New Orleans is in an official state of emergency, thanks to 15 of its 120 pumps being offline (thanks to chronic underfunding) and a major storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico.
It's been 13 years since the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Since then, city officials has consistently misled the public about the city's readiness for major storms, and the mayor says the city's pumps have "never been fully operational."
In the absence of a plan to deal with heavy rains, the city has developed a Plan B: just evacuate.
Now, the New Orleans Advocate reports that officials are developing a plan to evacuate the city if more than a foot of rain is expected within a 24-hour period before repairs can be completed.
The good news is that the last time that kind of rain fell was 1995, so it's a pretty rare occurrence. The bad news: Evacuating on the forecast of a rainstorm would be unprecedented in city history. In fact, I can't recall ever hearing of such an evacuation anywhere in the world.
BACKUP PLANS [Eric Holthaus/Grist]
(via Naked Capitalism)