When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

29 August 2005

"Uninhabitable for weeks"

Hurricane Katrina is expected to make landfall around daybreak, and all indications are that it's headed straight for New Orleans.

Map shows Katrina's position late Sunday.

A sobering (okay, scary as hell) analysis from the National Weather Service on Sunday, as reported by the Times-Picayune:
NWS outlines grim forecast of devastion expected across area

The National Weather Service has issued a special statement outlining the damage that might be caused if Hurricane Katrina makes landfall as a strong Category 4 or Category 5 storm.

"Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer," says the statement. "At least one-half of well-constructed homes will have roof and wall failure. All gabled roofs will fail, leaving those homes severely damaged or destroyed."

The statement says the majority of industrial buildings will become "non-functional," with partial or complete wall and roof failure.

"All wood-framed low-rising apartments will sustain major damage, including some wall and roof failure," the statement said. "Concrete block low-rise apartments will sustain major damage, including some wall and roof failure."

The statement says high-rise office and apartment buildings will sway dangerously, "a few to the point of total collapse." And all their windows will blow out.

Airborne debris will be widespread, and may include heavy items " household appliances and light cars and trucks "and even sport utility vehicles and trucks will be moved.

"The blown debris will create additional destruction," the statement said. "Persons, pets and livestock exposed to the winds will face certain death if struck."

Power outages will last for weeks because most power poles will be down and transformers will be destroyed. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and even the heartiest, if they survive, will be stripped of all leaves.
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