These Are the Cities Most Vulnerable to the Next Katrina

Trying to attach the hurricane risks to climate change traps thinking in the wrong place. Look, there is going to be another big hurricane. It has nothing to do with climate change, man made or otherwise. Large cyclones develop from the heat near the equator and travel west. This has been happening long before humans came along and it isn’t going to stop. the real problem is that far too many people may be lulled into complacency and believe that climate mitigation would stop the problem and be totally unprepared when the next big one hits. And it will.


Where should we expect the next Hurricane Katrina to hit? Despite 10 years of work and some $15 billion in investment in disaster preparedness, experts say we may still want to look to New Orleans.

Identifying the places facing the most serious risk of a devastating hurricane requires a two-pronged approach: figuring out where the next big storm is likely to strike and determining how well those locations have prepared.

In Louisiana, federal dollars have funded the creation of a 133-mile levee system designed to protect the city from a once in 100-year storm. (That means, there’s a 1% chance that a storm of that size will occur on any given year.) As a storm approaches, officials can close off 220-ton gates and activate pumps that remove rainwater from the city’s sewage system. The pumps—the world’s largest—could fill the Superdome with water in 90 seconds.

At a cost of nearly…

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