There were plenty of concert cancellations and postponements within the storm area. Pollstar dropped all scheduled shows from New Orleans to Panama City, Fla., from September 15th through the 17th. Those dates included Alan Jackson / Martina McBride, Peter Frampton and Tim McGraw‘s Swampstock in Rayville, La., which was to take place September 19th.

The storm delivered 125 mph winds and a 16-foot storm surge.

That being said, it could have been a lot worse. The Category Five hurricane was the worst in 40 years when it was over water. It was downgraded to a Category Three hurricane by the time it hit the coast. It originally threatened to put New Orleans under as much as 20 feet of water.

The nearby Lake Pontchartrain could have overflowed and the city – which has the topography of a soup bowl and is in many parts 10 feet below sea level – could have been completely submerged. That could have caused extensive damage to venues such as the House of Blues in the French Quarter section and Tipitina’s Uptown.

But because of the hurricane’s counterclockwise motion, New Orleans saw the least of the damage because the winds blew toward the sea.

The Louisiana Superdome acted as a shelter for the homeless and those without the transportation to evacuate. The Dome provided shelter during Hurricane George in 1998, when 14,000 people took cover there. They reportedly showed up without adequate food and complained when they were served hotdogs.

This time around, 1,100 took refuge in the venue and were served spaghetti and meatballs even though they’d been told not to expect food. Big cheers greeted news they were going to get blankets and that the television would be turned on.

About 300 National Guardsmen stood by in case there were problems. In ’98 there were scuffles when the evacuees were told they would be detained because of a curfew.

“While this building certainly can accommodate a large crowd for a four-hour event, we’re not equipped to handle 30,000 or 40,000 people for three or four days,” Superdome GM Doug Thornton said.

The Dome can withstand a catastrophe. The roof was built to stand up to 200 mph winds and if the city gets flooded, the second level is 35 feet above ground. The city was flooded in 7 feet of water in 1965 when it was hit by Hurricane Betsy, which killed 110 people.

The city’s Louis Armstrong Airport was ordered shut down September 14th. Up to 100,000 residents who rely on public transportation didn’t have the opportunity to evacuate.

Other venues that operated as shelters included the Pensacola Civic Center and the Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery, Ala.