posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 10:30 PM
from GLP/in April 2001
September 09, 2005
Nearly four years ago I listened to a presentation by Marc Levitan, director of LSU's Hurricane Center, at a meeting of the Houston chapter of the
American Meteorological Society. Using computer flooding models, he described the very scenario that has just played out in New Orleans. I decided to
write this story, which begins with a FEMA anecdote:
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
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 catastrophic disasters facing this country.
The other two? A massive earthquake in San Francisco, and, almost prophetically, a terrorist attack on New York City.
I asked Levitan yesterday if he remembers the FEMA bit, and he does. Levitan said he first heard it second-hand from Walter Maestri, director of
Emergency management in Jefferson Parish. Levitan said the Director of FEMA, Joe Allbaugh, told a group of New Orleans area emergency managers,
including Maestri, about the three likely catastrophes at the conclusion at a small meeting during the National Hurricane Conference in April, 2001.
Levitan said he heard the same thing from a FEMA speaker at conference later that summer.
Allbaugh's official remarks from the conference do not mention the scenarios.
zoom in and look at the date on this pic for FEMA