Van Antwerp finally blogs about New Orleans

May 1, 2008 by

Once again HumidCity is proud to syndicate the bulletins of Matt McBride. Formerly the Blogger of Fix the Pumps fame, this engineer with an eye for details is our city’s best defense against the outright and life threatening dishonesty of the Corps of Engineers. Ladies and gentlemen, Matt McBride! -Loki, Founder and Chief Blog Wrangler, HumidCity.

He talks about rebuilding trust with New Orleanians. He also says that New Orleans is the Corps’ top domestic priority. Then why wasn’t his Tuesday visit to New Orleans trumpeted all over the local media? In fact, the only mention I could find came in the middle of a NY Times article about the Qatari Emir’s visit on Tuesday.

“Sheik Hamad said he was particularly touched by what happened here, as he explained in halting but resourceful English, in an interview at his hotel…Sheik Hamad, not used to the attention, submitted patiently to questions while aides swirled about him. Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, came to visit. Then it was off, police sirens blaring, through the streets of New Orleans.”

Compare that to the enormous attention Van Antwerp got during his well-choreographed two day visit on the eve of the 2007 hurricane season, when he held a press conference on the Old Hammond Highway bridge in front of the 17th St canal gates. That produced a front page article inthe T-P and TV stories galore.

This time, there wasn’t even a press release from the Corps’ own New Orleans office.

Considering that the Qatari Emir was not in town to see earthworks, but hospitals, schools, and housing, I think it may have just been coincidence Van Antwerp met with him. Or perhaps he wanted to talk about base construction in Qatar. But it seems likely that if Van Antwerp really wanted to make a big deal of his visit to New Orleans and rebuild trust, he could have. But he didn’t.



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