New Orleans is Sinking
This article from Popular Mechanics dated 11 September 2001 (note the irony), the fact that New Orleans was a "disaster waiting to happen":
"Think of the city as a chin jutting out, waiting for a one-two punch from Mother Nature. The first blow comes from the sky. Hurricanes plying the Gulf of Mexico push massive domes of water (storm surges) ahead of their swirling winds. After the surges hit, the second blow strikes from below. The same swampy delta ground that necessitates above-ground burials leaves water from the storm surge with no place to go but up.
The fact that New Orleans has not already sunk is a matter of luck. If slightly different paths had been followed by Hurricanes Camille, which struck in August 1969, Andrew in August 1992 or George in September 1998, today we might need scuba gear to tour the French Quarter.
"In New Orleans, you never get above sea level, so you're always going to be isolated during a strong hurricane," says Kay Wilkins of the southeast Louisiana chapter of the American Red Cross.
During a strong hurricane, the city could be inundated with water blocking all streets in and out for days, leaving people stranded without electricity and access to clean drinking water. Many also could die because the city has few buildings that could withstand the sustained 96- to 100-mph winds and 6- to 8-ft. storm surges of a Category 2 hurricane. Moving to higher elevations would be just as dangerous as staying on low ground. Had Camille, a Category 5 storm, made landfall at New Orleans, instead of losing her punch before arriving, her winds would have blown twice as hard and her storm surge would have been three times as high.
Yet knowing all this, area residents have made their potential problem worse. "Over the past 30 years, the coastal region impacted by Camille has changed dramatically. Coastal erosion combined with soaring commercial and residential development in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have all combined to significantly increase the vulnerability of the area," says Sandy Ward Eslinger, of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Services Center in Charleston, S.C."
What has happened is a tragedy, but it wasn't unexpected. It is disingenuous for the Mayor and the MSM to act as if this were some "doomsday senerio".
In fact, the MSM coverage of this disaster has been the greatest tragedy - I'll explain what I mean in another post.
One of the stories that will come out of this disaster in the months and years to come is the fact that the leadership of New Orleans could have prevented this tragedy had they concentrated less on building casinos, and lining their pockets.
The fact is that the local government knew the dangers the risks and the liabilities, and yet were borderline negligent in their responsibilities.
UPDATE: Junk Yard Blog has some more questions for the Mayor, and the Officials of Louisiana.
New Orleans is Sinking