portrait picture of Sandy Rosenthal

Hurricane Katrina New Orleans and Its Aftermath | Sandy Rosenthal

portrait picture of Sandy Rosenthal

Who's At Fault? Her Investigation into What Really Happened

Ep. 275 - Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath had a devastating effect on New Orleans’ families and businesses and on Sandy Rosenthal. Have you ever wondered what happened in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina? Sandy Rosenthal shares her firsthand experience and why she later became an advocate for her New Orleans community to avoid a repeat of the hurricane.

Sandy Rosenthal is a civic activist, founder of Levees.Org, and a 7-time award-winning book, Words Whispered in Water. Since the levee failures and flooding during Hurricane Katrina, Sandy has driven a campaign to ensure that the narrative portrays the flood event as negligent acts. In this episode, Sandy talks about her experience during hurricane Katrina in 2005 and why it’s the reason she became an activist.

Listen in to learn why reading the whole report on the cause of Hurricane Katrina’s intensity shed light on many avoidable human errors. You will also learn the importance of being bold and courageous to fight and fix a problem in your community.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to take it upon yourself to fix a problem in your community without fear
  • Don’t be afraid to take on the big guys when fighting for a good course, even when they go after you

"If you see a problem in your community, you have the power within yourself to fix it.”

In this episode, you will learn:

Sandy on her experience during Hurricane Katrina and why it put her in a secure position [1:45]

The story of Harvey, Winnie, and their dog and how it inspired the PETS law [3:52]

The damage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the evident aftermath seventeen years later [8:28]

She describes the information from reading the whole report on hurricane Katrina [10:51]

How she started educating people on why New Orleans flooded and put up a petition [20:18]

Why the entire population of New Orleans hasn’t moved back to the city after the flooding [23:37]

The much better system in New Orleans preventing any possible repeat of hurricane Katrina [25:56]

The courage it took for Sandy to lead her community and advocate for the changes needed [27:42]

Sandy on the next big things that her organization is working on [29:36]

She talks about her book, the work it took to write it, and her son Stanford [31:11]

The top takeaways Sandy hopes you’ve taken from this episode [33:57]


After Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures in New Orleans, Sandy Rosenthal founded the non profit Levees.org with 25,000 supporters nationwide.

Her book––Words Whispered in Water––is about how she led an investigative team to expose the culprit in the levee breach disaster––the Army Corps of Engineers––and how the agency spent millions covering up its mistakes.

Rosenthal plays tennis five days a week, practices yoga, teaches her dogs silly tricks and spends time every month with her two grandchildren in San Francisco.


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