Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Past predictions

I received a link to this very interesting article today in an e-mail. It is a paper that was written last year by Shirley Laska from the Center for Hazards Assessment at the University of New Orleans, and is an assessment of the evacuation of New Orleans during hurricane Ivan in September last year, along with the implications for the city had Ivan hit New Orleans rather than veering away as it did.

Some notable points, worth keeping in mind as the recriminations over Katrina fly back and forth (all emphasis added):

Evacuation challenges

Residents who did not have personal transportation were unable to evacuate even if they wanted to. Approximately 120,000 residents (51,000 housing units x 2.4 persons/unit) do not have cars. A proposal made after the evacuation for Hurricane Georges to use public transit buses to assist in their evacuation out of the city was not implemented for Ivan. If Ivan had struck New Orleans directly it is estimated that 40-60,000 residents of the area would have perished

To the Rescue

If a hurricane of a magnitude similar to Ivan does strike New Orleans, the challenges surrounding rescue efforts for those who have not evacuated will be different from other coastal areas….Regional and national rescue resources would have to respond as rapidly as possible and would require augmentation by local private vessels (assuming some survived). And, even with this help, federal and state governments have estimated that it would take 10 days to rescue all those stranded within the city…

Accepting the reality

Should this disaster become a reality, it would undoubtedly be one of the greatest disasters, if not the greatest, to hit the United States, with estimated costs exceeding 100 billion dollars. According to the American Red Cross, such an event could be even more devastating than a major earthquake in California. Survivors would have to endure conditions never before experienced in a North American disaster.

And so they have.


Anonymous paul reynolds said...


Thank you for your comments.

I do not seek praise thoughc because I simply try to do what I have always done -- try to pick my way through an issue without losing my balance.

with regards

Paul Reynolds

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

There were several predictions like this, particularly from those who knew what the flood walls could withstand, and the need to either strengthen them, or strengthen the whole flood control system. Each one saw a devastating cost to property and lives when the next super-storm hit. They turned out to be very true. Too bad they weren't listened to by enough people who were in a position to help make the improvements happen.

12:37 AM  

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