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Old 08-28-2005, 03:01 PM   #61
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Originally posted by Chizip

Yeah, they said no on will be allowed on the field because it will likely be flooded, so people will be up in the higher seats.
that's what I figured. I wonder how many people will end up in there...

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Old 08-28-2005, 03:05 PM   #62
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20-30 thousand they are estimating

what would those people had done if they didnt open up the Superdome

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Old 08-28-2005, 03:23 PM   #63
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I don't know what's going to happen. this is the worst case senario for NO or anyone that takes a direct hit. We are looking to have cat. 2 winds here in Mobile not to mention the tornados - just from the east side of Katrina.
I'm heading north now. Just got off work and packing up. I don't wish this on anyone but I just hope the storm doesn't wobble east (or west) but It's going somewhere. Best we can pray for is that the winds die down.
is exactly the way I feel..
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Old 08-28-2005, 03:32 PM   #64
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Be safe sue .
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Old 08-28-2005, 03:39 PM   #65
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Originally posted by Pearl
This is getting really sad. I hope the hurricane lessens once it reaches shore.
It will. They do that by definition.

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Old 08-28-2005, 03:44 PM   #66
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Originally posted by Pearl
Gosh, they're saying the French Quarter could be gone once this is over.
Not just the French Quarter. The whole city could be underwater and unhabitable for many months. I found the following article on an New Orleans newspaper website. It was published a few years ago and details what would happen if a major hurricane hit New Orleans. Looks like The Big One they've feared is about to hit. I pray for the people there....


A major hurricane could decimate the region, but flooding from even a moderate storm could kill thousands. It's just a matter of time.

By Mark Schleifstein and John McQuaid
Staff writers

The line of splintered planks, trash and seaweed scattered along the slope of New Orleans' lakefront levees on Hayne Boulevard in late September 1998 marked more than just the wake of Hurricane Georges. It measured the slender margin separating the city from mass destruction.

The debris, largely the remains of about 70 camps smashed by the waves of a storm surge more than 7 feet above sea level, showed that Georges, a Category 2 storm that only grazed New Orleans, had pushed waves to within a foot of the top of the levees. A stronger storm on a slightly different course -- such as the path Georges was on just 16 hours before landfall -- could have realized emergency officials' worst-case scenario: hundreds of billions of gallons of lake water pouring over the levees into an area averaging 5 feet below sea level with no natural means of drainage.

That would turn the city and the east bank of Jefferson Parish into a lake as much as 30 feet deep, fouled with chemicals and waste from ruined septic systems, businesses and homes. Such a flood could trap hundreds of thousands of people in buildings and in vehicles. At the same time, high winds and tornadoes would tear at everything left standing. Between 25,000 and 100,000 people would die, said John Clizbe, national vice president for disaster services with the American Red Cross.

"A catastrophic hurricane represents 10 or 15 atomic bombs in terms of the energy it releases," said Joseph Suhayda, a Louisiana State University engineer who is studying ways to limit hurricane damage in the New Orleans area. "Think about it. New York lost two big buildings. Multiply that by 10 or 20 or 30 in the area impacted and the people lost, and we know what could happen."

Hundreds of thousands would be left homeless, and it would take months to dry out the area and begin to make it livable. But there wouldn't be much for residents to come home to. The local economy would be in ruins.

The scene has been played out for years in computer models and emergency-operations simulations. Officials at the local, state and national level are convinced the risk is genuine and are devising plans for alleviating the aftermath of a disaster that could leave the city uninhabitable for six months or more. The Army Corps of Engineers has begun a study to see whether the levees should be raised to counter the threat. But officials say that right now, nothing can stop "the big one."

Like coastal Bangladesh, where typhoons killed 100,000 and 300,000 villagers, respectively, in two horrific storms in 1970 and 1991, the New Orleans area lies in a low, flat coastal area. Unlike Bangladesh, New Orleans has hurricane levees that create a bowl with the bottom dipping lower than the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain. Though providing protection from weaker storms, the levees also would trap any water that gets inside -- by breach, overtopping or torrential downpour -- in a catastrophic storm.

"Filling the bowl" is the worst potential scenario for a natural disaster in the United States, emergency officials say. The Red Cross' projected death toll dwarfs estimates of 14,000 dead from a major earthquake along the New Madrid, Mo., fault, and 4,500 dead from a similar catastrophic earthquake hitting San Francisco, the next two deadliest disasters on the agency's list.

The projected death and destruction eclipse almost any other natural disaster that people paid to think about catastrophes can dream up. And the risks are significant, especially over the long term. In a given year, for example, the corps says the risk of the lakefront levees being topped is less than 1 in 300. But over the life of a 30-year mortgage, statistically that risk approaches 9 percent.

In the past year, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have begun working with state and local agencies to devise plans on what to do if a Category 5 hurricane strikes New Orleans.

Shortly after he took office, FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh ordered aides to examine the nation's potential major catastrophes, including the New Orleans scenario.

"Catastrophic disasters are best defined in that they totally outstrip local and state resources, which is why the federal government needs to play a role," Allbaugh said. "There are a half-dozen or so contingencies around the nation that cause me great concern, and one of them is right there in your back yard."

In concert with state and local officials, FEMA is studying evacuation procedures, postdisaster rescue strategies, temporary housing and technical issues such as how to pump out water trapped inside the levees, said Michael Lowder, chief of policy and planning in FEMA's Readiness, Response and Recovery directorate. A preliminary report should be completed in the next few months.

Louisiana emergency management officials say they lobbied the agency for years to study how to respond to New Orleans' vulnerability, finally getting attention last year.

With computer modeling of hurricanes and storm surges, disaster experts have developed a detailed picture of how a storm could push Lake Pontchartrain over the levees and into the city.

"The worst case is a hurricane moving in from due south of the city," said Suhayda, who has developed a computer simulation of the flooding from such a storm. On that track, winds on the outer edges of a huge storm system would be pushing water in Breton Sound and west of the Chandeleur Islands into the St. Bernard marshes and then Lake Pontchartrain for two days before landfall.

"Water is literally pumped into Lake Pontchartrain," Suhayda said. "It will try to flow through any gaps, and that means the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (which is connected to Breton Sound by the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet) and the Chef Menteur and the Rigolets passes.

"So now the lake is 5 to 8 feet higher than normal, and we're talking about a lake that's only 15 or 20 feet deep, so you're adding a third to a half as much water to the lake," Suhayda said. As the eye of the hurricane moves north, next to New Orleans but just to the east, the winds over the lake switch around to come from the north.

"As the eye impacts the Mississippi coastline, the winds are now blowing south across the lake, maybe at 50, 80, 100 mph, and all that water starts to move south," he said. "It's moving like a big army advancing toward the lake's hurricane-protection system. And then the winds themselves are generating waves, 5 to 10 feet high, on top of all that water. They'll be breaking and crashing along the sea wall."

Soon waves will start breaking over the levee.

"All of a sudden you'll start seeing flowing water. It'll look like a weir, water just pouring over the top," Suhayda said. The water will flood the lakefront, filling up low-lying areas first, and continue its march south toward the river. There would be no stopping or slowing it; pumping systems would be overwhelmed and submerged in a matter of hours.

"Another scenario is that some part of the levee would fail," Suhayda said. "It's not something that's expected. But erosion occurs, and as levees broke, the break will get wider and wider. The water will flow through the city and stop only when it reaches the next higher thing. The most continuous barrier is the south levee, along the river. That's 25 feet high, so you'll see the water pile up on the river levee."

As the floodwaters invade and submerge neighborhoods, the wind will be blowing at speeds of at least 155 mph, accompanied by shorter gusts of as much as 200 mph, meteorologists say, enough to overturn cars, uproot trees and toss people around like dollhouse toys.

The wind will blow out windows and explode many homes, even those built to the existing 110-mph building-code standards. People seeking refuge from the floodwaters in high-rise buildings won't be very safe, recent research indicates, because wind speed in a hurricane gets greater with height. If the winds are 155 mph at ground level, scientists say, they may be 50 mph stronger 100 feet above street level.

Buildings also will have to withstand pummeling by debris picked up by water surging from the lakefront toward downtown, with larger pieces acting like battering rams.

Ninety percent of the structures in the city are likely to be destroyed by the combination of water and wind accompanying a Category 5 storm, said Robert Eichorn, former director of the New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness. The LSU Hurricane Center surveyed numerous large public buildings in Jefferson Parish in hopes of identifying those that might withstand such catastrophic winds. They found none.

Amid this maelstrom, the estimated 200,000 or more people left behind in an evacuation will be struggling to survive. Some will be housed at the Superdome, the designated shelter in New Orleans for people too sick or infirm to leave the city. Others will end up in last-minute emergency refuges that will offer minimal safety. But many will simply be on their own, in homes or looking for high ground.

Thousands will drown while trapped in homes or cars by rising water. Others will be washed away or crushed by debris. Survivors will end up trapped on roofs, in buildings or on high ground surrounded by water, with no means of escape and little food or fresh water, perhaps for several days.

"If you look at the World Trade Center collapsing, it'll be like that, but add water," Eichorn said. "There will be debris flying around, and you're going to be in the water with snakes, rodents, nutria and fish from the lake. It's not going to be nice."

Mobilized by FEMA, search and rescue teams from across the nation will converge on the city. Volunteer teams of doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians that were pre-positioned in Monroe or Shreveport before the storm will move to the area, said Henry Delgado, regional emergency coordinator for the U.S. Public Health Service.

But just getting into the city will be a problem for rescuers. Approaches by road may be washed out.

"Whether or not the Airline Highway bridge across the Bonnet Carre Spillway survives, we don't know," said Jay Combe, a coastal hydraulic engineer with the corps. "The I-10 bridge (west of Kenner) is designed to withstand a surge from a Category 3 storm, but it may be that water gets under the spans, and we don't know if it will survive." Other bridges over waterways and canals throughout the city may also be washed away or made unsafe, he said. In a place where cars may be useless, small boats and helicopters will be used to move survivors to central pickup areas, where they can be moved out of the city. Teams of disaster mortuary volunteers, meanwhile, will start collecting bodies. Other teams will bring in temporary equipment and goods, including sanitation facilities, water, ice and generators. Food, water and medical supplies will be airdropped to some areas and delivered to others.

Stranded survivors will have a dangerous wait even after the storm passes. Emergency officials worry that energized electrical wires could pose a threat of electrocution and that the floodwater could become contaminated with sewage and with toxic chemicals from industrial plants and backyard sheds. Gasoline, diesel fuel and oil leaking from underground storage tanks at service stations may also become a problem, corps officials say.

A variety of creatures -- rats, mice and nutria, poisonous snakes and alligators, fire ants, mosquitoes and abandoned cats and dogs -- will be searching for the same dry accommodations that people are using.

Contaminated food or water used for bathing, drinking and cooking could cause illnesses including salmonella, botulism, typhoid and hepatitis. Outbreaks of mosquito-borne dengue fever and encephalitis are likely, said Dr. James Diaz, director of the department of public health and preventive medicine at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans.

"History will repeat itself," Diaz said. "My office overlooks one of the St. Louis cemeteries, where there are many graves of victims of yellow fever. Standing water in the subtropics is the breeding ground for mosquitoes."

Herculean pumping task

It probably will be at least four days after the hurricane before the corps attempts to begin removing water from the city, Combe said. After a 1947 hurricane flooded the east bank, it took several days for the lake to return to its normal average 14-foot depth, slowing efforts to drain floodwaters from Metairie and Kenner.

Pumping won't be an option. Swamped existing pumping systems in Orleans and Jefferson will be useless. Pumps can be brought in, but their capacity is limited.

"If one goes to construction equipment rental firms, you can rent pumps with a capacity of 6,000 to 8,000 gallons a minute, but that's just not enough capacity," Combe said. "After Betsy the corps employed six dredges with a combined capacity of 243,000 gallons per minute. It would take 44 hours to drain a half-inch of water from the New Orleans metro area that way."

The most likely alternative is simply blowing holes in the levees or widening existing breaches. Breaches in the levee totaling a half mile would allow the water to drain in one day, Combe said. With a more modest effort, totaling 100 feet of openings, draining would take four weeks. If they do dynamite the levees, officials must also weigh the risk of another hurricane hitting in the short term against the urgency of getting the water out.

Water levels will drop only to the level of the lake, leaving areas lower than that with standing water that must be pumped out. Workers will then focus on restoring existing generators throughout the city that operate the pumping system.

Harold Gorman, executive director of the Sewerage & Water Board, said his agency thinks it can get most of its pumps working in a month, based on its experience in Hurricane Betsy in 1965. But it may take longer than that just to get replacement parts for the various pumps and electric motors used in local drainage systems. "You've got a lot of apples and oranges out there," Combe said. "Sometimes it takes six months just to get parts. Sometimes there are no off-the-shelf parts available."

It will take six months to pump out Jefferson Parish, Combe said. But at that point, areas of New Orleans will probably still be underwater and may take many more months to empty.

Getting the water out is just the first step to making the city livable, officials say. "Imagine the city of New Orleans closed for four to six months," said Jefferson Parish Emergency Preparedness Director Walter Maestri. "We'll have to re-evaluate all our sanitary systems, completely evaluate the water and purification systems, evaluate half to two thirds of all buildings to see if they were structurally damaged by water pressure and wind. Restoring electricity will be another complicated problem. Will houses catch fire when they throw the power switch All that's going to have to be handled."

With few homes left undamaged, Red Cross and FEMA officials will have to find property for long-term temporary housing for a possible 1 million refugees. After Hurricane Andrew, some of the 250,000 residents of south Miami-Dade County forced to find temporary housing remained in federally financed mobile homes for 2½ years.

"You'd have manufactured housing brought in and set up in Baton Rouge and Folsom and so forth," Maestri said. "It's going to have to be north of Mandeville and Covington, because they're probably going to have hurricane damage as well. They'll probably use military bases like Camp Shelby in Mississippi, too. They'll be urban refugee centers, where people will stay while officials do an analysis to say, 'Yes, you can come back' or 'No, you can't come back here.' "

New Orleans would face the future with most of its housing stock and historic structures destroyed. Hotels, office buildings and infrastructure would be heavily damaged. Tens of thousands of people would be dead and many survivors homeless and shellshocked. Rebuilding would be a formidable challenge even with a generous federal aid package.

"You wouldn't have an infrastructure, that's for sure," said Hucky Purpera, natural and technical hazards chief for the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness. "What would you be going back to Residents might be going back in, but would businesses rebuild They'll make decisions based on what's best for the company. And if you do decide to rebuild, do you rebuild there A lot of that we don't know."

But it's unlikely the city would be completely abandoned, economists and disaster experts say. Most cities do eventually recover from major disasters -- though no precedent exists for the wholesale destruction of "filling the bowl."

No single storm would wipe out the entire New Orleans area. If the east bank floods, the west bank and St. Tammany Parish would take heavy damage from wind but be spared heavy storm-surge flooding. The city's location on the Mississippi River near the Gulf of Mexico would still be strategic for trade. Industrial plants upriver would remain largely intact.

"It's always recoverable. People own that property. They are not going to walk away. If someone does walk away, there will be a bank that will foreclose and ultimately resell that space," said Mary Comerio, a professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of a book on postdisaster reconstruction. "It will all be at fire-sale prices, and it will end up a different place, owned by different people."

After a Category 4 hurricane destroyed Galveston, Texas, in 1900, the entire island was raised 7 feet before rebuilding began. To avoid a repeat catastrophe, officials would likely consider how to hurricane-proof the city, or even think about moving it.

"We've not tried to tackle that yet," said Lowder, the FEMA official. "What's the best way to -- I won't say rebuild -- but where do we go from here How can we make sure that our recovery doesn't put things back the exact same way they were"
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Old 08-28-2005, 03:54 PM   #67
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National Hurricane Center director Max Mayfield said: "There's certainly a chance it can weaken a bit before it gets to the coast, but unfortunately this is so large and so powerful that it's a little bit like the difference between being run over by an 18-wheeler or a freight train. Neither prospect is good."

stay safe, everyone.
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Old 08-28-2005, 04:14 PM   #68
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We dodged Katrina on the Southwest coast of Florida, due to it's more southerly course (at the time). I do know that the Gulf of Mexico is very warm, even for this time of the year. It is like pure octane for a hurricane. My thoghts and prayers go out to those who are about to endure the worst of Katrina's wrath....
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Old 08-28-2005, 04:29 PM   #69
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they say a lot of damage can be due to the winds, especially east of the storm, so that means those in Mississippi and Alabama as well. Thoughts & prayers as we follow the development (I've had CNN on a lot today, popping in & out for updates)

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Old 08-28-2005, 05:02 PM   #70
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I love New Orleans...this will be such a tragedy.
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Old 08-28-2005, 05:39 PM   #71
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Originally posted by AvsGirl41
I love New Orleans...this will be such a tragedy.
I was just thinking.....I've always wanted to go, never had the chance........
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:04 PM   #72
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic

I was just thinking.....I've always wanted to go, never had the chance........
I know--I was thinking "I never got to see Mardi Gras!!"

This article made me laugh, gallows humor:

Tina and Bryan Steven, of Forest Lake, Minn., sat glumly on the sidewalk outside their hotel in the French Quarter.

"We're choosing the best of two evils," said Bryan Steven. "It's either be stuck in the hotel or stuck on the road. ... We'll make it through it."

His wife, wearing a Bourbon Street T-shirt with a lewd message, interjected: "I just don't want to die in this shirt."
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:40 PM   #73
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originally posted by LivLuvandBootlegMusic

I was just thinking.....I've always wanted to go, never had the chance........
Me too.
I've always wanted to see Bourbon Street, the old houses, see all the unique history and culture of New Orleans. But I feel it won't be around much longer. But I'm sure the city would recover and everything would be put back together.
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:41 PM   #74
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I have a feeling they will be retiring the name Katrina like they retired Andrew as a name for a hurricane
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:41 PM   #75
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My father is a retired FEMA director. The phones have been ringing off the hook here today.

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