As the weather cleared in New Orleans officials were able to move in and begin rescue operations. However, a hole in the levee holding back the salty waters of Lake pontchartrain has been widening throughout the day. This hole is causing flood waters to steadily rise, flooding areas that had originally escaped inundation.
New Orleans's Ray Nagin said, "We're not even dealing with dead bodies...They're just pushing them on the side." This is a very gruesome situation. Although the bacteria that start the decay process when a human body dies is not dangerous to other humans, many other toxic substances pollute that waters flooding New Orleans.
A large portion of the city of New Orleans is devoted to industrial chemical production. This area of the city is known as the "Industrial Canal". If factories in this area have been damaged by the storm the flood waters could be filled with petroleum (gasoline), benzene (a poison), hydrochloric acid, and chlorine. This mix may make the people who are able to survive very sick.
Civil engineers are quickly struggling to patch up the holes in the levees that hold back Lake pontchartrain. One idea involves filling a ship full of sand or some other heavy substance and literally jamming it into the hole in the levee.
How would you go about mending the hole in a levee that is supposed to hold back a lake?