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August 30, 2005

Posted by Patrick at 08:52 AM * 27 comments

Footage from yesterday from a helicopter over New Orleans, with local commentary. Needless to say, the flooding is worse today.

Comments on Images:
#1 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 09:02 AM:

Any tips on how to get Windows Media Player to run properly on Tiger?

I've gotten a few things to work (the CNN hourly roundup), but most dont'. With this clip, I get pnly sound and a black screen.

#2 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 09:13 AM:

And more profanity.

A couple friends of mine live in Metairie. They're not there now, thankfully, but I just saw the footage of the area their house is in.

#3 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 09:20 AM:

FWIW, I'm using Tiger (OS X 10.4.2), Safari 2.0.1, and Windows Media Player 9.0.0, and they're mostly playing nice together. That clip launched WMP and played painlessly, for me.

Sometimes I find that Firefox does a better job of playing video that's "inline" in web pages. Your mileage may, as always, vary.

#4 ::: Richard Parker ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 09:20 AM:

Kathryn, I successfully watched the video in Mac OS X 10.4.2 using Windows Media Player 9.

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 09:25 AM:

Tina: Up to the eaves?

#6 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 09:32 AM:

The problems with other aspects of Internt flow may be causing some of my problem. I just got a CNN one to work after a long delay.

#7 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 09:33 AM:

Katryn, I can't get half of the clips to play either. I'll try to upgrade.

#8 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 09:43 AM:

Looked like about 3-4 feet of water to me, but the video's kinda grainy, so I wasn't totally sure.

Of course, they have a sunken livingroom...

I wonder if they managed to get any of their stuff out.

#9 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 09:51 AM:

IIRC several of the projected storm tracks from this past weekend looked like Katrina was going to follow the Mississippi River upstream to the Ohio, then branch off thataway toward Pittsburgh for maximum drainage toward Nawlins. I haven't checked on the actual track since then, but certainly the water is going to keep coming for a while.

#10 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 09:53 AM:

I'm already at 9 for the Windows Media Player. The only thing left to upgrade is a tiny upgrade on Safari, and I can't get the Apple site to load. And I'm on a G5 w/ a fast cable connection, so my speed isn't the issue.

#11 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 10:49 AM:

Here's an image of the spot where the levee breached that I Flickr user posted, brought over from Google Earth.

#12 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 11:20 AM:

That can't be right--I thought they said the levee breached in Bucktown, near the Old Hammond Highway bridge? This pic shows the breach well south of I-10.

#13 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 11:29 AM:

In a different comment thread there is another link to an after pic of the break in the spot depicted. (I can't find the ML comment where I found thelink. Was it a comment by Lori Mann, perhaps?)

I've posted a before & after comparison here.

#14 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 11:53 AM:

Looking at Kathryn's pictures, the red-roofed building is vert prominent on the Google Earth imagery, by the north end of the canal. It's on the lake shore. In the background haze you can see the high-rise buildings of the city centre. And the trees and the buildings on the opposite side of the canal are good landmarks on Google Earth.

30d01m07s N 90d07m17s W

And that looks like a 200-foot breach, similar width to the canal.

#15 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 01:19 PM:

I think we're talking about two different breaches, sadly. The Google Earth diagram points out a different, much farther south area of the canal than the one in the photo Dave Bell posted a few posts down. The latter is the breach that Mayor Nagin is talking about, very close to the Lake shore.

#16 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 02:29 PM:


My work PC coughed up blood yesterday, and I'm using a Sun with the browser equivalent of a crystal radio, Netscape 4.73 on an old Sun.

I'm surprised it can handle pictures of any sort.

#17 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 02:40 PM:

There are 2 breaches. Harris has posted a corrrected photo. Also, the I-10 bridge is destroyed.

#18 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 03:51 PM:

I was just looking at some of the photos coming out of other areas. In Mobile, Alabama, an oil rig out in the water broke loose from its understructure and was blown inland, finally wedging itself under a bridge. In other Mobile photos, an entire residential block looks like a line of bulldozers came through and scraped everything down to the foundations.

#19 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 04:40 PM:

Try this one on for scale.

#20 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 07:38 PM:

Wow, Kathryn, that's pretty dramatic.

#21 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2005, 07:55 PM:

And in another shot of the same scene (see my blog post), it appears that the water is flowing from the houses into the canal. Why that could be is hard to grok.

#22 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 07:15 AM:

Kathryn: Tides? Storm surge backwash?

My thoughts are with the people & others affected by this - across what must be a huge area now. We can hope there may be some good consequences from all the destruction & suffering.

#23 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 08:30 AM:

If it's got to the point where tidal effects are reversing the flow, they have a chance to block the breach at slack water. But to do it, they'll have to give the operation a cast-iron 100% priority; no diversion of helicopters for rescue.

#24 ::: Jackie ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 12:36 PM:

Good Lord, what happens when a half million people can't go home? Where do they go? Their homes are gone, many of them are very poor, and they probably don't have insurance. They've lost everything, including their jobs. Desk jobs, computer jobs, service jobs, tourism jobs, University jobs, the clerks, the janitors, the middle-managers, the small business owners. Eventually even the nurses, doctors, police officers and emergency service personnel. Everybody's paycheck just disappeared, so they can't even pay the hotel bill or move into an apartment, and suddenly the rest of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas have to absorb 485,000 homeless, unemployed people.

This sort of thing hasn't happened in America in a long time. The closest I can think of is the Chicago fires. Except in Chicago, people could still say: "we will rebuild this goddamn town. We will start over on the smoldering ruins." You can't rebuild when the ruins are under 6 feet of water. So it's a real refugee situation.

#25 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 12:50 PM:

It's entirely possible they can't rebuild at all.

(Well, ok, without building a multi-square-mile elevated mound on the present site.)

If the current administration were halfway able to find their asses with both hands sewn into the back pockets of their pants, they'd be making the public question of where the new city goes -- can the historic site be saved?, etc. -- and how it's going to be paid for front and center in the national dialog.

That would violate the neocon rule about never doing anything that benefits anyone who isn't you, so I don't expect anything like that to happen, but it's some of what's needed.

#26 ::: Jackie ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 08:31 PM:

I'm sorry, I meant "a million or two homeless, suddenly unemployed people."

Yeah, Graydon, you're right. There is the distinct possibility that they can't rebuild at all on the present site of the city. Also the distinct possibility that even if they do, this will all get replayed verbatim in another year. Or two. Or... maybe even in the next two months, before they've even finished patching the levees, because this hurricane season isn't over yet.

#27 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 09:28 PM:

Here is a NASA simulation (via Washington Post) of the effects of rising flood waters in New Orleans. Jeezus.

And on the idea of replacing New Orleans, rather than rebuilding it, I did some brainstorming on that in my own blog earlier today.

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