We are all familiar with the extent of the flooding in our area from recent hurricanes, but how much of the area was flooded by the hurricane of 1947?
The hurricane of 1947 hit New Orleans and Metairie on Sept. 19. Landfall was near the Chandeleur Islands, and there were wind gusts of 112 mph measured at Moisant International Airport (now Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport). The airfield was under 2 feet of water.
The 17th Street Canal was breached on the Jefferson Parish side, and flooding was extensive in the parish from Bucktown to Bonnabel Boulevard, where water was about 4 feet deep. Water stood high on Bonnabel Place, and cars and trucks were completely submerged. Several days after the storm hit, officials estimated between 25 and 50 square miles of Jefferson Parish were under water and 15,000 to 25,000 Metairie residents were affected by the flood.
The storm churned up towering waves in Lake Pontchartrain that crashed over the seawall and flooded the lakefront section of the city and parts of Gentilly. Skiffs and Higgins shallow-draft boats took to the water and evacuated residents to safety. About 3,000 people filled the Municipal Auditorium, many of them French-speaking truck farmers, hunters and fishermen from the flooded bayou settlements south of New Orleans. Two babies were born during the height of the storm.
Eastern New Orleans also experienced flooding. The intersection of U.S. Highways 11 and 90 looked like a prairie when the water receded, leaving a layer of mud and grass 4 feet thick on the roadway. One of the hardest-hit areas of New Orleans was around Tennessee Street, where water got as high as 8 feet.
Then-Mayor DeLesseps Story Morrison Sr. said, "It is generally conceded to have been the most serious (flooding) ever to hit New Orleans. The waters of Lake Pontchartrain reached a new record high of 28 feet — 2 feet higher than in 1915."
New Orleans suffered about $100 million in damages, and 51 people lost their lives. After the 1947 storm, hurricane protection levees were built along the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain to protect Orleans and Jefferson Parishes from future storm surges.
Can you tell me where I can get Dixie Beer now?
Dixie Beer is available in just about every place that sells beer, although it's no longer brewed in New Orleans. Some of the beer is brewed in Wisconsin by the Joseph Huber Brewing Company and by other companies as well. Dajar Global LLC of California is the licensed export distributor.
Do you know what the "Beverly" poker chips looked like?
Chep Morrison Richard
Yes, I do, although perhaps I shouldn't admit it. They were round, of course, and just inside a small, plain border was another border of a Greek key-pattern mosaic. Inside this circle were the words "Beverly Country Club," also in a circle. At the center of each chip was the amount the chip was worth. On some of the chips the name of the club was spelled incorrectly: They read "Beverley Country Club."
The club opened in 1945, a remake of the Southland Ballroom. It was an extremely popular casino for about six years — until a federal government investigation forced it to close. It reopened and gambling became popular again until it closed in 1962. Later reopenings never again included gambling as part of the fun.