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Ville de La Nouvelle-Orléans
|City of New Orleans|
|Present Country||United States|
|Former Country||Kingdom of France, Kingdom of Spain, French Republic|
|• Mayor||Mitch Landrieu (D)|
|• City and Parish||350.2 sq mi (907 km2)|
|• Land||180.6 sq mi (467.6 km2)|
|• Water||169.7 sq mi (439.4 km2)|
|• Metro||3,755.2 sq mi (9,726.6 km2)|
|Elevation||-6.5 to 20 ft (-2 to 6 m)|
|• City and Parish||369,250|
|• Density||1,965/sq mi (759/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
The city was first built by the French before it became a territory of the United States when President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It was built at the mouth of the Mississippi River. It has been one of the World's greatest seaport cities for many years. All the land is low, originally just a short vertical distance above sea level. In the last three hundred years, the city has sunk slowly into the marshy soil. Large portions of New Orleans are now below sea level. A system of many pumps, dikes, sea walls, and levees were built.
Over half of the grain that is sent by ship to other countries, comes first by barge through the Port of New Orleans. The grains are grown in the farming states bordering the Mississippi River, the Missouri River, and Ohio Rivers. Much of the crude oil that is made into gasoline and diesel fuel is brought to New Orleans for oil refinery and distribution to other parts of the United States by barge or oil pipeline. Also, there are many oil well platforms nearby, in the Gulf of Mexico.
On August 29, 2005, New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina which destroyed over 80% of the city when the cities levees broke. The nation's weather services forecast that it would be very dangerous and very close to New Orleans. The very low barometric pressure gave the storm unusual strength. The special systems built to protect this under water city failed in several ways. Water came over the dikes, seawalls, and levees at six places. The engines on the pumps failed as the water rose above them. It is estimated that more than three quarters (3/4) of New Orleans was under water in early September of 2005. The very deep water caused failure of sewer, phone, electric and fresh water systems. Many people drowned. Many homes were completely covered with water. Many important records, some from the French period of the 1700s were destroyed.
Many people believed that a flood in New Orleans would happen. They spoke openly about this concern for many years. A very serious flood happened several hundred miles upstream, on the Mississippi River, when heavy rains fell in 1927. The severe hardships from this flood led many people to move away. Many moved to Chicago.
Effects of Hurricane Katrina
After Hurricane Katrina, many people who lived in the flooded city moved to other places in the US. Many people were afraid to move back. Their jobs and homes were gone and their possessions were lost. The people who could move back spread to many other states. Texas received the most flood victims. Many volunteers and charities are helping the flood victims to relocate to new homes and, at the same time, repair homes and services in this city. Several years after Katrina, New Orleans still had much fewer people than it did before the hurricane.
- "City and Town Totals: Vintage 2011". http://www.census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/2011/index.html.
- Mildenberg, David. "Census shows a far less populous New Orleans". washingtonpost.com. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/04/AR2011020406198.html. Retrieved February 4, 2011.