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snopes 14 April 2015 07:16 PM

New Orleans levees blown up
Comment: please research the rumor that levees in New Orleans were blown
up during Hurricane Katrina which occurred August 29, 2005. The 10th
anniversary is a few months away and the rumor still circulates.

crocoduck_hunter 14 April 2015 08:49 PM

So the claim is that the levees failed due to planted explosives?

Wouldn't that be kind of obvious?

snopes 14 April 2015 09:52 PM

It should be "obvious" that the WTC was brought down by planted explosives, and yet people are still denying it.

RichardM 14 April 2015 09:55 PM

Probably not so obvious after the water went rushing through the hole made by the explosive. However, the reports done by the Corp of Engineers found no evidence of deliberate damage and did find evidence of poor construction, design and maintenance. I don't have a cite at the moment but am instead going by memory from reading the newspapers in the year or so afterwards.

ETA: Here is one cite. There were several found by searching on the terms Katrina levee failure cause.

firefighter_raven 26 February 2016 07:45 PM

I may have found a possible source behind this idea in past events. I was doing research for a mid-term paper in my tsunami class(and storm surges) and found this while researching the NOLA levee system.


The 1927 flood was the largest ever recorded on the lower Mississippi Valley (Figure
4.6). The deluge was preceded by a record 18 inches of rain falling on New Orleans in a 48
hour period in late March 1927, which was followed by six months of flooding. The levees
that were supposed to protect the valley broke in 246 places, inundating 27,000 square miles
of bottom land; displacing 700,000 people, killing 1,000 more (246 in the New Orleans area),
and damaging or destroying 137,000 structures.
There was an enormous public outcry for the government to do something more
substantive about flood control. Fearing the worst, the political leadership of New Orleans
sought relief by dynamiting the Mississippi levee in Plaquemines Parish, downstream of New
Orleans. By the time promises were made regarding damage compensation and the necessary
permission was granted, the flood had crested and begun to subside. No less than seven
sequences of dynamiting ensued, all promoted by fear. The initial dynamiting of the
Caernarvon levee below New Orleans with 30 tons of dynamite devastated much of St.
Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes, and their residents were never remunerated in any
meaningful way for their damages. The saddest aspect of the dynamiting was that it was
unnecessary, as several levees gave way upstream of New Orleans, one the very afternoon of
the dynamiting, and the river level at New Orleans never regained its maximum crest during
the remainder of that record year (Barry, 1997)

RichardM 03 March 2016 02:32 PM

When I lived in Greenville Mississippi, one of the apartments I lived in was inside the 1936 levees. This could have been very wet but it was actually built on top of the 1927 levee. I don't remember the author but he was famous, at least locally. He wrote of patrolling the levees during flood stages to watch for someone trying to dynamite the levee.

RichardM 07 March 2016 07:33 PM

Lanterns on the Levee by William Alexander Percy

urbanlegendfanatic 19 June 2016 01:22 PM

This is one of those "I hate George Bush" rumors like the 9/11 conspiracy theories. Then the right retaliated by the "Obama wasn't born in the US". Usually conspiracy theories come from political motives - you don't like the party in power and it isn't enough for them just to be doing a poor job. They have to be evil and up to huge hidden plots. As the person's power goes on those imaginary plots get bigger.

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