Publication Date August 13, 2017

Did climate change cause the New Orleans flood?

United States
Street flooding in New Orleans on Saturday, August 5, 2017. Photo: Brett Duke, The Times-Picayune

Even as Mid-City was still drowning in water in homes, businesses and vehicles, a Sewerage & Water Board official blamed climate change for the flooding. The true explanation would turn out to be as murky as the water inundating parts of New Orleans.

Yes, much of the city lies below sea level. Yes, the rain on Aug. 5 was intense. Yes, the S&WB's 24 drainage pumping stations were not in full working order.

Yet in the broad view, climate change might also be one of the contributing factors.