NWS outlines grim forecast of devastion expected across area
The National Weather Service has issued a special statement
outlining the damage that might be caused if Hurricane Katrina makes
landfall as a strong Category 4 or Category 5 storm.
“Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer,”
says the statement. “At least one-half of well-constructed homes will
have roof and wall failure. All gabled roofs will fail, leaving those
homes severely damaged or destroyed.
The statement says the majority of industrial buildings will become
“non-functional,” with partial or complete wall and roof failure.
“All wood-framed low-rising apartments will sustain major damage,
including some wall and roof failure,” the statement said. “Concrete
block low-rise apartments will sustain major damage, including some
wall and roof failure.”
The statement says high-rise office and apartment buildings will sway
dangerously, “a few to the point of total collapse.” And all their
windows will blow out.
Airborne debris will be widespread, and may include heavy items —
household appliances and light cars and trucks —and even sport utility
vehicles and trucks will be moved.
“The blown debris will create additional destruction,” the statement
said. “Persons, pets and livestock exposed to the winds will face
certain death if struck.”
Power outages will last for weeks because most power poles will be down
and transformers will be destroyed. Most trees will be snapped or
uprooted and even the heartiest, if they survive, will be stripped of