Veteran member of post-Katrina Levee Board praises new book that criticized the levee reform movement
Stephen Estopinal, eight-year veteran of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East created after Hurricane Katrina, praises Levees.org founder Sandy Rosenthal’s new book Words Whispered in Water: Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina (Mango, 2020).
Estopinal’s book review will appear in the upcoming double issue (vol 40, numbers 1 & 2) of the Xavier Review. An early galley has been released ahead of the hard copy issue.
In her book, Rosenthal is highly critical of the levee board reform movement, labeling it as both ineffective and a distraction from the true culprit in the flooding event, the Army Corps of Engineers.
Estopinal––who was president of the Authority when his eight-year tenure ended––appears to agree.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“...Rosenthal attended board meetings of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East during the construction of the new flood post-Katrina protection system. She observed firsthand how design comments provided by the experts on the board were routinely ignored.
“...I––a past commissioner of the Authority East––can confirm that the many public comment and review meetings that the Corps hosted during the construction of the new system were simply for show. Major decisions were made and locked in stone before anyone outside of the Corps’ sphere of influence could contribute.”
Words Whispered in Water, which is reviewed by Publishers Weekly, has been a #1 New Release on Amazon for eight straight months. An unboxing video promoting the book’s release has amassed over 135,000 views on Facebook alone.
Stephen Estopinal’s full review can be seen below: