Sunday, September 11, 2005

Drained but not defeated

The Times-Picayune/ report that the city is draining faster than expected and could be largley dry in weeks, not months.
The Army Corps of Engineers offered more specific predictions Saturday. Current projections are that the "primary flooded areas" of Orleans Parish will be dry by Oct. 2, said Dan Hitchings, a director in the corps' Mississippi Valley division. More heavily flooded eastern New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish are expected to be dry by Oct. 8, and Plaquemines Parish by Oct. 18, or about 40 days sooner than initial projections.
Among the signs of progress: Near City Hall, Poydras Street -- which had been under about 3 feet of water -- is dry. Uptown, the water along Carrollton Avenue has receded almost to the Interstate 10 overpass, a drop of at least 3 feet. Parts of the Lower 9th Ward near the river, including blocks of Tricou Street, are drained almost completely, with as much as 5 feet of water receded in some places, leaving behind a crusted, brown sludge.
"Pumps are constantly coming on line," said Marcia St. Martin, the water board's executive director.
By early Saturday, more than 16 of the city's 75 major pumps were working. She was unable to say how much of the city was still under water. Eighty percent of the city was under water at the height of the flooding.

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