When the Levees Broke Rhetorical Analysis

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Chase Caldwell
Professor Gwaltney
English 1102
14 March 2013
When The Levees Broke Rhetorical Analysis
Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana on the morning of August 29, 2005. The storm produced sustained winds of up 125 mph when it hit that morning. On that same day Katrina caused 53 different levee breaches in greater New Orleans, spilling the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into the city and flooding an overwhelming majority of New Orleans. The floodwaters destroyed countless homes and lives along the way. Some estimates of the cost of Katrina were up in the 200 billions but according to Kimberly Amadeo, “The actual cost of Hurricane Katrina's damage was between $96-$125 billion, with $40-$66 billion in insured losses.” This statistic makes Katrina one of the most expensive natural disasters to ever hit the United States. Money wasn’t the only thing that was lost; the storm killed roughly 1,500 people in Louisiana alone. Floodwaters stayed in New Orleans for weeks leaving many people stranded and fighting for their lives. Post-Katrina New Orleans was a war zone with looting, shootings, robbery, and people desperately needing help from the government. Help was slow to arriving though. People went days and days without food or any kind of help at all. Many people died from all sorts of different causes. Deaths ranged from heat exhaustion in attics to drowning in the street and even in the victims own home. The majority of citizens of New Orleans’ ninth ward feel like the government did not take the right measures in getting help to the victims of the storm and they also feel like the destruction altogether could have been avoided had the levees been built correctly. The story of New Orleans and the failing levees is right up one filmmaker’s alley. Spike Lee is known to make movies that examine race relations and political issues. The story of New Orleans during Katrina touches on both of these subjects immensely. Thus, When the Levees Broke was...
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