We may have exhaled too soon on the New Orleans disaster possibilities. Late tonight/early this morning, a confused CNN anchor took a call from the VP of Tulane Medical Center who claimed that, now with the rains ceased, and after escaping the storm with literally no flooding, they were finally starting to see water rise at an alarming rate--an inch every 5 minutes. It could only mean one thing - a breach in the levee. Sure enough, if they had checked the Times-Picayune blog would have seen that it's true, and a big one. Water seems to be streaming into the one part of town that had escaped damage.
The effect of the breach was instantly devastating to residents who had survived the fiercest of Katrina’s winds and storm surge intact, only to be taken by surprise by the sudden deluge. And it added a vast swath of central New Orleans to those already flooded in eastern New Orleans, the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes.Beginning at midday?? And CNN is just confirming it in the early morning hours. As bad as the devastation in Mississippi was, Tuesday morning the story may be the intense flooding of New Orleans after all. It could be a slow developing version of the worst-case. Even if they know how to fix the 2-block breach, they likely can't get the equipment in place quickly.
Beginning at midday, Lakeview residents watched in horror as the water began to rise, pushed through the levee breach by still-strong residual winds from Katrina.