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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/1/2005 6:18:31 PM EDT
It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV "storm teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.

But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however—the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.

The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level—more than eight feet below in places—so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

When did this calamity happen? It hasn't—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great.

"The killer for Louisiana is a Category Three storm at 72 hours before landfall that becomes a Category Four at 48 hours and a Category Five at 24 hours—coming from the worst direction," says Joe Suhayda, a retired coastal engineer at Louisiana State University who has spent 30 years studying the coast. Suhayda is sitting in a lakefront restaurant on an actual August afternoon sipping lemonade and talking about the chinks in the city's hurricane armor. "I don't think people realize how precarious we are,"
Suhayda says, watching sailboats glide by. "Our technology is great when it works. But when it fails, it's going to make things much worse."

The chances of such a storm hitting New Orleans in any given year are slight, but the danger is growing. Climatologists predict that powerful storms may occur more frequently this century, while rising sea level from global warming is putting low-lying coasts at greater risk. "It's not if it will happen," says University of New Orleans geologist Shea Penland. "It's when."

magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 6:26:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:
Some 200,000 remained, however—the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.



The author forgot about the criminal and opportunistic elements that noticed that 1,000,000 people left, leaving all their things unguarded.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 6:29:52 PM EDT
If you liked that, read this October 2001 Scientific American article about the coming disaster in New Orleans from a hurricane.

They've known the risks for decades, and kept right on building.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 6:35:42 PM EDT
Tag for reading ... damn
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 6:38:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2005 6:40:18 PM EDT by fight4yourrights]
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 6:41:45 PM EDT
I remember reading that article a while back.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 6:42:30 PM EDT
So far, reality is following the storyline of the movie Oil Storm. Lets hope the reality does not end as the movie ended.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 10:55:15 PM EDT
I wonder what the outcry would have been like from the tin foil hat boys if the Feds had forced the city and state to make even meager preparations.

On the other hand now we can send all the refugees to all the prison camps that FEMA built and test out to make sure the kitchens and sanitary systems work, just don't man up the towers and leave the gates open, but it would be nice to get some use out of the facilities and a lot of people need some temporary housing.are just waiting for prisoners
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 10:58:33 PM EDT
Tag to show a friend.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 11:15:35 PM EDT
Damn
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 12:01:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/2/2005 12:02:48 AM EDT by AZMAN-1]

Originally Posted By KBaker:
If you liked that, read this October 2001 Scientific American article about the coming disaster in New Orleans from a hurricane.

They've known the risks for decades, and kept right on building.



You are absolutely right!!! I've read the articles and seen the TV programs on TLC, Disc. Channel, and National Geographic for years.

When I heard about this storm and the predicted path I told my wife this was going to happen, she told me I was full of shit!!! And there was no way for me to predict this. I told her I wasn't predicting it but mearly repeating what I had already heard, now she thinks I'm some sort of genious or clarvoient or something,

I just keep telling her to keep listening to me and everything will be alright!!! (Funny, it still hasn't got me any PIE....)......
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 12:06:37 AM EDT
But now it is all the fault of the US Government. Why?

The US Army Corps of Engineers TOLD the city what needed to be done and it could have been done years ago but the city leaders decided a Cat. 3 protection was enough.

Link Posted: 9/2/2005 8:23:54 AM EDT
Reading that is giving me a hard time to contiue to feel sorry for these people. You could have taken bets on what people have known for the past 5-10 years about NO. It also re-affirms my standing that 75% of all people and 100% of all gov will do absolutely nothing till its too late, meaning you are always on your own.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 8:26:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
But now it is all the fault of the US Government. Why?

The US Army Corps of Engineers TOLD the city what needed to be done and it could have been done years ago but the city leaders decided a Cat. 3 protection was enough.



No it's not, does seem like some major fuck up however.

No way to prevent a storm, but they had more time to prepare than we would for a terrorist attack, and that is scary.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 8:26:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KBaker:
If you liked that, read this October 2001 Scientific American article about the coming disaster in New Orleans from a hurricane.

They've known the risks for decades, and kept right on building.



During last year's Hurricane watch they were talking about NO filling up with 50 feet of water if it took a direct hit and predicted 50k dead. Fortunately it's not as bad.
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