New Orleans Avoids Total Destruction


It appears that the catastrophic flooding of New Orleans that everyone feared has been avoided. The US Army Corps of Engineers shows near real-time measurements of the levy system on the Mississippi at Here’s the latest graph (with record high level in red):

Click for full size graphic

It was suggested that the 8 foot mark on Lake Pontchartrain would be catastrophic. Among the levies on the Mississippi the peak levels appear to have been reached, as shown below.

Click for full size graphic

There’s still widespread flooding, and portions of the city are said to have 6 feet or more of floodwaters, but the possibility of the entire city vanishing under 30 feet of water seems to have been avoided by a last minute eastward shift of the eye of the hurricane by 55 miles. Of course now it’s just a horrific disaster, as opposed to an unprecedented one…

Katrina pounds Louisiana, Gulf Coast – [CNN]
La., Miss., Ala. feel Hurricane Katrina’s pain – [MSNBC]

Update: Perhaps the early optimism was, well, too optimistic

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