Petition to New York Times

Petition to Senior Editor, New York Times

On December 15, 2010, a flood victim in metro New Orleans - who lost everything - wrote to the New York Times.  

Responding to an article by reporter Felicity Barringer, the flood victim said she was shocked that the Times thinks "Katrina" devastated New Orleans.

She included in her note that she had “lost a lifetime of priceless, irreplaceable art, family heirlooms, (her) health, financial and emotional stability.”

Don Hecker, senior editor of the Times replied for Ms. Barringer.  Mr. Hecker said he thought the paper is correct in attributing the cause of the flooding of New Orleans to Katrina.  

"No damage," he said.

WHAT YOU CAN DO. is calling on all supporters to contact the New York Times.

You can sign the petition below urging the New York Times to stop saying "Katrina devastated New Orleans."  


You can write to Don Hecker and tell him how you feel.  Please copy and paste this email address:   


Dear Don Hecker,

To say Katrina devastated New Orleans is fundamentally incorrect.

While the storm did precipitate the disaster, it’s misleading to blame the flooding and devastation on Katrina alone.

Three weeks ago, Mike Grunwald of TIME Magazine wrote, “..It took a while, but the prevailing narrative is finally starting to reflect that Katrina was a man-made disaster, not a natural disaster, triggered by shoddy engineering, not an overwhelming hurricane….”

As hurricane season began in 2010, author John McQuaid (Path of Destruction) wrote: “’s just wrong to say Katrina “would have been an immense disaster no matter what.” If some engineer, back in the 1990s, under time, budgetary, or political pressures, had not made the mathematical errors that later caused the walls to fall down, most of New Orleans would have been spared...”

To say 'Katrina flooded New Orleans' is fast, easy and wrong. It's proven in three independent studies that the canal floodwalls of 17th Street, London Avenue and Industrial Canal collapsed prematurely in a surge that could have been caused by a much less severe storm.

Furthermore, the defense of "no hurricane, no damage" is a dodge. While superficially correct, it dismisses what really happened on August 29, 2005 when a major city went underwater and over 1,600 people died.

I, the undersigned, ask the New York Times to please refrain from using fast and easy ‘Katrina shorthand.’ Please report the facts about the man-made flood accurately.
Optional Member Code

26-50 of 1592 signatures
Number Date Name Location COMMENT:
1567 Tue Jan 04 13:21:13 EST 2011 Natalie Dolci Seattle, WA
1566 Tue Jan 04 13:11:22 EST 2011 Kate Hoffman New Orleans, LA
1565 Tue Jan 04 13:10:46 EST 2011 Pearson Little Rock, AR
1564 Tue Jan 04 12:54:39 EST 2011 Yolanda Ganong Columbia, SC Intelligent preparation vs frantic reaction is the “to be or not to be” question in this issue. Cannot have it both ways. Either we stand idly by and let Nature do its thing, or we prepare PROPERLY to More....
1563 Tue Jan 04 12:33:48 EST 2011 James Walker Plymouth, MI
1562 Tue Jan 04 12:08:23 EST 2011 David Kunian New Orleans, LA If the levees hadn't been shoddily constructed by the Federal Government, then Katrina would have been Georges.
1561 Tue Jan 04 11:45:06 EST 2011 Mary Derbes New Orleans, LA
1560 Tue Jan 04 11:39:44 EST 2011 Gary Adams New Orleans, LA Dear Don Hecker,

To say Katrina devastated New Orleans is fundamentally incorrect.

While the storm did precipitate the disaster, it’s misleading to blame the flooding and devastation More....
1559 Tue Jan 04 11:03:12 EST 2011 Anthony Chapman Birmingham, AL
1558 Tue Jan 04 10:33:30 EST 2011 Carolyn Messina New Orleans, LA
1557 Tue Jan 04 10:06:27 EST 2011 Cheryl Frey Metairie, LA
1556 Tue Jan 04 09:33:04 EST 2011 Dianne Hunt Houston , TX
1555 Tue Jan 04 09:30:44 EST 2011 Veronica Murphy New Orleans, LA
1554 Tue Jan 04 09:26:20 EST 2011 Sharon Steed Martin, GA
1553 Tue Jan 04 08:41:25 EST 2011 Ron Murray New Orleans , LA
1552 Tue Jan 04 08:08:06 EST 2011 micah fontenot new orleans , LA People should be informed that Katrina was a man-made disaster as far the flooding is concerned. With proper engineering, New Orleans would not have suffered the loss that it has.
1551 Tue Jan 04 08:05:35 EST 2011 Charles Figley New Orleans, LA No reason not to consider and follow our logic on differentiating the damage caused by a single hurricane and the failure of the levee system. As noted in the letter "It's proven in three independent studies More....
1550 Tue Jan 04 07:57:00 EST 2011 michael delaney meridian, MS
1549 Tue Jan 04 07:15:41 EST 2011 Michael Riemer Jefferson, LA
1548 Tue Jan 04 07:14:54 EST 2011 Caroline O'Brien New Orleans, LA
1547 Tue Jan 04 07:09:13 EST 2011 Ed Trelinski Rugby, ot
1546 Tue Jan 04 06:38:30 EST 2011 Julanne Isaacson new Orleans, LA
1545 Tue Jan 04 06:28:53 EST 2011 Hugo Kuijpers Maastricht (NL), ot Half of my country, the Netherlands, is below sealevel. You know why we can live here, because we invisted in levees and dikes, before it's to late.
I'm living higher, but pay taxes to protect my More....
1544 Tue Jan 04 03:19:40 EST 2011 mimi lepage new orleans, LA Studies were done 2 years before katrina that proved that the levees were not properly constructed ,and that almost any storm would flood entire area. Politicians in LA. and Washington did NOTHING to change More....
1543 Tue Jan 04 01:25:36 EST 2011 gracie carroll metairie, LA
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