New Orleans geography in the spotlight as Tropical Storm Barry approaches

Prof. Richard Campanella, geographer and associate dean at Tulane University, discusses the layout of New Orleans and its vulnerability to storms and heavy rain.
3:32 | 07/12/19

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Transcript for New Orleans geography in the spotlight as Tropical Storm Barry approaches
Want to bring in professor Richard Campanella as we mentioned. You know the fear a hurricane in New Orleans is increased. Exponentially. Given many of the residents lived and survived the devastation of Hurricane Katrina so professor Richard. You know you have studied the history. And geography of New Orleans intimately. And I just want your mind as to how this city is laid out that makes this storm. So dangerous. Well we are on a flu real dealt which is a pretty unusual. Piece of geography and very briefly. Our entire landscape there's only about seven or 8000 years old. And it was built by our high over topping Mississippi River that's what delivered the sentiment. As a result of this. We have this peculiarities here with the area closest to the river where historic -- loans was originally built are the highest around. Took the exact opposite of most other places where water and rivers carved down here water built up. So we are product of the Mississippi River it's always over topped. But of course this is incompatible. With having. A sustainable metropolis here and so over 300 years. We've shored up the natural Levy by building artificial laugh face. To prevent the river from over topping so what's unique about this particular circumstance. It is the longest high as lay this high river usually a springtime phenomenon. Intersecting with an early storm. That has its own storm surge and so the river. Cannot flow. Out smoothly into the Gulf of Mexico because it's a hell of water and threw it backs up that on itself. So that that's what makes this very unusual. Did good news is. That. As of yesterday. I went out with a colleague again and did surveillance on the Levys and we got new data and and I believe we're going to have sufficient room. To store that access water. At least in the metro area. It might be a little bit different. Down and low apartments parish. Console I think what we're in for. Is more kind of rainfall caused flash flooding events. The soul will we shall say. Yes we shall see I'm have you talked to any of the residence. They are like how are they feeling knowing that you know they survived another tragedy years ago what the conversation well. Well I am a resident and I survived Katrina in two I'm I'm here on Tulane campus and I'm looking out the window at the gray skies. I would said that general sentiment. Among my neighbors and friends and peers hear is. Is is one. A little bit nervousness. Just the other morning we had. And on the latest heavy rainstorms that inundated many streets with nuisance flooding. And plotted a lot of cars. And there's so that they're dealing with that I think there's a general sense. That the levees will be able to hold on the river water. And you know folks folks are hunkering down somehow left but most of still he air. And businesses as of right now war more opened and they are close. Irate and so my appreciate that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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