Ivor van Heerden

Professor, Person

1950 –


Who is Ivor van Heerden?

Ivor van Heerden, holds a doctorate in Marine Sciences and was the deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, before being dismissed by LSU following Hurricane Katrina. He is also the director of the Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes.

Van Heerden was born on September 21, 1950 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He grew up in Natal. He has one daughter, Vanessa van Heerden, and one step daughter, Julia James. He created a hurricane modeling program at LSU. For the last decade he has been one of the most persistent voices warning of the inevitable effects of a major hurricane on the Louisiana coast. He was one of several hundred participants at the Hurricane Pam exercise in July 2004. He claims that his warnings during the Hurricane Pam exercise were ignored, which may have contributed to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He has also taken the Army Corps of Engineers to task for their misdesigns which caused the Levee failures in Greater New Orleans, 2005. For a time LSU told him not to talk to the media, amid concerns that his book The Storm was endangering federal grant money flowing to the university. Van Heerden also alleged that the White House withheld information that the levees of New Orleans had broken.

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Sep 21, 1950
South Africa
  • Louisiana State University

on July 23, 2013


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