“…human suffering incredible by modern standards.”

Below is the warning sent out by the National Weather Service a day before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

I’m not sure how they could have made it any clearer that the storm would be so severe that a massive federal response would be required.


URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
NEW ORLEANS LA
1011 AM
CDT SUN AUG 28 2005
 

...DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED...
 

.HURRICANE KATRINA...A MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED
STRENGTH...RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969.
 

MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS...PERHAPS LONGER. AT
LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL
FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL...LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY
DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
 


THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL. PARTIAL
TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD FRAMED LOW
RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE BLOCK LOW RISE
APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE...INCLUDING SOME WALL AND ROOF
FAILURE.
 

HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY...A FEW
TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.
 

AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD...AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS
HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND
LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE ADDITIONAL
DESTRUCTION. PERSONS...PETS...AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL
FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.
 

POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS...AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND
TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING
INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.
 

THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY THE
HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING...BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW CROPS
WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BE KILLED.
 

AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR
HURRICANE FORCE...OR FREQUENT GUSTS AT OR ABOVE HURRICANE FORCE...ARE
CERTAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.
 

ONCE TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ONSET...DO NOT VENTURE
OUTSIDE!

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