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

In the foreground, the intersection is
the juncture of I-10, running from
the bottom of the photo and curving
Hurricane Katrina
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Quiz #402 Results
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Answer to Quiz #402 - June 30, 2013
1. Where was this house located?
2.  What do the X's on the front mean?
3.  What is the earliest date this picture could have been taken?
Congratulations to Our Winners!

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.
Carol Farrant
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.
Barbara Cangiamilla
BING search found explanation at this URL
Tom Collins
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
Jim Kiser
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.
Tom Collins
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.
Mike Dalton
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.
Path of storm.
Satellite view of landfall.
For an animation, see
Infrared image of landfall.
For an animation, see
Hurricane Katrina
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
efforts by coroners to identify many of the dead.

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

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.
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

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.