New Orleans TV station WWL is in 24-hour hurricane news mode, which is incredibly unnerving to experience, as I learned in Palm Coast, Florida, during Hurricane Floyd. A direct hit of a category 4 storm would cause Old Testament flooding in New Orleans, which averages eight feet below sea level and survives only because of levees. Residents have lived for years in dread of a storm that would demonstrate why this is terrible engineering, turning the city into Atlantis:
New Orleans has always had a complicated relationship with the water surrounding it. Everyone told the first settlers this was the wrong place to build a city. It is wedged precariously between the mighty Mississippi and Lake Pontchartrain, and most of it was once swampland. Aggravating the problem is the fact that much of New Orleans is below sea level, so that after a good rain, the water just settles in. There is now a decent pumping system, which helps. Old-timers, however, still talk of the days when, after a bad storm, bodies washed out of the cemeteries.
A stretch of coast 170 miles long will experience hurricane force winds, given the current radius of hurricane force winds around the storm. A direct hit on New Orleans in this best-case scenario may still be enough to flood the city, resulting in heavy loss of life and $30 billion or more in damage.
The closest blogger who's sticking around appears to be T.C. Byrd, providing updates on the storm's approach from Hattiesburg, Mississippi:
On the Coast, if you are not following the mandatory evacuations, they are coming around and making you sign a waiver stating your vital stats and that the city can dispose of your body. There's already some flooding. Katrina ain't playing.
Update: An episode of Nova on PBS described New Orleans' nightmare scenario.
There are at least a couple nearby (sorted by proximity to your coordinates - a couple on the front page were updated today).
http://demigawd.modblog.com/ for example - assuming the electricity holds.
Yikes! The government officials talking now on the TV station aren't pulling any punches. They asked neighboring states to send more paramedics and relief officials who have experience with death, and told people who are staying to go buy tools so they have something that can break through the roof of their attic, to prevent them from drowning in there.
I am covering the hurricane extensively over the next few days, using the members of LiveJournal to offer up firsthand accounts from New Orleans. I did this in the past for the tsunami and for previous hurricanes, with a great deal of success. I'm trying to use LiveJournal's New Orleans community to organize carpools and shelter for people, though I suspect that it would be of more value if there was more of a network in place beforehand to do this kind of thing.
I've only done a bit of searching so far, but I've identified several people who are riding out the hurricane in New Orleans. Many, frankly, have no other place to go.
If you can point people towards my journal and, more specifically, towards the post to arrange rides and shelter, it would be appreciated. I just heard that someone over at DailyKOS is also encouaraging people to offer up shelter to others.
Kaye Trammell just set-up her hurricane blog:
Thanks for the linkage. I'm staying on until I have to pull the plug, hopefully as long as tomorrow am. I'm on dial-up and a desktop, so no wireless for me.
I was subjected to an old grainy film of Camille every year in my Long Beach, MS schooling. Made a huge impression on me, and it is sobering to think that in the future, kids will be watching coverage of Katrina as the yardstick to which all other storms are compared.
I've been compiling a list of hurricane bloggers that are in the path of the storm near coastal areas to inland. A few of them fools.
For as long as it holds out, buddies of mine from j-school are blogging: www.dancingwithkatrina.blogspot.com<>
Hopefully the Red Cross will soon have a system in place for those looking for loved ones to register their information.
I'm starting two log books - one for those that evacuated, or rode out the storm, and are safe and sound. The second log book is for those who are looking for family and friends.
I don't know if they will help at all, but it's better than nothing.
We just got power back in my part of Jackson, MS.
Others will be weeks without. From what I'm hearing Biloxi/Gulfport is pretty much just gone.
Still can't bring myself to watch the video of the damage.
Please i want to know how longbeach is.i lived in arbor station, an also lived for a while on Burk,
Wow, what force the storm came in (thankfully it was category 5 afterall). Funny how everyone was told to goto the Dome, it looks like the first place I would visit if i was a huricane!
A website on http://www.sparesomechange.com (poverty portal and homless search engine) may be able to help find homeless resources in near by counties and states down south...
BTW, stop looting Walmart!
So much for home land security... If this was a terrorist attack we would all be dead. Why was the national guard not on stand by to begin with, instead of three days later?? Mr. Bush needs to get his act together, now, because the american people are stretched to their limit now...
Where can I find hurrican damage information in St. Amant of Ascension Parish?
I have only heard from my friend and her children once since the hurricane.
They were living in their car at the time and apparently called from a pay phone.
My email is email@example.com
does anyone know if Oakgarden ave. in longbeach is standing near the railroad street?
Why not make every new roof a solar roof as we rebuild with taxpayer funds in LA and MS? Why not mandate green building practices? "After Katrina: Rebuild Green" talks about some of the potential opportunities.
Umm i have a home that can be donated to a family that needs a home from the hurricane katrina cause but it needs to be fixed up properly but i can give it to a family in need i was wondering who may i contact to tell this to my email is firstname.lastname@example.org or i can let a junior or senoir stay to live for them to go to school thanks
How quickly we forget natural disasters in the face of new natural disasters. The world is overpopulated, and people will continue to inhabit available land but not necessarily safe land. Are we ready for the mega disaster, probably not.