Photo du Jour: Plaquemines Parish, 7 October 2005
Debris and boats in Buras.
The damage sustained in Lower Plaquemines Parish and St. Bernard Parish more resembles the Mississippi Gulf Coast destruction than the damage within the City of New Orleans. As the storm passed those coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Borgne, and Breton, Chandeleur, and Mississippi Sounds, a tremendous surge of water (a tidal wave) came ashore and quickly engulfed the land, but then receeded back to the sea. In the case of New Orleans, as the storm passed the waters in Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) surged as well, but the water was initially kept out of the urban areas by the levee system. By Tuesday morning, the water was able to get past the levee system at particular locations (thats all it takes) and inundate 80% of the city. The destruction seen below New Orleans and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is more dramatic in that buildings are moved around or reduced to rubble because of the sheer power of the storm surge. In New Orleans with exception to the areas adjacent to the breaches (and the Lower 9th Ward) most of the buildings impacted by the floodwaters are for the most part intact (with exception to some with roof, wind, or tree damage), they just are ruined because they sat in water for up to three weeks in some cases. And then there is the pumping station decision made by AB2 in Jefferson Parish . . .