UPDATE:  Preparations to evacuate certain parishes.

Jindal said he’s already notified parish sheriffs to begin door-to-door notification of residents in areas expected to flood when the floodway is opened, and state agencies are moving equipment in place to block roads running through expected floodwaters.

“We’ve already notified the American Red Cross about making shelter spaces available” for evacuees, Jindal said.

Red Cross officials have 22 shelters with 4,758 cots available for evacuees, and local emergency officials have told the state that the expected need is for 3,850 evacuees, Jindal said. But he said tens of thousands of additional spaces would be available quickly, if more are needed.

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Jindal said the corps also has promised to produce maps forecasting inundation levels within the floodway over five days during the high water period, which could last well into the summer.

Map of estimated inundation.

St. Louis Cathedral seems to shrink beneath a high-riding ship passing by on its way up the steadily rising Mississippi River near New Orleans' French Quarter Wednesday morning. The river hit flood-stage height Wednesday, a foreboding measure for the metro area.

This is scary.

Edtor’s note: The Times-Picayune photograph below, taken on the flooding Mississippi River, dramatically illustrates the city’s precarious relationship with the river..

We hope that our friends in the Big Easy will not have another monstrous disaster happen with this river swelling to great proportions.

This photo was taken by the entrance to the Algiers Ferry on the West Bank of the Mississippi River looking from about the midpoint of the river to the East Bank at St. Louis Cathedral.

Though telephoto lenses can compress space or compress the perception of depth between two objects, this type of lens doesn’t compress them very much especially when compared to a super telephoto lens. So this photo is a pretty typical view using a typical lens. However, the Mississippi River is at the atypical height of 17 feet, which constitutes flood stage in New Orleans.

The photo was cropped to a square to emphasize the cathedral, the person jogging along in Woldenberg Park, and the large vessel passing by on the river.

The lowest part of the cathedral visible in the photo is actually the second level of the cathedral. The first floor of St. Louis Cathedral is several feet below the top of the levee line at Woldenberg Park. The top of the levee is several feet above street level. The statue of Andrew Jackson can be seen near the second window on the left side of the Cathedral.

This photo taken last year at street level on Decatur Street in front of Jackson Square gives you some idea of how high the levee is relative to the street.

So because the base of the Cathedral is below the top of the levee line and the ship is near the top of the levee line because of the high Mississippi River, the superstructure of the ship is actually taller than the cathedral.

Dramatic photo shows nation Mississippi River flood’s threat to New Orleans.

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