Monday, August 28, 2006

NOVA: Storm That Drowned a City

The PBS science documentary series "NOVA" has released "Storm That Drowned a City"; the program can be viewed online, and the web site features, among other things:...among others. From the transcript of the October 29, 2004 interview with Mr. van Heerden:
NOVA: If this region—New Orleans, the wetlands, and all—were a patient in the hospital, how would you describe them? At what stage are they?
VAN HEERDEN: Close to death.
NOVA: Really? Don't hold back.
VAN HEERDEN: (laughter) Thank you. Louisiana is a terminally ill patient requiring major surgery, a patient that if it was given a new heart and new lungs and a new liver would live. If it isn't, it's going to die. That's the equivalent. [...]

NOVA: Walk me through the worst-case scenario—if a hurricane hits New Orleans.
VAN HEERDEN: If we look at the case of a slow-moving Category 3 passing west of the city, the floodwaters push into Lake Pontchartrain, and then they push through some highly industrialized areas. As they pass through these areas, they pick up a lot of chemicals. Remember, the flooding is occurring at the same time as a lot of wind damage, a lot of things breaking and coming apart. So these highly contaminated waters then flow into the city.


Blogger eRobin said...

I'm reading Van Heerden's book now. I just don't have the time to do it justice but it's good. DETAILED!!! Lots of science that he manages to make understandable.

4:53 AM  
Blogger eRobin said...

P.S. I want to read The Great Deluge next.

4:54 AM  

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