Day By Day

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Another Katrina Myth Exploded

In the media hysteria over Katrina we were repeatedly told that vast amounts of poisons [a "toxic gumbo"] were diffusing through the southern Louisiana ecosystems, polluting the region for all time. Well, it wasn't true.

Kenneth Chang, writing in the NYT reports:

Tests of the floodwater that filled New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina show lower levels of toxic chemicals than had been feared, researchers reported yesterday. But they added that concern about the sediment remained.

The researchers, from Louisiana State University, found that the water had high levels of bacteria but that concentrations of other contaminants like heavy metals and chemicals from gasoline were no worse than what typically washed down a New Orleans street after a hard rain.

"Our study shed some good news on that," said the lead researcher, John H. Pardue, director of the Louisiana Water Resources Research Institute at L.S.U. "We were expecting to see much higher gasoline concentrations than what we saw."

The results, the first to appear in a scientifically peer-reviewed publication, appear on the Web site of the journal Environmental Science and Technology (

In a separate but similar finding, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported yesterday that tests of fish, water and sediment collected in the Gulf of Mexico two weeks after the hurricane showed little sign of contamination by E. coli, bacteria associated with fecal contamination, or by pesticides and other chemicals.

Read it here.


Writing in USA Today Mark Memmott reports:

One thing can be said for certain about what it was like in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina roared through:

Much of what was reported as fact by government officials and the media during the chaotic first week afterward turned out to be fiction.

Myths and misinformation multiplied, from how many people died to what conditions were really like inside the Louisiana Superdome.

Well, duh!

Read it here.

Actually, he has a point. He buys into the MSM excuse for bad reporting -- that what we had there was "a failure to communicate" -- and suggests a solution..., wi-fi.

Good, I'm glad we sorted that out.

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