Cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good,
Now, cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good,
When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move.
At 11 p.m. of August 29, Mayor Ray Nagin conducted an interview with WWL  discussing the damage to New Orleans. He described New Orleans as "totally dark" with no clear way in or out, with eighty percent of the city flooded with some areas with water depths of 20 feet. Both airports are underwater, "three, huge boats" are run aground, along with an oil tanker which is leaking oil. The yacht club was destroyed by a fire, and that gas leaks are reported throughout the city. The Pontchartrain Expressway (referring to Interstate 10 east of the city, not the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway) is "full of water" and the Twin Spans are "totally destroyed." He described the loss of life as "significant" with reports of bodies floating on the water throughout the city, though primarily in the eastern portions. There is no clean water or electricity in the city, and some hotels and hospitals reporting diesel fuel shortages. The estimate of restoration of power is at least 4-6 weeks for the city. The breach in the levy at the 17th street canal is causing further trouble, as the pumps which are pumping water out of the city are pumping it into Lake Pontchartrain, which would be held off by the levy that is now broken, negating the effectiveness of those systems. The I-10 pumps were on for days and overheated, causing valve damage, also negating their effectiveness during the flooding. A representative from St. Bernard reported "total devastation" with 40,000 homes flooded. The National Guard has begun setting up temporary morgues in select locations. He also said houses have been picked up and moved. In summary, he described the devastation as a "nightmare." He also said that 20,000 people were currently in the Superdome.
As of 11:30 p.m. CDT, WDSU-TV reported at least part of the I-10 Twin Span has completely collapsed. On WWL-TV, Mayor Nagin stated that, according to a FEMA official, the entire length of the Twin Span had been destroyed.  There is also a large fire involving several large building complexes.
On August 30 at 1:30 a.m. CDT CNN (via the vice president of Tulane University Medical Center) reported that a levee on the 17th Street Canal, which connects into Lake Pontchartrain has suffered a two city-block wide breach in it. This is allowing the water of Lake Pontchartrain, which lies some six feet above sea level, to flow downward into northern New Orleans proper, which lies between two and ten feet below sea level. The administrator reported that the water level had been rising at a rate of one inch every five minutes, and that the water had already flooded the first floor of Tulane University Medical Center and was approaching the second floor where the emergency generators for the hospital are located. The Vice President reported that the hospital needed immediate evacuation and with surface roads inundated, airlift via the heliport at the hospital will be the only way to rescue the some one thousand patients and staff still at the hospital. Charity Hospital, located east of Tulane, is also preparing to evacuate. A 200 ft breach was confirmed by New Orleans Fire Department officials to CNN at 3:16 a.m. CDT. .
I keep thinking that now would be the time to bulldoze the city and rebuild it... 20 to 30 feet higher.