New Orleans Evacuating for Hurricane Ivan

Closed schools, evacuations in Louisiana (UPI)

A voluntary evacuation was under way in New Orleans, but a mandatory order may be issued when the track of the Category 4 hurricane is better known. Workers were ready to close floodgates protecting the city that sits about 5 feet below sea level. Forty years ago Hurricane Betsy left the city under 7 feet of water. Lt. Kevin Cowan of the Louisiana National Guard said mandatory evacuations were ordered in Plaquemines and St. Charles parishes. Voluntary evacuations were in place for four other parishes, including two in New Orleans. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin warned residents about the dangerous storm and urged voluntary evacuations. Many schools were closed in the area so families could make preparations.

Ivan Heads Into Gulf; Florida, New Orleans Threatened (Bloomberg)

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has prepared for a possible hit on New Orleans, Director Michael Brown said. “For the first time ever in the history of the organization, we started doing catastrophic planning, and New Orleans was the first place we did that kind of planning,” Brown said in an interview. “We’re pretty prepared right now if a catastrophic disaster does strike the city of New Orleans.” Terry Tullier, the director of New Orleans’s office of emergency preparedness, said experts have estimated it would take as long as 72 hours to evacuate the city’s 1.2 million residents. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said residents should “seek higher ground,” the Associated Press reported.

New Orleans last suffered a direct hit from a hurricane in 1965 when Category 3 Betsy struck the city. Betsy caused damages of $1.42 billion unadjusted for inflation, according to the hurricane center.

via The Command Post

Meanwhile, Wizbang’s Paul is appealing for supernatural intervention, seeking a higher power rather than higher ground.

At any rate, it’s not fair. First the Saints, now this? How much can these people endure?

Update (9/15): Paul made it out and even managed to rescue the TiVo.

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He's a widower and father of two young daughers. He earned his PhD from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bryan says:

    I’m amazed that it’s only a voluntary evacuation, given how hard it is to get out of New Orleans, and the short amount of time before landfall. This could spell a major catastrophe.


  2. Rich says:

    FYI, your RSS feed has been
    broken for a while now


  3. BigFire says:

    Re: Rich

    Odd, it still works for me using Mozilla Firefox & Sage.


  4. Paul says:

    If ya read the post you’d know I was seeking both.


  5. Scott Harris says:

    Whoever is in the Big Easy better get out now. This storm has been tracking farther west than the experts have predicted since about 3 days ago. A slightly more westerly track scores a direct hit on New Orleans instead of Mobile Bay. Even without a direct hit, the damage looks to be extensive with hurricane force winds extending out 105 miles from the eye of the hurricane.