Mandatory evacuation declared in New Orleans, US

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Mandatory evacuation


Katrina's Projected Path as of 14:59 UTC on August 28, 2005.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

With Hurricane Katrina likely to strike the city of New Orleans, its mayor, along with the governor of Louisiana, has officially enforced a mandatory evacuation for the city. All citizens, with the exception of a few individuals essential to the operation of a handful of organizations (such as hotels and the media), should immediately leave the city and head for higher ground. The mayor has stated that rising waters from the Category 5 storm are likely to overtake the city's system of levees, which are designed to prevent flooding in the city. Later predictions by NOAA downgraded the hurricane to a strong Category 4 at the time of landfall.

Maximum sustained winds are reported at 175 mph (78 m/s). Of great concern to New Orleans officials is the predicted coastal storm surge of 18 to 22 feet above normal tide levels. Destruction from flooding is expected since the city is situated below sea level.

Traffic within the city is completely gridlocked. The governor has advised citizens heading west to take Highway 90 instead of I-10, which is gridlocked. If they cannot evacuate heading north, they should head eastward first, where traffic is lighter.

The mayor has also opened the Superdome as a shelter for those with special medical needs or are otherwise unable to evacuate. However, he said it is likely to lose power and plumbing as the storm moves in. At noon, it becomes a shelter of "last resort." It will have few resources, though, and people should bring their own food and other necessary items. He also said that RTA buses will be picking up people at the following shelters designated as pickup points.

  • Martin Luther King Elementary.
  • William Franz Elementary.
  • Warren Easton High School.
  • Israel Augustine School.
  • McMain Magnet School.
  • Sylvanie Williams Elementary School.
  • Rabouin School.
  • Arthur Mondy in Algiers.
  • O. Perry Walker High School.
  • Abramson High School.
  • Sara T. Reed School

For maps of routes, visit

For state evacuation information, call 1.800.469.4828

"Devastating damage" expected

A bulletin issued by NOAA on 28 August 2005, 1101 AM CDT warns that the New Orleans area will experience "Devastating Damage".

"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."

"Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards."

The same bulletin also warns that the entire area will remain uninhabitable for "weeks...or longer" and that power outages will last for weeks.