With Gustav heading slightly to the west of NOLA, this time they are on the dirty side of the storm. The storm surge from a Cat4 will be catastrophic, and in this case will push gazillions of gallons of water into Lake Ponchartrain, which will not be able to contain it all. The flood control systems are designed to spill water from the Mississippi River, across Lake Ponchartrain, into the Morganza spillway and out into the Gulf of Mexico. But because this storm will be pushing water up from the south, the Morganza will already be full and won't be able to absorb the flood from Ponchartrain. As water is pushed into Ponchartrain, is will also push water back into the Mississippi and Lake Borne, putting stress on the levees, which won't be completely reinforced until 2010. If this storm were to happen in 2012, the city would fare much better, but because the levee improvement work is so time consuming, it's far from complete. All the breaches from Katrina are repaired, and many of the weakest spots identified in her aftermath are fixed, but there are still miles and miles of levee we now know can be made stronger, and have just not been able to get the work done yet.
It's gonna be bad. Really bad. Hate to be a downer, but I want to make sure people all over the country know that New Orleans REALLY will need our prayers and support again, and they need and deserve our assistance after this storm is over! The last time they were not prepared to help themselves. They learned their lesson and executed their plan of action beautifully this time. They will spare many lives that would have been lost without the lessons learned last time. But the property damage will be enormous, and the damage to their souls and spirits will be even bigger. Now is the time for human compassion like we have never poured it out before! Please help me spread the word!
I hope you'll join me and Ginger in praying for those in the path of the storm, and hoping that New Orleans does not encounter a worst-case scenario. <fingers crossed>
Spread the word!