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Superdome Manager, ‘You Cannot Lock The Door And Walk Away’

Last night, Superdome manager Doug Thornton was at the facility, awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Isaac. Seven years ago, he was in the same location, awaiting the destructive force of Hurricane Katrina.

Thornton said, “It certainly brings back some pretty bad memories. I was just walking into the stadium [area] a few minutes ago. I could hear wind rushing over the roof. … It creates a whistling sound that echoes throughout the building. It gave me an eerie chill – a reminder of what was here in 2005.”

Things are very different this time around. The Dome hasn’t been designated as an evacuation shelter, and Isaac is a far less powerful storm.  Thornton says it’s still crucial to be on the premises, monitoring the facility.”We learned from past hurricanes that you cannot lock the door and walk away from this facility. This is a major asset of the state. We’ve got very sophisticated mechanical and electrical systems that have to be maintained and monitored, to make sure the building can be restarted.

Chris Graythen, Getty Images

We have a Tulane [football] game Saturday night.”


Thornton is accompanied by a staff of 35, along with 18 security personnel, 2 engineers, 2 electricians, 2 plumbers, 3 food service employees, 12  National guardsmen,  and 10 state police officers. I’m willing to bet they’d rather be somewhere else…

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