Friday, September 02, 2005

From the "being right sucks" file

This article from National Geographic about New Orleans was linked to at Monkeyfilter. Kinda interesting. I might blog more about the Katrina situation later. I'm patiently waiting to hear what Jess or Heath has to say about it, especially since their city is being directly affected.(or is it effected? I can never remember)

Anyway, article..

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.

-National Geographic, October 2004


Heath said...

I wish I had something to add, but I really don't. I'm dumbfounded like everyone else just trying to wrap my mind around the huge scope of it all. It's almost unbelievable like some post-apocalyptic movie. This is without doubt one of the most huge things to ever happen in my lifetime. If one good can come of this, maybe it will unify the nation in our opinion of our illustrious leader...

P@ said...

Heath - I think the fallout of this whole thing is going to be HUGE.
God, the things I've been reading online have been ...I keep getting chills.

Also, I apologize for getting your city wrong. I was confusing Houston and Austin (something I've done since as far back as I can remember. I still occasionally do the same thing with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. My brain works in mysterious ways.). However, I still am interested in hearing any insights that you and/or Jess may have on the matter.