Hurricane Preparedness For New Orleans

Hurricane Preparedness For New Orleans

Hurricane preparedness in New Orleans has been an issue since the city's early settlement because of the city's location.

New Orleans was built on a delta marsh. Unlike the first two centuries of its existence, today, a little less than half of the modern city sits below sea level. The city is surrounded by the Mississippi River to the south, Lake Pontchartrain to the north, and Lake Borgne to the east.

The parts of New Orleans and the surrounding communities first settled in the colonial era through the 19th century were and still are above sea level. However flooding was long a threat, from the periodic high waters of the Mississippi and more occasional severe storms which would push the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into settled areas. Construction of the levees along the River began soon after the city was founded, and more extensive river levees were built as the city grew. These earthen barriers were originally erected to prevent damage caused by seasonal flooding. On the lakeside, much of the land was undeveloped swamp and only small levees were constructed in the 19th century.

Read more about Hurricane Preparedness For New Orleans:  Colonial Era, 19th Century Hurricanes, Early 20th Century Hurricanes, Late 20th Century Hurricanes, 21st Century, Levee Preparations and Funding Issues, The Impact of Louisiana's Sinking Coast

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