It's just going to flood again. Maybe next week, maybe next year, maybe 10 years. But it will happen again.
New Orleans Relives Flooding Nightmare
By ALLEN G. BREED, AP
NEW ORLEANS (Sept. 23) - Hurricane Rita's wind and rain breached one of New Orleans' battered levees Friday and sent water gushing into the already-devastated Ninth Ward just days after the impoverished neighborhood was pumped dry.
The water streamed through gaps at least 100 feet wide and was soon waist-deep on a nearby street. It began covering buckled homes, piles of rubble and mud-caked cars that Katrina had swamped with up to 20 feet of water nearly a month ago.
There was no immediate indication that the rest of New Orleans was in danger from the new flooding in the Ninth Ward, a particularly low-lying part of the city that has been largely abandoned. Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers said other levees appeared secure, including those breached during Katrina.
The flooding was the first blow to fall on the ravaged city from Rita.
"Our worst fears came true," said Maj. Barry Guidry, a National Guardsman on duty at the broken levee. "We have three significant breaches in the levee and the water is rising rapidly."
Refugees from the misery-stricken neighborhood learned of the crisis with despair.
"It's like looking at a murder," Quentrell Jefferson said as he watched the news at a church in Lafayette, 125 miles west of New Orleans. "The first time is bad. After that, you numb up."
The water poured over and through sandbags, gravel and soil that had been used to temporarily patch breaks in the Industrial Canal levee, said Dan Hitchings, a spokesman with the Corps of Engineers. Around midafternoon, he said the water did not appear to be rising anymore.
He said that the Corps could not immediately reach the spot to repair it, but that pumps would be turned on to help remove the water.
Col. Richard Wagenaar, Corps of Engineers district chief in New Orleans, said the overtopping of the levees would set back repairs at least three weeks. He said, nevertheless, June is still the target for getting the levees back to pre-Katrina levels.
The breach came as Rita began lashing the Gulf Coast with rain and wind and up to 500,000 people in southwestern Louisiana headed north on jammed roads. State police said flooding in coastal Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes forced street closings by midday.
Rita was expected to come ashore early Saturday somewhere near the Texas-Louisiana line. There were fears it would stall, dumping as much as 25 inches of rain.
Forecasters said the hurricane could bring 3 to 5 inches of rain to New Orleans - dangerously close to the 6 inches Army engineers say could overwhelm the patched levees. Another fear was that a strong storm surge would push water through the walls.
Because of the approaching storm, authorities called off the search for bodies, and Katrina's death toll across the Gulf Coast stood at 1,078, including 841 in Louisiana.
A mandatory evacuation order was in effect for the part of New Orleans on the east bank of the Mississippi, including the Ninth Ward. A spokeswoman for Mayor Ray Nagin said officials believed the neighborhood had been cleared of residents.
Just to the east, St. Bernard Parish - heavily flooded by Katrina - water from the new breach was threatening from one side and a storm surge along a bayou was lapping at the top of a levee on the other.
Mark Madary, a St. Bernard Parish councilman, said houses that were under 12 feet of water after Katrina would probably get an additional 3 feet. He accused the Army Corps of Engineers of not rebuilding the levee properly.
"Everybody's home's been crushed, and let's hope their dreams aren't," he said.
DAMN THE TORPEDOS, GIVE ME REBUILDING SPEED!
It's a lie, a cover story .... come on we all know that the White Devil's planted explosives on the levee to re-flood the poorest neighborhoods in NO.
Unfortunately Bush/Rove/Cheney are keeping the dilithium crystals from the black people, because they hate black people.
What would Nagin do? Gotta be Dubya's fault.....I cannot believe all my tax money went to hurricane machine.....
Oh hell, just throw more money at it, afterall that has worked so well with all of our nation's problems just like the poor!!!