New Orleans is a city know for its powerful drink, the Hurricane. Unfortunately for New Orleans, the city will be forever tied to the name Katrina if it hits dead on. The reason for this, is that New Orleans is a city built below sea level.
The levees that protect the city from flooding are also a flood threat themselves. “The biggest threat that the city has is that of a slow moving Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane, which would create a surge of water that could be up to 30 feet high. Now if this (high) water comes into the city, it will top the levees. It will go over the top of the levees and actually fill up the city,” said Hijuelos.
So we are looking at New Orleans as a giant fishbowl. Katrina is expected to have a storm surge that will be over 20 feet. That will be enough to overwhelm the levee’s and flood the city. Then we are looking at months before the water level of the city could be pumped out.
An expert in Hurricane Management gives this harrowing story:
On a recent evening, a scientist pulls up in the French Quarter. Joe Suhayda takes a plastic rod out of his trunk and he proceeds to show us what could happen the next time a hurricane hits New Orleans.
“OK, this is tool that I have a range rod,” explains Suyhayda. “It will show us how high the water would be if we were hit with a Category Five Hurricane.”
Which would mean what?
“Twenty feet of water above where we are standing now,” says Suyhayda.
A Category Five Hurricane is the most powerful storm on a scientific scale. Suhayda plants the rod on the sidewalk next to a 200-year-old building that’s all wrought iron balconies and faded brick and wooden shutters. Every click marks another foot that the flood would rise up this building.
I can’t believe you’re still going.
“Yeah, still going,” says Suyhayda.
And as thesetwo pictures simulating the possible effect of the storm on the city, this simulation is almost beyond anything we can imagine.
(Thanks to LSU Engineer for finding these photos)
So the enormity of what we are facing is something that in modern days is very hard to comprehend. Tonight, say a prayer for New Orleans and the state of Mississippi, as tomorrow will be a very harrowing day for all.
God Bless Every One Involved.