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Registered: Nov 2003
Location: The Streets Of A New World Order

8- to 10-week timeline for recovery is now pushed back four weeks due to the delay

Entire Town Will Soon Be Totally Submerged
Nagin: Entire City Will Soon Be Underwater
Problems Escalate To 'Another Level'

POSTED: 10:02 pm CDT August 30, 2005
UPDATED: 11:01 pm CDT August 30, 2005

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is "very upset" that an attempt to fix the breach in the levee at the 17th Street canal has failed, and he said the challenges that the city is facing have "escalated to another level."

"The sandbagging that we had hoped would happen didn't materialize today, so the water continued to rise at that particular location," he said.

In an exclusive interview with WDSU anchor Norman Robinson, Nagin said the rising water has caused the generators to stop operating because the water got too high. Due to that, Nagin said he's been advised by the head technician at the sewage and water board that water in the east bank area of Orleans and Jefferson parishes will rise to levels equal to Lake Pontchartrain.

"It's going to rise to 3 feet above seal level. For example, St. Charles Avenue is 6 feet below sea level, there will most likely be 9 feet of water on St. Charles Avenue," Nagin said.

Also, if residents are in a part of city that is 10 feet below sea level, Nagin said the levels will probably rise to 13 feet of water.

He said the "bowl is now filling up" and the entire city will soon be underwater.

Nagin said the sandbagging was scheduled for midday, but the Blackhawk helicopters needed to help did not show up. He said the sandbags were ready and all the helicopter had to do was "show up." He said after his afternoon helicopter tour of the city, he was assured that officials had a plan and a timeline to drop the sandbags on the levee breach.

He said he was told that the helicopters may have been diverted to rescue about 1,000 people in a church, but he is still not sure who gave the order.

He advised people still trapped in New Orleans to evacuate to the west bank area if they can safely get there.

"If they can't, (they should) seek higher ground," the mayor said.

He said the water that is flowing out of the breach, which is about a 2-block breach at the 17th Street canal, will continue to flow "unimpeded at an accelerated level within 12 to 15 hours."

Nagin said the water will continue to rise overnight, making it very difficult for anyone to evacuate safely, including the thousands who have sought refuge in the Superdome.

"We're also shutting down City Hall because our generators will most likely get flooded, and that could be another challenge that the Superdome has," Nagin said.

He said right now, he doesn't have a solution for the estimated 15,000 evacuees in the Superdome.

The mayor said his 8- to 10-week timeline for recovery is now pushed back four weeks due to the delay in repairing the break.

Nagin also said that currently there is no martial law in the city of New Orleans, but he may order it on Wednesday.
Copyright 2005 by WDSU.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Old Post 08-31-2005 08:39 AM
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