22 June 2006

[news] Katrina: The Times-Picayune Explains it All To You

Many people, myself included, had a hard time conceptualizing exactly how much of New Orleans was affected by the Katrina disaster last year. We of course had no trouble understanding the story of the photos, but most of us, I gather, have very little understanding about how much of the city was affected (to hear the news, the Lower 9th Ward was the only area that got hit).

The Times-Picayune, however, has done us all a service; an interactive flash graphic presentation that, through the use of maps and time, gives anyone a great idea of the sequence of events, how they contributed to the catastrophe, and exactly how much of the city was involved.

While NO is 100 river-miles from the Gulf, it must be remembered that the Mississippi is a very loopy river at this point, and you might have to go, for example 10 river miles to go 5 lateral miles (I'm just spitballing here to make the point).

And, while NO covers more land (345 sq. mi. vice 145 sq. mi), it also should be understood that the area of NO is coterminous with Orelans Parish, in the Oregon context, it would be as if the City of Portland extended from Sauvie Island to about Corbett. Significant areas of incorporated NO area include swamplands, tidal lands, and undeveloped lands.

What a most apropos comparison would be is population. Before Katrina, NO had a population of about 450,000 (a little more than 100,000 less than P-town). After the disaster, the city was all but completely depopulated, and even now, estimates of the city's population run between 195,000 and 225,000.

Magintudes in mind, then, go see the video, which is soon to be one of the most-linked-to out there.

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