the Civil War, History 2006
When Oswald was arrested for Disturbing the Peace in New Orleans, he was sprung from jail by a man with close connections to the Marcello organisation. Professor Michael Kurtz, South-Eastern Louisiana University