Hurricane Katrina: Disaster Predicted
A disaster like Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast of the United States on August 29, 2005, had long been predicted.
In "Drowning New Orleans" Mark Fischetti wrote in the October 2001 Scientific American:
- "A major hurricane could swamp New Orleans under 20 feet of water, killing thousands. Human activities along the Mississippi River have dramatically increased the risk, and now only massive reengineering of southeastern Louisiana can save the city"
On December 1, 2001, Science Writer Eric Berger wrote in the December 1, 2001, Houston Chronicle:
- "New Orleans is sinking. And its main buffer from a hurricane, the protective Mississippi River delta, is quickly eroding away, leaving the historic city perilously close to disaster. So vulnerable, in fact, that earlier this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters facing this country. The other two? A massive earthquake in San Francisco, and, almost prophetically, a terrorist attack on New York City. The New Orleans hurricane scenario may be the deadliest of all. In the face of an approaching storm, scientists say, the city's less-than-adequate evacuation routes would strand 250,000 people or more, and probably kill one of 10 left behind as the city drowned under 20 feet of water. Thousands of refugees could land in Houston. Economically, the toll would be shattering." (emphasis added)
The Times-Picayune June 23-27, 2002, Five-Part Series "Washing Away," said:
- "It's only a matter of time before South Louisiana takes a direct hit from a major hurricane. Billions have been spent to protect us, but we grow more vulnerable every day."
Joel K. Bourne, Jr., predicted in the October 2004 National Geographic article "Gone with the Water":
- "Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. When did this calamity happen? It hasn't—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched."
- "The Louisiana bayou, hardest working marsh in America, is in big trouble—with dire consequences for residents, the nearby city of New Orleans, and seafood lovers everywhere."
Diagrams & Maps
- "Would New Orleans Really Flood in a Major Hurricane? How is that possible?" Public Health (LSU), undated.
Articles & Commentary
- "City in a Bowl," PBS NOW, September 20, 2002.
- Sidney Blumenthal, "No One Can Say they Didn't See it Coming," Der Spiegel, August 31, 2005.
- Mark Fischetti and John McQuaid, "The Drowning of New Orleans: Hurricane Devastation Was Predicted," Democracy Now!, September 1, 2005.
- "The Man-Made Disaster," New York Times, September 2, 2005.
- Maureen Dowd, "United States of Shame," New York Times, September 3, 2005.
- Chris Conrad, "Mapping out disaster. From flood levels to demographics, a Medford firm’s 1985 map of potential hurricane effects forecast Katrina with eerie accuracy," Mail Tribune (South Oregon), September 11, 2005.