New Orleans Now Heading For Catastrophe
Despite the initial "New Orleans seems to have been spared" bullshit from the Mainstream Media, where a reporter/anchor on CNN actually said in the last hour that it appears the New Orleans Saints will be without a home, as Mary reported earlier, things are heading downhill quickly for the city and its residents.
Hurricane Katrina and its rains have passed, but this city is filling with flood waters.
The sense of relief that residents felt Monday morning when the city was not immediately inundated by a storm surge overflowing its protective levees was replaced late Monday night and Tuesday morning with dread because of a levee that was damaged by the hurricane.
Water flowing from the damaged levee near Lake Pontchartrain could have equally catastrophic effects, only unfolding more slowly.
Water levels in Lake Pontchartrain and the connecting 17th Street Canal are normally six feet higher than the surrounding city. The levees keep the waters from flowing down into this low-lying city, much of which is below sea level.
The damage to the 17th Street Canal and its levee means that the water from Lake Pontchartrain is now free to flow down to inundate hundreds of thousands of homes and other buildings here.
Once it flows in, the water will not drain from New Orleans because of the very levees that protect the city and that largely held during the hurricane. Those levees, built to keep water out, are now keeping the water in, and reports from across the city indicate that water levels are rising.
Authorities plan to use helicopters to drop 3,000-pound sandbags into the breach in the damaged levee, the Associated Press reported. The breach is said to be about 200 feet long. There were reports Tuesday that other levees may also have given way in the hours since the storm passed.
New Orleans normally uses pumps to get the water out when necessary, but the city has been without power since the hurricane struck with 140-mph winds around daybreak Monday.
"The city of New Orleans is in a state of devastation," Mayor Ray Nagin told local television station WWL last night. "We probably have 80 percent of our city under water," in some places as deep as 20 feet. He said both airports were under water, and people were on roofs awaiting rescue.
There are reports of thousands of people trapped in the damaged Superdome, a building that itself will be surrounded by water within hours, with its access roads underwater as well.
A photo can be found here of the flooded areas.
Martial law has been declared in parts of New Orleans within the last several hours. This is a good thing, although it would have been nice to have more of the Louisiana National Guard and Army Reserve and their equipment available right now, instead of getting their asses shot at in Iraq.
And Skippy has decided its time to stop talking about Medicare and Iraq, and to get his ass back to Washington to look like he is managing another crisis.