New Orleans: Hurracaine Katrina

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Magazines National Geographic (Bourne, Jr, October 2004) and Scientific American (Fischetti October 2001) as well as many newspapers had demonstrated the risks that would incur residents of New Orleans and surrounding areas. The New Orleans Times-Picayune even published in 2002 a 5-part series describing in detail the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina. Well before the hurricane of August 2005, experts warned that a hurricane of high intensity might create an apocalyptic catastrophe. In August 2002 all the experts had predicted that New Orleans could "die from drowning." In 2001, Professor Ivor van Heerden and his colleagues at Louisiana State University had developed models that predicted a hurricane of high magnitude would flood the region and New Orleans; they tried in vain to make themselves heard by senior government officials (in McMaster, 2005). His fear was such that in 2004 he had said that "a hurricane of Category 3 or higher, moving slowly would drown the city. There will be between 17 and 20 feet of water, and New Orleans, as we know it will cease to exist." In the interview he gave to the media in October 2004, Professor van Heerden conceded " Louisiana is a patient in the final phase that needs major surgery, a patient needed and new heart, new lungs and a new liver in order to survive. In the case where a slow Category 3 hurricane was to pass west of the city, the rains would put pressure on Lake Pontchartrain, and then pass through the highly industrialized areas; passing in these areas would mean that many chemicals would be picked up along the way. One must keep in mind that as well as the flood, the wind would also cause damage and a lot of infrastructure would be destroyed. The contaminated water would theref...

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