|The cover from the 2012 re-release|
The following scene appears in the book, when the character Armand is telling Callie how Louisiana's marshland is disappearing and what sorts of problems that can lead to...
|The original cover, from 2004|
He said that according to his computer models, if a category-four hurricane with 130-mile-an-hour winds struck from the southwest at 10 miles per hour, the flood wall would be 27 feet high.
“The more the marsh recedes,” he said, “the worse that will be. I’m telling you, two million people would be in danger of flooding, including the entire city of New Orleans. The devastation would be biblical in its proportion.”
My eyes widened. “I had no idea."
Neither did a lot of people. But then, 1 year after that book was released, Hurricane Katrina came along, and we all saw just how prescient Armand's words had been.
Predicting the Future
Many readers of that book have written to ask how I could possibly have known what was going to happen. I tell them that I learned it from my research, that those facts hadn't been all that hard to dig up–and that almost every expert, scientist, and politician in the state of Louisiana had already known the dangers of the disappearing marshland and what effect it could have if they ignored the issue. Of course, knowing about a problem and doing something to fix it are two different matters.
Everyone talks about the faulty levees, but the lack of a significant marshland buffer was also a huge piece of the problem. And the complete inaction at both state and federal levels in the years prior to the event helped to make Hurricane Katrina–one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history–even more tragic than it had to be.
Have you ever been through a hurricane? Which one? Was there much damage? Would love to hear about your experience in the comments, below.