So long, and thanks for all the gumbo: Cat 5 headed to N.O

To sum it up:

New Orleans is mostly below sea level, protected by levees which keep the water out, and pumps which remove the water brought in by rains.

Katrina, a category 5 hurricane (the biggest they get, and judging by the high water temperatures in the area, it’s not going to get any smaller), is headed towards New Orleans. Like all hurricanes, it will bring massive rains, massive waves, and will most likely drown the city. The levees protect against tide, waves and storms, but 20+ foot surges are probably too much for the city.

In 1969, hurricane Camille was the last and one of the few cat 5 hurricanes to hit the mainland. It mostly spent its time beating up semi-rural areas, and did not, IIRC, nail New Orleans.

In essence: it’s very likely that New Orleans will simply fill with seawater, the water destroying what the 170+mph winds haven’t. Recoverable? Probably, but this is going to be fucking expensive. Pray for the people, and pray for the insurance companies.

There’s also the original discussion in P&R, but I don’t trust them to stay focused on the topic. Most likely it will end up a global warming/blame Bush thread.

Check out this transcript from PBS’ show NOW in 2002:

They mention a possible death toll of 100k if a Category Five landfalls near New Orleans. One of the experts claims the only way to save the city in such an event is to build a thirty foot wall around the heart of New Orleans. Half of the article reads like a point by point prediction of what’s happened so far. Very disturbing.

Wow, this has been basically the worst possible scenerio happening. Its grown in strength to easily pass into cat 5 level(175 freaking MPH?) and is going to nail N.O. it looks like. This last couple of years worth of storms have made me very glad I live nowhere in near the SE of the US.