The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is releasing a video series that features employees involved in the recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which decimated portions New Orleans 10 years ago this week.
The videos also focus on LDOTD’s infrastructure improvements designed to help in mass evacuations, one of the major problems New Orleans faced prior to the hurricane making landfall.
This issue is addressed in the first video the department released, seen below, which covers evacuation and planning.
“When you historically look at what happened in Katrina, getting folks evacuated was a huge problem,” Director of Emergency Services Richard Swan says in the video. “There wasn’t an organized mechanism in place to get the citizenry evacuated out of harms way. Now there is.”
ITS Engineering Director Stephen Glascock says in the video today’s connectivity and access to real-time data offers an advantage in evacuation planning and execution.
“What resulted after the evacuation of Hurricane Katrina, the administration saw the importance of establishing traffic management centers in order to be able to become sort of a clearinghouse of being able to gather real-time information and to be able to get that out to the public as quickly as possible,” he says. “And that information is very important because it allows us to get information pretty much spot-on while the public is driving on the road. And I think that all of that works towards our capability of improving the evacuation event, should we ever have to address that in the future.”