Levee Breaches during Katrina

By Levees.org, New Orleans Public Library, Louisiana State Museum, and the University of New Orleans History Department

Both residents and visitors to New Orleans still have the desire to see where the levees failed during Katrina in August 2005. This tour allows one to virtually "visit" three major breach sites and their associated neighborhoods. The sites include the Southeast breach of the Industrial Canal, which flooded the Lower Ninth Ward, the East breach of the London Avenue Canal, which flooded Gentilly, and the 17th Street Canal breach, which flooded Lakeview.

The tour also spotlights the Louisiana State Museum's "Living with Hurricanes" exhibit, which is housed in the Presbytere Building, Jackson Square.

Locations for Tour

1. Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond Exhibit

"Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond" is a Louisiana State Museum exhibition presenting the history and science of these massive storms –- and their profound impact on our lives. Eyewitness accounts, state-of-the-art multimedia…

2. Lower Ninth Ward Levee Breaches in 2005

Pre-Katrina, the area immediately in front of the east breaches of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (a.k.a. the Industrial Canal) was a dense, thriving neighborhood of primarily African American lower- to middle-class homeowners. Houses in this…

4. London Avenue Canal Levee Breach in 2005

In 1965, Hurricane Betsy demonstrated that a major hurricane could overtop the earthen levees of the London Avenue Canal. So the Army Corps of Engineers recommended two plans -- raising the height of the canal walls using concrete-capped steel sheet…

5. 17th Street Canal Levee Breach in 2005

In 1965, Hurricane Betsy demonstrated that a major hurricane could overtop the earthen levees of the 17th Street Canal. So the Army Corps of Engineers recommended two cost-effective plans which were 1) raising the height of the canal walls or 2)…

6. 17th Street Canal History

The Seventeenth Street Canal originated in the mid-1800s as a drainage canal paralleling the Jefferson and Lake Pontchartrain Railway, which connected the river port of Carrollton with a lakeport known as East End. The railway closed before the end…