News / USA

Officials Say New Orleans is Better Protected This Time Around

Officials Say New Orleans is Better Protected This Time Aroundi
|| 0:00:00
X
August 28, 2012
Hurricane Isaac is churning through the Gulf of Mexico, reminding residents of the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina almost seven years ago. That storm was one of the worst in U.S. history, killing more than 1,800 people, wrecking hundreds of thousands of homes and tripling unemployment in the area. VOA’s Jim Randle examines whether the country is better prepared this time.

Officials Say New Orleans is Better Protected This Time Around

TEXT SIZE - +
Hurricane Isaac is churning through the Gulf of Mexico, reminding residents of the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina almost  seven years ago. That storm was one of the worst in U.S. history, killing more than 1,800 people, wrecking hundreds of thousands of homes and tripling unemployment in the area.

Seven years ago, Hurricane Katrina hammered the U.S. Gulf Coast with a storm surge eight and a half meters high and winds that blew apart buildings.

The storm overwhelmed the levees that were supposed to protect the city of New Orleans.

With that experience in mind, residents and officials are focusing on satellite and radar images that show Hurricane Isaac headed for the same area.

Residents of low-lying areas are being urged to flee to higher ground, and everyone has been instructed to board up windows and stock up on food, water and flashlights.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says residents need to heed the lessons of Katrina. He says the city is ready.  

“We are staged, battle ready, we are in battle rhythm, we are prepared to handle what comes our way,” Landrieu said.

Since Katrina, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has spent billions of dollars to strengthen New Orleans against flooding. While parts of the project are unfinished,  the Corps says the city has its strongest-ever defense against floods.    

The American Insurance Association says Katrina showed stronger buildings save lives. The industry has been urging states and cities to pass rules requiring strong building materials and techniques that help homes resist wind and water.  The AIA’s Jim Whittle says homes built with stronger materials and better construction techniques are more likely to survive.  

“The roof stays on, the doors stay in position. The windows stay in position,  Any time you have some breech within the envelope of  the building, that could create a pressurization issue that can result in destruction of the home,” Whittle said.

In the floods after Katrina, the U.S. Coast Guard struggled to rescue people stranded on rooftops and elsewhere, using aircraft and boats.

Facts About Hurricane Katrina

  • Slammed into New Orleans on August 29, 2005 as a Category 3 hurricane
  • 'Katrina' had sustained winds of 201 kilometers an hour when it came ashore
  • 80-percent of New Orleans flooded after its protective levees were breached
  • 1,800 people were killed
  • More than 1,000,000 residents were forced from their homes
  • US Army Corps of Engineers was given about $14 billion to improve levees and flood walls in New Orleans area
Coast Guard Captain Ed Cubanski says the Coast Guard has moved personnel and equipment out of the direct path of the storm.  

“We have assets to the West and the East, and, depending on which directions the storm goes, we can mobilize on the backside to assess what needs to be done, and then we will have the assets to follow in and do the rescues,” Cubanski said.

Cubanski says Katrina showed the need for better coordination between national and local officials and drills to prepare for emergencies.

Katrina also reminded politicians in Washington and elsewhere that they need to make emergency services a priority, even in a time of tight budgets.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid