How to Find Out if Your New Orleans House Is Under Water, Part 2: We Really Need to Integrate Topo Maps and Known Water Depths into the System
Welcome, Forbes and BBC Readers

Escape Routes for Hurricane Victims

They're All Going to Visit Relatives?

Astrodome_fullCNN reports that the Astrodome is full and is not accepting any more refugees.

A reader asked a question a few minutes ago that seems to me a very important one: How can she help plot escape routes out of New Orleans given the information available on the Internet?

Could you direct me to a blog or outline a process whereby I might assist my sister and brother-in-law plan/plot a car route out of NOLA in the next few days?

They are on the "Esplanade Ridge", right below the Fairgrounds, and have not been flooded, thankfully.  I'm trying to keep an eye on the flood levels to be able to inform them from this end (New Jersey).

Which is the best satellite source for monitoring daily levels?

The first post-Katrina satellite maps came out only in the last day or so, so real-time satellite monitoring of flooding is probably out of the question. A really detailed topo map would help, but would work better in combination with access to recent satellite photos that would tip you off to missing infrastructure. I've heard that the water in the city moves with the tides, so tide charts would be helpful: cover lower-lying areas at low tide. Other ideas?

Living Next to the Levee
Also in my email this evening, I got this note and picture:

I just want to say thank-you for posting the Levee Break pictures.

In 1998 I was Director of Telecommunications for Entergy.  I rode out Hurricane Georges in the house located at 6812 Belaire Dr. NOLA.  In the attached picture you can see our backyard being the spot where the Levee broke at the 17th Street Canal.  The picture is oriented with East being the top.  There is either one or two houses complete gone just north of our house.  Directly across the levee is Bucktown to the west which looks now relatively dry, but was flooded during the storm based on other satellite photos.

Today on CNN, they were dropping sandbags directly in our backyard trying to fix the break.  The Levee has been completely built up since we left in 99. You see see the Levee wall is relatively new cement.

It is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with all of our friends in Nawlins.


And here is the picture that came with it:



Not the Rapture
To anyone from the Washington Post reading this, can you PLEASE can the moralizing in the photo captions of your otherwise excellent photo galleries?


How can you even consider publishing passages like People who had resisted early evacuation orders, including many elderly and infirm . . . ? Age, infirmity, and poverty are lifestyle choices? This is a natural disaster, not the Rapture.

9/5 UPDATE: Boingboing reports:

The Coast Guard has set up links on its Homeport website so that people can request a rescue for a specific missing or stranded person in the area affected by Katrina.

Wow. That's great. I hope the rescues actually take place if you request one. But that's a huge improvement on the previous situation.

Navigation aids

For those new to blogs, here are shortcuts to information about our collaborative maps project:

First of all, my Katrina archive contains all blog posts related to Katrina. The archive page is updated each time I make a new Katrina post, so it would be the best place to bookmark.  On the other hand, it contains many images, so on a dial-up connection it would be slow to load. Also, separately, I have an online album of Katrina map images, Katrina Floods New Orleans, 2005.

As of now, my individual Katrina posts related to maps are:

  1. New Orleans Levee Break(s) Before and After
  2. not too far from filling in the bowl
  3. NASA's First Katrina Before and After Comparison
  4. Google Earth Helps Place the Flow from a New Orleans Neighborhood into the Canal in Context
  5. DigitalGlobe's New Orleans Before and After Images Are Up
  6. How to Find Out if Your New Orleans House Is Under Water
  7. How to Find Out if Your New Orleans House Is Under Water, Part 2: We Really Need to Integrate Topo Maps and Known Water Depths into the System
  8. Escape Routes for Hurricane Victims
  9. Welcome, Forbes and BBC Readers
  10. Associated Press & Digital Globe Make Zoomable New Orleans Satellite Map Available
    Meanwhile, New Orleans Burns
  11. New Orleans: Notes from My Parents
  12. Welcome, New York Times Readers

Also, my sister, Karen Cramer Shea, has been guest-blogging for me while I was away over the weekend. Her posts are:

  1. Lost in Katrina
  2. Rebuilding New Orleans