Bad News For New Orleans

Bigger, higher and stronger levees cannot save New Orleans from the worst floods and the city remains vulnerable to a repeat of Hurricane Katrina, the National Academy of Sciences said on Friday.

New Orleans had the flood protection of a 350-mile (563 km) network of levees, I-walls and T-walls ringing the city when Hurricane Katrina slammed ashore on Aug. 29, 2005. The levees broke, flooding 80 percent of the city.

The hurricane killed about 1,500 people along the U.S. Gulf Coast and caused $80 billion in damages, making it the costliest U.S. natural disaster.

As Katrina demonstrated, “the risks of inundation and flooding never can be fully eliminated by protective structures no matter how large or sturdy those structures may be,” said the report by the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council.

“Substantial risks” of living in flood-prone areas were never clearly communicated to residents before Katrina, it said, and simply rebuilding New Orleans and its hurricane-protection system back to pre-Katrina levels would leave the city vulnerable to another flooding disaster.

Large portions of New Orleans are below sea level, which makes it vulnerable to floods and storm surges from hurricanes. Located at the mouth of the Mississippi River delta, New Orleans is in close proximity to Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne.

The city’s levee system was tested again in September 2008, when a surge from Hurricane Gustav nearly overtopped a protective T-wall along New Orleans’ Inner Navigation Canal.

Let us pray that Katrina was a once in a lifetime occurance, if the Gulf Coast gets hit again anytime soon, then it will become a third world country.  It will lose the developement appeal.  Why build in an area that can be destroyed in less than a day?

You think times are tough now……another hurricane will show just how bad things can get.

Let us paray!


2 thoughts on “Bad News For New Orleans

  1. When you copy and paste news, try to at least get it right. Your article says: “U.S. natural disaster.”, but in fact according to the report by the National Academy of Sciences agreed with Corp’s IPET findings that New Orleans outfall canal floodwalls fell down long before even being overtopped because of engineering mistakes made by the US Army Corps of Engineers. You left that detail out. Our losses were caused by mistakes by engineers = man made disaster. NOLA would survived Katrina had the levees remained upright. Although the cause is still disputed for some of the other 48 breaches, the Science Panel kind of agreed with IPET that most of the rest of the breaches were caused by erosion from storm surge water overtopping those structures. Are you trying to spin the news???

    The report said New Orleans should get a storm surge protection system to protect from a higher storm surge than what is expected during a storm with a 1 in a 100 chance of hitting in any given year, as is the current plan. You left that out.

    The most important recommendation was that the US Army Corps of Engineers reform to the extent that they would at least accept some small form of oversight from local government engineers, like the ability to review Corp designs of our flood control structures. Why didn’t you mention that?

    The issue is not overtopping of storm surge water when the engineering structure falls down before being overtopped.

    Regarding the report’s elevation recommendations and smaller footprint idea. Isn’t it irrelevant for them to say what we should have done? Families that were flood victims only had one shot at recovery. The Road Home Program is almost finished. Moronically, RHP chose to award elevation money last. Who could afford to wait this long? We already rebuilt. We did the best we could with what we had and built smaller, stronger and above the flood line.

    Life is hard enough in New Orleans. Give us a break and at least tell the truth about our disaster.

    1. Ray thanx for your input and the heads up……apparently you are privy to stuff that out writer was not…….I will agree that not enough is being donne or has been done for N.O. The concern was for human lives and the lack of funds to do the real important things.

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