As I write this, Hurricane Katrina is approaching New Orleans. New Orleans is about 12 feet below sea level and has always lived under a death sentence of a nightmare scenario which may very well unfold in the next 12-18 hours. Basically, if Katrina's storm surge causes Lake Ponchartrain to flood the levees surrounding the city, New Orleans will be under 30 feet of water. Experts say that such a scenario could lead to a death toll in the tens of thousands. Some place the toll as high as 50,000-100,000. The city has no natural drainage and some estimate that it could take up to 10 months for the lake of the dead to drain.
In short, tomorrow could be one of the deadliest days in American History.
Earlier it looked like the levee breach was a relatively low level of probability. In his latest update, Weather Underground's chief, Jeff Masters, placed the odds that such a breach would occur at 70%.
We can only hope and pray that such a thing either a) does not occur as predicted or b) will not cause the destruction that is currently imagined.
Those who couldn't get out of New Orleans have made an exodus to the SuperDome, a huge monolithic jewel that has played host to some of the most famed sporting events of all time.
But the next 24 hours will be its most important, as it will likely save thousands of lives (update: even this scenario has its problems, as Paul from Wizbang, a NO native, suggests here).
Pray for New Orleans and the rest of the cities on the Gulf Coast tonight. Let us hope that something weakens Katrina, and does so quickly.