Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Design Of Floodwall At Fault?
But the researchers have strong evidence that Katrina's subsequent surge from the north was several feet shy of the height that would have been necessary to overtop the 17th Street and London Avenue floodwalls. It was the failures of those floodwalls that emptied the lake into the rest of the city, filling most of New Orleans like a soup bowl.So what did cause the failures?
On a tour Tuesday, researchers showed numerous indications that Katrina's surge was not as tall as the lakefront's protections. They showed a "debris line" that indicates the top height of Katrina's waves was at least four feet below the crest of Lake Pontchartrain's levees. They also pointed out how the breached floodwalls near the lake showed no signs of overtopping -- no splattering of mud, no drip lines and no erosion at their bases. They contended that the pattern of destruction behind the breaches was consistent with a localized "pressure burst," rather than widespread overtopping.
The center's researchers said it is too early to say whether the breaches were caused by poor design, faulty construction or some combination. But van Heerden said the floodwalls at issue -- massive concrete slabs mounted on steel sheet pilings -- looked more like the sound barriers found on major highways. He also suggested that the slabs should have been interlocked, and that the canals they were supposed to protect should have had floodgates to keep out water from the lake.All of which obviously raises the question of how safe similar floodwalls are. Whether it is construction or design, we don't know what happened and why. Rita is now officially a category 4 storm, although it is not as large as Katrina:
Former representative Bob Livingston (R-La.), who helped lead the charge for Corps projects in Louisiana when he chaired the House Appropriations Committee, noted that the earthen levees along Lake Pontchartrain had all held, while the concrete floodwalls had failed. He was especially concerned about the 17th Street barrier, saying it "shouldn't have broken."
SATELLITE IMAGERY SUGGESTS THAT RITA HAS CONTINUED TO STRENGHTEN AND MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 135 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS. RITA IS NOW A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. A NOAA PLANE WILL CHECK THE INTENSITY LATER THIS MORNING. SOME ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.I hope the mayor is getting the word out in New Orleans. Texas is already evacuating Galveston.
HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 45 MILES FROM THE
CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140
Not only was that not done, it appears that no one knows where the money went.
That was in 1997.
I wouldn't trust this guy for anything. As far as I am concerned he is a liability that get's people killed.
On the Levees of New Orleans: Update 12
I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.
Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!
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