Saturday, September 3, 2011
Lessons Learned from 1943
Track of the Unnamed 1943 Hurricane/ Tropical Storm
This morning The Weather Channel reported that surge has flooded some areas near Chef Menteur, LA to a depth of around one foot. Prolonged easterly or southeasterly winds tend to pile up water in that area east of New Orleans.
This may be a similar setup in some ways to the 1943 surge event in SE Louisiana. An unnamed hurricane spun off the Texas Coast on Sept 17 and 18, then headed northeast towards Louisiana as a tropical storm on Sept 19 and 20. This setup provided prolonged onshore winds in portions of SE Louisiana. Around three feet of surge was reported in the Chef Menteur area, even though the storm track was hundreds of miles away.
Quote from Times Picayune, Sept 20, 1943:
Storm winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour which had been predicted for New Orleans as the hurricane hovered in the Gulf did not materialize Sunday, but rain throughout the day caused some streets to be flooded, though not as extensively as Saturday. From 6 p. m. Saturday to 1:13 p. m. Sunday, the weather bureau recorded .69 inches of rain here.
Lester Corley, district manager of the highway department, reported late Sunday afternoon that approximately 36 inches of water covered the New Orleans approaches to Pontchartrain bridge on Highway 11 and the road was closed to all traffic except heavy busses. Water, he said, partially covered Highway 90 between Highway 11 and Chef Menteur.