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New Orleans knocked out

Hurricane Katrina caused extensive storm damage on 28/29 August, with many of the city's 435 000 residents evacuating in advance. All public transit services were withdrawn. High winds brought down trees on the tramway overhead. However on 30 August breaches occurred at two points in the levees protecting the city, and within 24 hours about 80% of the city was flooded to a depth of several feet, causing untold damage. Further evacuation was ordered and it will be weeks or months before the city returns to any semblance of normality, and services resume. At press date it was not clear what damage had been caused to the transit fleet at its depots, although buses had been moved to higher ground as far as possible before the flooding. Brookville, which provided equipment for the new Canal Street cars, is discussing with RTA a plan to rehabilitate damaged trams.

The LRTA has a number of members in the affected area and is concerned about their safety. We would welcome news from them or any contacts as to their whereabouts.

4 September 2005

New Orleans update

Further news filtering out of New Orleans is that the historic fleet of St Charles line trams at Carrollton depot were not flooded, and should be available to restore service as soon as the infrastructure permits. The new fleet of heritage-style Canal St at the depot for that line, plus the Riverside line cars also stored there, were submerged above floor level and will require extensive electrical and mechanical renovation before they can be used.

13 September 2005

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