posted on Sep, 14 2004 @ 07:33 PM
I was born and raised in New Orleans........grew to adulthood there and went through Betsy in 1965..........scary storm to an 8 year old. Camille in
1969 was even worse. It hit the Mississippi coast 90 miles away and we were still getting hurricane force winds in NO. We lost power that night, but
got it back mid-morning the next day (after Betsy the city had no electricity for more than 2 weeks....in a heat wave with long lines, but
surprisingly equally long tempers, for ice). The helicopter footage on TV was mind-blowing........the entire area between Gulfport and Biloxi had been
obliterated. Dead and rotting bodies were festooned from the leafless trees that had somehow not been uprooted by the storm.
The highest points in the city are 12 - 16 feet above sea level and are close to the river. In fact, that site was chosen because it was the first
suitable dry ground when travelling up the Mississippi river upon which to build a city when it was founded in 1718. In other words, even though the
average elevation for the metro area in general may be 9 - 10 feet below sea level (actually, if memory serves me right, the average is more like 6
feet below MSL), most of the older, historic parts of the city are high enough to avoid catastrophe.
This may be small comfort to suburbanites in Jefferson and St. Bernard whose homes may be laid waste and where those who choose to remain may not
survive the storm if its track carries it on a "worst case scenario" course, but the city core (which includes the French Quarter and Bourbon Street
for all you selfish hedonists) should survive OK, albeit with whatever wind and street flooding damage might occur.
As I write this, the projected track takes Ivan straight into Mobile Bay, which would spare New Orleans but devastate Mobile. My prayers and thoughts
are with everyone who will be affected by this storm.