House in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, LA April 25, 2006
Note the shingles missing from the roof where the storm surge took them away. Also note the brown lines across the front of the house where the water line stopped for a while when
Interior of a flooded house in the Lower Ninth Ward New Orleans, LA April 25, 2006 copyright Colleen Fitzpatrick
Interior of a flooded house in the Lower Ninth Ward New Orleans, LA April 25, 2006 copyright Colleen Fitzpatrick
Typical street in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, LA April 25, 2006 copyright Colleen Fitzpatrick
quadrant (containing the strongest winds) was forecast to be 28 feet (8.5 m), emergency management officials in New Orleans feared that the storm surge could go over the tops of levees protecting the city, causing major flooding.
At a news conference at 10 am on August 28, shortly after Katrina was upgraded to a Category 5 storm, New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin ordered the first-ever mandatory evacuation of the city, calling Katrina "a storm that most of us have long feared." The city government also established several "refuges of last resort" for citizens who could not leave the city, including the massive Louisiana Superdome, which sheltered approximately 26,000 people and provided them with food and water for several days as the storm came ashore.
As the eye of Hurricane Katrina swept to the northeast, it subjected the city to hurricane conditions for hours. Although power failures prevented accurate measurement of wind speeds in New Orleans, there were a few measurements of hurricane-force winds. From this the NHC concluded that it is likely that much of the city experienced sustained winds of Category 1 or Category 2 strength.
Katrina's storm surge led to 53 levee breaches in the federally built levee system protecting metro New Orleans and the failure of the 40 Arpent Canal levee. Nearly
New Orleans, Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (2005:08:29 17:24:22), showing Interstate 10 at West End Boulevard, looking towards Lake Pontchartrain.
The 17th Street Canal is just beyond the left edge of the image. The breach in the levee of that canal was responsible for much of the flooding of the city in the hours after the hurricane.
In the foreground, the intersection is the juncture of I-10, running from the bottom of the photo and curving
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Grace Hertz & Mary Turner - "Team Fletcher" Mike Dalton Carol Farrant Donna Jolley Carol Stansell Katie Guertin Arthur Hartwell Marcelle Comeau Gus Marsh Annette McLane Barbara Cangiamilla Margaret Waterman Tom Collins Janice M. Sellers W. David Samuelson Elaine C. Hebert Jim Kiser Suzan Farris Lisa Moskowitz Carol Stansell Margaret Paxton Kelly Fetherlin Joyce Veness Skip Murray Margaret Lanoue
Comments from Our Readers
Whoever came up with that X-graphic idea needs a pat on the back. After our Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, all I remember seeing on the buildings in the Marina District was the word SEARCHED. The efforts of the searchers are to be commended, but their instructions for what to spray on the buildings was flawed. It provided no useful information for the next crew that came along.
***** I will never forget! In fact this house looks like a house my Aunt owned in Kenner that she rented out. One tenant lived in the front and one tenant lived in the rear.
***** Without any research whatsoever, these images will always evoke the terrible memories of Hurricane Katrina which devastated Louisiana (and other states) on August 29, 2005!!
Elaine C. Hebert
***** Having evacuated from NO from Katrina we watched on live TV the aftermath of this horrific storm. Noting the storm was Aug 29 2005 the photo was taken probably after the flooded areas had the water subsided.
The X's on the homes was from the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Manual and indicates a day and time of inspection and includes the number rescued and the number of bodies found. Many homes were inspected by boat the first time and later reinspected to verify the foundings. Sadly New Orleans will never be the same. Three areas were badly flooded; Lakeview (which had nicer homes) Downtown which had almost no homes (Looting) and the Lower Ninth Ward (which had homes like the one pictured.
***** Sad to say, but there are still houses that carry these markings!!
Elaine C. Hebert
I have been in New Orleans several times. The last time was right after the Near Miss from Hurricane Ivan, just a year before Katrina. I had a conference to attend beginning Sunday Evening. On Sat I flew from Providence, RI to Greensboro NC to visit my elderly aunt. I didn't know whether I could reach NO or not. Fortunately by the time I arrived in Greensboro, I had confirmation that I could go on to NO late in the afternoon. Sunday was a gorgeous day in New Orleans, sunny, blue skies, low humidity. I spent most of the day in the french quarter. After Katrina I put some of my photos into a slide show with music, Missing New Orleans, sung by Louis Armstrong (the anniversary of his birth was last Thursday or Friday).
I will send you a link to the slideshow.
Right away I guessed major flood damage and New Orleans Hurricane Katrina of August 28th, 2005. Houses sprayed painted with X markings by search and rescue teams. Level of flood waters: pallet and blue tote on roof and displaced tiles on roof edges and missing gutter metal on white house roof.
Okay March, 2006 when demolition ordered to begin. Plant growth rate higher in Deep South. Similar situation with 1948 Vanport Flood: faulty levee system, Army Corps of Engineers, high waters, low lying areas, slowness of government officials to help out or to admit to mistakes.
Likely Texas due to the type of roof (has those red tiles), can not be tornado devastation or the trees would be pretty much stripped more thoroughly and roofs gone. Has to be near hurricane-paths and not in flood area. This photo is likely 2-3 months after the storm due to growth of weeds and crabgrass.
W. David Samuelson
1. In the Lower Ninth Ward, in New Orleans, LA
2. The house has been inspected by a FEMA team looking for survivors and victims of Hurrican Katrina.
3. September 16, 2005, although the size of the weeds indicates it has been abandoned by several months. The actual date the photo was taken is April 25, 2006.
Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest and most destructive Atlantic tropical cyclone of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall. At least 1,833 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making it the deadliest US hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane; total property damage was estimated at $81 billion (2005 USD), nearly triple the damage brought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005 and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane, causing some deaths and flooding there before strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane over the warm Gulf water, but weakened before making its second landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on the morning of Monday, August 29 in southeast Louisiana. It caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge. The most significant number of deaths occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, which flooded as the levee system catastrophically failed, in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland. Eventually 80% of the city and large tracts of neighboring parishes became flooded, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks. However, the worst property damage occurred in coastal areas, such as all Mississippi beachfront towns, which were flooded over 90% in hours, as boats and casino barges rammed buildings, pushing cars and houses inland, with waters reaching 6–12 miles (10–19 km) from the beach.
The hurricane surge protection failures in New Orleans are considered the worst civil engineering disasters in U.S. history
and prompted a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the designers and builders of the levee system as mandated by the Flood Control Act of 1965. Responsibility for the failures and flooding was laid squarely on the Army Corps in January 2008 by Judge Stanwood Duval, U.S. District Court, but the federal agency could not be held financially liable due to sovereign immunity in the Flood Control Act of 1928. There was also an investigation of the responses from federal, state and local governments, resulting in the resignation of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director Michael D. Brown, and of New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Superintendent Eddie Compass.
Several agencies including the United States Coast Guard (USCG), National Hurricane Center (NHC), and National Weather Service (NWS) were commended for their actions. They provided accurate hurricane weather tracking forecasts with sufficient lead time.
By August 26, the possibility of unprecedented cataclysm was already being considered. Many of the computer models had shifted the potential path of Katrina 150
miles (240 km) westward from the Florida Panhandle, putting the city of New Orleans directly in the center of their track probabilities; the chances of a direct hit were forecast at 17%, with strike probability rising to 29% by August 28. This scenario was considered a potential catastrophe because some parts of New Orleans and the metro area are below sea level. Since the storm surge produced by the hurricane's right-front
West End Blvd near the Quizmaster General's family home in New Orleans.
out of the photo to the left, with the western end of I-610, which extends off the photo from the center right, and the West End entrance/exit from I-10.
The block shaped building at center left front is a pumping station, one of those used to pump water from heavy rains off city streets in more normal times.
The far eastern end of Veterans Memorial Boulevard is seen just back from the interchange extending to the left.
The view looks north toward Lake Pontchartrain. The stretch of ground with no buildings from the Interchange to the lake is Pontchartrain Blvd. (on the left) and West End Blvd. (on the right), with a linear park (formerly the route of the New Basin Canal) between them. Smoke can be seen rising near the lake, probably from the burning of the Southern Yacht Club building.
This photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows flooded roadways as the Coast Guard conducted initial Hurricane Katrina damage assessment overflights of New Orleans, Monday Aug. 29, 2005.
This image was selected as picture of the day on the English Wikipedia for August 29, 2008.
every levee in metro New Orleans was breached as Hurricane Katrina passed just east of the city limits. Failures occurred in New Orleans and surrounding communities, especially St. Bernard Parish. The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MR-GO) breached its levees in approximately 20 places, flooding much of east New Orleans, most of Saint Bernard Parish and the East Bank of Plaquemines Parish. The major levee breaches in the city included breaches at the 17th Street Canal levee, the London Avenue Canal, and the wide, navigable Industrial Canal, which left approximately 80% of the city flooded.
Most of the major roads traveling into and out of the city were damaged. The only routes out of the city were the westbound Crescent City Connection and the Huey P. Long Bridge, as large portions of the I-10 Twin Span Bridge traveling eastbound towards Slidell, Louisiana had collapsed. Both the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and the Crescent City Connection only carried emergency traffic.
On August 29, at 7:40 am CDT, it was reported that most of the windows on the north side of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans had been blown out, and many other high rise buildings had extensive window damage. The Hyatt was the most severely damaged hotel in the city, with beds reported to be flying out of the windows. Insulation tubes were exposed as the hotel's glass exterior was completely sheared off.
The Superdome, which was sheltering many people who had not evacuated, sustained significant damage. Two sections of the Superdome's roof were compromised and the dome's waterproof membrane had essentially been peeled off. Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport was closed before the storm but did not flood. On August 30, it was reopened to humanitarian and rescue operations. Limited commercial passenger service resumed at the airport on September 13 and regular carrier operations
they were draining the city. It stained the brick.
Copyright Colleen Fitzpatrick
resumed in early October.
Levee breaches in New Orleans also caused a significant amount of deaths, with over 700 bodies recovered in New Orleans by October 23, 2005. Some survivors and evacuees reported seeing dead bodies lying in city streets and floating in still-flooded sections, especially in the east of the city. the advanced state of decomposition of many corpses, some of which were left in the water or sun for days before being collected, hindered
The first deaths reported from the city were reported shortly before midnight on August 28, as three nursing home patients died during an evacuation to Baton Rouge, most likely from dehydration. While there were also early reports of fatalities amid mayhem at the Superdome, only six deaths were confirmed there, with four of these originating from natural causes, one from a drug overdose, and one a suicide. At the Convention Center, four bodies were recovered. One of the four is believed to be the result of a homicide.
There is evidence that many prisoners were abandoned in their cells during the storm, while the guards sought shelter. Hundreds of prisoners were later registered as "unaccounted for".
A June 2007 report released by the American Society of Civil Engineers states that the failures of the locally built and federally funded levees in New Orleans were found to be primarily the result of system design flaws. The US Army Corps of Engineers who by federal mandate is responsible for the conception, design and construction of the region's flood-control system failed to pay sufficient attention to public safety.
According to modeling and field observations by a team from Louisiana State
University, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), a 200-meter-wide (660-foot-wide) canal designed to provide a shortcut from New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico, helped provide a funnel for the storm surge, making it 20% higher and 100%-200% faster as it crashed into the city. St. Bernard Parish, one of the more devastated areas, lies just south of the MRGO. The Corps of Engineers disputes this causality and maintains Katrina would have overwhelmed the levees with or without the contributing effect of the
MRGO. The water flowing west from the storm surge was perpendicular to MRGO, and thus the canal had a negligible effect.
There was unfounded speculation made by residents concerning a possible planned levee breach. Many references are made to the 1927 flood in which a levee was breached south of New Orleans in order to divert floodwater to the Gulf of Mexico. Recently,[when?] the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nature Conservancy have developed a floodplain reconnection project in which the Ouachita River would be connected to its floodplain and the Gulf of Mexico. A breach in the levee[vague] caused the water level downstream to drop six inches (152 mm) in a previous event in the early 1990s. Both cases show the many benefits of allowing the river to run its course.[improper synthesis?]
On April 5, 2006, months after independent investigators had demonstrated that levee failures were not caused by natural forces beyond intended design strength, Lieutenant General Carl Strock, Chief of Engineers and Commander of the Corps of Engineers, testified before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Water that "We have now concluded we had problems with the design of the structure." He also testified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not know of this mechanism of failure prior to August 29, 2005. The claim of ignorance is refuted, however, by the National Science Foundation investigators hired by the Corps of Engineers, who point to a 1986 study by the Corps itself that such separations were possible in the I-wall design.
Many of the levees have been reconstructed since the time of Katrina. In reconstructing them, precautions were taken to bring the levees up to modern building code standards and to ensure their safety. For example, in every situation possible, the Corps of Engineers replaced I-walls with T-walls. T-walls have a horizontal concrete base that protects against soil erosion underneath the floodwalls.
However, there are funding battles over the remaining levee improvements. In February 2008, the Bush administration requested that the state of Louisiana pay about $1.5
Floodwaters pour through a levee along Inner Harbor Navigational Canal near downtown New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2005, a day after Katrina passed through the city. www.gbooza.com/photo..
billion of an estimated $7.2 billion for Corps of Engineers level work (in accordance with the principles of local cost sharing required by Congress as early as the Flood Control Act of 1928), a proposal which angered many Louisiana leaders.
On May 2, 2008, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal used a speech to The National Press Club to request that President Bush free up money to complete work on Louisiana's levees. Bush promised to include the levee funding in his 2009 budget, but rejected the idea of including the funding in a war bill, which would pass sooner.