Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Birth of an Endless Nightmare

Ten years ago today, a pitiful little storm struggled to life over the Bahamas, the 11th named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season -- she would be named Katrina the next day.

She would also alter the course of history.

This is a well-done recollection of days leading up to -- and years following -- the storm by Bill Capo, a reporter at WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans. I commend it to you.

Now, please excuse me -- the heebie jeebies are crawling up the back of my neck.


  1. My agency had worked for several years with folks in south Louisiana in an effort to develop an effective way of using high accuracy GPS to measure road elevations, height being the most unsure component of GPS at the time, and south Louisiana having a sinking-like-a-stone problem that increases its vulnerability to storms and makes its official levee heights unsure. My last trip down there was the December before Katrina. As I was waiting on my airport transportation I was having one more hurricane at our hotel just outside the French Quarter, and I told the bar tender to never try to sit out a storm bigger than Cat 2 there. And when we were debriefed when we got back we told the boss that he ever wanted to see New Orleans as it was then to do it quickly because it could be toast at any time.

    I cried as I watched the radar as Katrina churned right for Grand Isle and other places we had become familiar with.

    And the scary thing is that Katrina shifted enough that it wasn't actually worst case.

  2. Exactly. The Corps has worked on the levees and pumping stations, so NOLA is probably good up to a Cat 3 direct hit now. And, there will be mandatory evacuation for Cat 3+. Still scary.

  3. And even more tragic is that the NOLA gummit had been given an emergency plan about a year before and never enacted it.

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