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Thread: Eerily accurate National Geographic article about New Orleans (from last year):

  1. #1
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
    Nov 2004
    Austin, TX

    Eerily accurate National Geographic article about New Orleans (from last year):

    This article is so close that it's shocking:

    It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV "storm teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.
    Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level—more than eight feet below in places—so the water poured in.
    people climbed onto roofs to escape it.
    Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless,
    When did this calamity happen? It hasn't—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched.
    Read the whole article here: http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/

  2. #2
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Somewhere between the mountains and the ocean.
    Quote Originally posted by jread
    This article is so close that it's shocking:
    Read the whole article here: http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/

    Now that is frightening. Maybe we should start to pay more attention to some of these “what if” stories and prepare for them in the event that they might actually happen.
    If you want different results in your life, you need to do different things than you have done in the past. Change is that simple.

  3. #3
    Jan 2003
    Santiago, Chile
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis

    Now that is frightening. Maybe we should start to pay more attention to some of these “what if” stories and prepare for them in the event that they might actually happen.
    Then I guess the dutch are gonna start to panic and flea from their doomed land... Since we're headed for a little warm age in the natural climatic cycle... the ice melts, the seas rise, goodbye Netherlands... and Bangladesh... and all of those microscopic countries in the pacific...

    Before you guys start flipping because I just said that we're on a little warm age, when I've always said that we're headed for an Ice age... it's all perfectly scientifically ok... just because the temperatures are rising it doesn't mean that the earth will eventually end in an Ice age, more soon than later, especially since we're overdue... Who knows, maybe this warm period is the trigger for it...

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    May 2003
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Maybe it should have ended with a comment by a hypothetical president saying that “nobody could have anticipated the scale of the disaster.”

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Jul 2003
    SW-Coastal WA
    Actually, a lot of that sounds like it was not too hard to predict if you looked at a little data and read a smidgeon about how such things turn out. The 80% figure is how much of the city is below sea level. It is not too hard to predict that if 80% of a city is below sea level and it floods, 80% of it will be flooded. I think people pretty commonly climb onto rooftops in floods, so describing that doesn't strike me as "eerie". In fact, it reminds me of some blurb from some class where they made the point that you can mess with folks' heads and pretend to be psychic by looking up the statistics on earthquakes and making ominous pronouncements like "Somewhere in California, there will be an earthquake today. Some time this week, California will have an earthquake above X.X on the Richter scale. (etc)"

    Not meaning to bust your chops. And I don't have the time (or interest) to read the article right now. But what you quoted doesn't sound like it would take enormous amounts of predictive ability.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jmf's avatar
    Sep 2001
    in limbo
    I am no expert and I don't have cable so have not seen very much TV coverage of the LA and area disaster although I have followed it on radio and in newspapers but if ...

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation
    why does it seem that agencies were so ill prepared for the after effects of the hurricane?

    If there is something positive out of the whole situation let it be that it will be a learning situation for LA as well as the rest of the US and other countries as well. Our local EMO co-ordinator is already looking at how the LA experience can help us plan better. After all Hurricane Juan was only 2 years ago.

  7. #7
    May 2005
    I agree with Michelle. This was entirely predictable, given the facts regarding flood control projects in and around NO, and the entire lower Mississippi.

    Not eerie, but sad, nonetheless.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003
    a parallel article appeared in Governing Magazine (June 2005) titled:

    Evacuating residents from the path of a storm is often a frustrating
    task for emergency officials.

    Despite dire initial predictions, New Orleans missed being hit by
    Hurricane Ivan last year. And therein lies a problem. It was a huge
    relief, of course, that the gale force winds and surging waters
    predicted for the city veered off to the east. On the other hand, the
    mild result after ominous storm warnings may have bred a dangerous
    complacency in residents who haven't seen a big hurricane strike the
    area in seven years now.

    When researchers asked people why they didn't evacuate, they offered
    two overriding reasons: either they didn't think the storm was going
    to hit their area or they thought their house would be safe even if it
    did. Other responses included transportation difficulties or being new
    to the area.

    Often it's difficult for officials to persuade residents to leave in
    the crucial hours before a storm arrives because sunny skies send a
    conflicting message. Some residents wait to see where the storm is
    going, but if they wait too long, they're not going to have time to
    get out. If people with pets learn that shelters won't allow them,
    they may decide to stay put with their animals.

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