Note the date of this article at the bottom.
Creepy isn't it? That it's so accurate.
By Joel K. Bourne, Jr.
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 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level―more than
eight feet below in places―so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall
washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard
houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the
Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on
Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25
feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs
to escape it.
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 Big
Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people
were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster
in the history of the United States.
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 New Orleans as one of the most dire
threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California
or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer
opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers
is too great.
From National Geographic, October 2004