1 Million Homeless...Can They Come Live With You?



http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050828/ap_on_re_us/katrina_the_big_one_1


When Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans on Monday, it could turn one of
America's most charming cities into a vast cesspool tainted with toxic
chemicals, human waste and even coffins released by floodwaters from
the city's legendary cemeteries.

Experts have warned for years that the levees and pumps that usually
keep New Orleans dry have no chance against a direct hit by a Category
5 storm.

That's exactly what Katrina was as it churned toward the city. With top
winds of 165 mph and the power to lift sea level by as much as 28 feet
above normal, the storm threatened an environmental disaster of
biblical proportions, one that could leave more than 1 million people
homeless.

"All indications are that this is absolutely worst-case scenario," Ivor
van Heerden, deputy director of the Louisiana State University
Hurricane Center, said Sunday afternoon.

The center's latest computer simulations indicate that by Tuesday, vast
swaths of New Orleans could be under water up to 30 feet deep. In the
French Quarter, the water could reach 20 feet, easily submerging the
district's iconic cast-iron balconies and bars.

Estimates predict that 60 percent to 80 percent of the city's houses
will be destroyed by wind. With the flood damage, most of the people
who live in and around New Orleans could be homeless.

"We're talking about in essence having - in the continental United
States - having a refugee camp of a million people," van Heerden
said.

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