Chalmette, Louisiana

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Chalmette is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the parish seat of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] The population was 32,069 at the 2000 census. It is part of the New OrleansMetairieKenner Metropolitan Statistical Area. Chalmette is located east of downtown New Orleans and south of Arabi, Louisiana, towards Lake Borgne.

The community was named after plantation owner I. Martin de Lino de Chalmette, whose surname is, in turn, derived from the French word chalmette— "pasture land, fallow land" (used especially in a mountainous area) — and has been traced to the Proto-Celtic *kalm.

Contents

History

Chalmette was the location of what is often called The Battle of New Orleans, where United States forces under Major General Andrew Jackson defeated the British, led by brevet Lieutenant General Sir Edward Pakenham in January, 1815. The battlefield is preserved as a national monument, and the military Chalmette National Cemetery is adjacent.

Hurricane Katrina

On 29 August 2005, the 25-foot (7.6 m) storm surge from Hurricane Katrina overflowed through the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (also commonly known as MR-GO) - a commercial channel dug by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s - and flooded most of the town, with waters as high as 14 to 15 feet (4.9 m)[2] in some places. As a result, Chalmette was entirely destroyed. A majority of the population evacuated shortly before the storm hit, but there was still significant loss of life.

As of 25 October 2005, most of the buildings were deemed unsaveable. Despite findings published by the EPA, the toxic chemicals in the water from local oil refineries have been postulated to be an ongoing health hazard by several civilian ecological groups. Especially notable was the large oil spill originating in Chalmette's large Murphy Oil facility, where the storm surge knocked over a huge oil tank (see photo below).

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