Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

There are numerous places where blame for the Hurricane Katrina disaster can be placed. State and local elected and appointed officials and federal government officials should have ensured that Louisiana and other coastal states were prepared for a category four or five storm. The levees containing Lake Pontchartrain should have been reinforced. New Orleans should have had in place an evacuation plan, and that plan should have been implemented.

However, some measure of damage is unavoidable when a city is situated on the coast, is a mere eleven feet above sea level, and is below the water level of Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River (as the graphic below illustrates). “Major portions of the city of New Orleans are actually below sea level.” New Orleans was simply in a bad place.


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