Just 3 Inches of Rain Caused Flooding in New Orleans Last Week. Now There’s a Hurricane Coming.

Uh-oh.

NASA/NOAA GOES Project

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Tropical Storm Nate, which is expected to become a hurricane tomorrow, has already killed 22 people in Central America due to flooding rains and landslides. The National Weather Service has now issued hurricane warnings for the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coasts—including New Orleans, which is still trying to repair its aging and crumbling drainage system.

On August 5, the New Orleans area was inundated with eight to ten inches of rain, which flooded entire neighborhoods. Because the city is surrounded by water and sits below sea level, it employs pumps that take the rainwater out. But 16 of the city’s 121 pumps weren’t operational.

Nate is expected to reach hurricane status before making landfall in the Gulf Coast late Saturday night or early Sunday, and the National Weather Service has issued a storm surge warning from Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border. It was a large storm surge that led to a breach of New Orleans’ levees during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, causing catastrophic flooding.

In preparation, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has issued a state of emergency for New Orleans, and has been warning locals not to drive under overpasses that are likely to flood. The city’s pumps, he says, are now working at 92 percent capacity. 

Still, just three inches of rain on Monday caused street flooding in several New Orleans neighborhoods, prompting a flood advisory from the National Weather Service. Nate is expected to bring up to twice as much rain to the region.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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