A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Monday, August 29, 2005

Scary!

Yahoo News: Hurricane Tears Holes in Superdome Roof---

NEW ORLEANS - Hurricane Katrina ripped two holes in the curved roof of the Louisiana Superdome, letting in rain as thousands of storm refugees huddled inside Monday.

Superdome and government emergency officials stressed that they did not expect the huge roof to fail because of the relatively small breaches, each about 15 to 20 feet long and 4 to 5 feet wide.

The holes were in an area of vents some 19 stories above the arena floor.

"We think the wind somehow got into the vents and got between the roof's (waterproof) membrane and the aluminum ceiling tiles," said Doug Thornton, regional manager of the company that manages the huge arena.

Refugees sitting below the tears were moved across the arena and away from any falling debris, Thornton said.

"I could have stayed at home and watched my roof blow off," said one of the refugees, Harald Johnson, 43. "Instead, I came down here and watched the Superdome roof blow off. It's no big deal; getting wet is not like dying."

The dome was filled with the sound of metal rattling, which Thornton said was produced by the metal ceiling tiles.

In addition to the two holes, water was leaking in through many other areas, including elevators and stairwells, as the wind forced water in through any small opening. Across Poydras Street, numerous shattered windows were visible on high-rise office buildings.

Glenn Menard, general manager of the Superdome, said that although only the two holes were visible from the interior, more damage was possible.

"That gray ceiling you're looking at is a dropped ceiling. We can't tell how much of the roof above it is damaged and we won't be able to tell until we get the engineers up there after the storm," he said.
Picture here.