Vertical Evacuation

What happens when a Category 4 hurricane hits a city that’s eight feet below sea level?

“The city basically sits like a bowl and most of the city is under sea level … so if we get a storm like Ivan to hit us directly” there could be 12 to 18 feet of water in the city, [New Orleans Mayor] Ray Nagin said.

If people can’t get out of New Orleans, the mayor said, they should do a “vertical evacuation.” “Basically, go to hotels and high-rise buildings in the city,” Nagin explained.

Why did the French build the city below sea level in the first place?

“Hoh, hoh, Pierre, this looks like the place.”
“But Andre, the ground, she is all wet.”
“Yes, but two hundred years from now, it will be American ground!”
“Brilliant!”

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