It’s starting to get scary, folks:
Walter Maestri, an emergency manager in New Orleans, America’s most vulnerable metropolitan area, has 10,000 body bags ready in case a major hurricane hits. As Hurricane Ivan’s expected path shifted uncomfortably close to the low-lying urban soup bowl, Maestri said Tuesday he might need a lot more.
If a strong Category 4 storm such as Ivan made a direct hit, he warned, 50,000 people could drown, and the city could cease to exist.
“This could be The One,” Maestri said. “You’re talking about the potential loss of a major metropolitan area.”
The worst-case scenario for New Orleans — a direct strike by a full-strength Hurricane Ivan — could submerge much of this historic city treetop-deep in a stew of sewage, industrial chemicals and fire ants, and the inundation could last for weeks, experts say