15 May 2006

That Hurricane on the 29th . . .

Stumbled upon this:

In view of the very great severity of the hurricane of the 29th ultimo, and of the unprecedented succession of subsequent rainfalls and their intensity, it is safe to say that no city anywhere in the world could have withstood these conditions with less damage and less inconvenience than has New Orleans, and the feeling on the part of those in the most responsible positions in the Sewerage and Water Board service is entirely one of gratitude and satisfaction that the city as a whole and the Board's service have all escaped with only a little inconvenience and a relatively insignificant amount of minor damage, which soon can be fully restored.

Unfortunately, the above statement has nothing to do with the hurricane and flooding of 29 August 2005. Instead its taken from the report of George G. Earl, General Superintendent of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board following the 29 September 1915 Hurricane which passed 20 miles west of the city. Overwhelming quantities of rain, sustained winds of eighty miles per hour and more, failed pumping stations, over-topped levees by a surging Lake Pontchartrain and Inner Harbor Canal, the complete annihilation of St. Bernard and Lower Plaquemines Parishes . . . Sadly, the usual stuff--repeated in 1965 and 2005.

The Report entitled "The Hurricane of Sept. 29th, 1915 and Subsequent Heavy Rainfalls" is a fantastic read and can be found here.

Reports from the Times-Picayune in the days following the 1915 storm can be seen here.

TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, 1915 Hurricane, Levee


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