New Orleans: Ready Or Not?

WWNO

How prepared is New Orleans for the challenges that climate change will bring in coming years - heat, bigger storms and heavier rain? WWNO and The Lens explore this question with a special series, New Orleans: Ready Or Not? 

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Foundation for Louisiana.

Travis Lux / WWNO

 

New Orleans is a city that floods. Even a small storm can leave streets impassable. City officials say they’re working on solutions, but they’re also asking citizens to help out.

All this week we’ve aired stories about how prepared the city is for the threats that climate change will bring — heavier rains, bigger storms, extreme temperatures — and there are some serious doubts. That’s why some people are taking matters into their own hands.

Rain clouds gather over Esperanza Charter School in Mid-City. The neighborhood was hard hit during the flooding of August 2017.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

Climate change is bringing more intense weather — more rain, heat and storms. And in New Orleans, extreme weather is disruptive. People park their cars up on curbs, and miss work — and school. It turns out kids missed a lot of school this past year, largely because of aging infrastructure failing during extreme weather.

New Orleans: Ready Or Not? The Storms Will Come

Jul 12, 2018
Michael Isaac Stein / The Lens

Improvements to the federal hurricane protection system mean New Orleans is better prepared for storms than ever before. But just outside the levees, coastal land loss continues to be a threat. To address it experts say officials need to come to terms with what it means to be a coastal city.

 

Michael Isaac Stein / The Lens

Climate change is bringing more extreme temperatures —- the last decade was the warmest on record. Scientists say that pattern will continue.

In Louisiana, temperatures could increase by 10 degrees by the end of the century. Heat stresses human health and the electric grid. How prepared is New Orleans for the heat?

Michael Isaac Stein / The Lens

Scientists say climate change will bring heavier rains and more intense storms. City officials have acknowledged that New Orleans needs to rethink how it deals with rain — by reducing reliance on mechanical pumps and managing the water where it falls.

Thanks to a post-Katrina settlement with FEMA, the city has more than $2 billion to fix streets and drainage — a perfect opportunity to try some new ideas. But will it?

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

New Orleans is vulnerable. Even a small storm can wipe out power for thousands of homes. Scientists say climate change is going to bring more intense storms, heavier rainfall and increased heat. More than a decade after Hurricane Katrina, officials say the city is more protected than ever. But big storms are just one threat. This week, WWNO explores how prepared the city is for the threats that climate change will bring with a special Coastal Desk series, New Orleans: Ready Or Not?