Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2005]
It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV "storm teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.
But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.
The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly
Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the
When did this calamity happen? It hasn't yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on
Origins: In the wake of any large-scale disaster, there is a desire to search for signs that could have foretold the calamity's coming, for warnings that had been missed or not heeded. We saw that immediately following the
The text quoted above, which has been circulated widely in
The complete article can be viewed on National Geographic's web site.
Scientific American published a similar article in October 2001.
Barbara "knew orleans" Mikkelson
Last updated: 4 September 2005
Bourne, Joel K.   "Gone with the Water."     National Geographic.   October 2004 (p. 92).     Fischetti, Mark.   "Drowning New Orleans."     Scientific American.   October 2001 (p. 92).