Thursday, September 22, 2005

Faulty Levee Design Caused Flooding.

The Washington Post is reporting that the levee system in New Orleans failed not because the storm surges were so strong, so much as the construction of the levees were poorly done.

This flies in the face of the Army Corps of Engineers’ explaination that Hurricane Katrina’s storm surges were just too massive. The Corps have said that the levees were only design to withstand no greater than a Category 3 storm, and that the flood from nearby Lake Pontchartrain were caused by storm surges overtopping the walls.

However, scientists and engineers at Louisiana State University’s Hurricane Center have concluded that Katrina’s surges have been overstated, and did not come close to overtopping the levee system. Ivor van Heerden, the Hurricane Center’s deputy director said the barriers failed not because of overtopping, but because of “catastrophic structural failure” that should have been easily able to withstand the hurricane. Heerden said that “we are absolutely convinced that those floodwalls were never overtopped.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read stories about residents hearing what they describe as explosions coming from the levees. Some have supposedly stated that they believe the damage was intentional.

The sound could have been caused by the levees breaking under the pressure. It's interesting to think about, however.

4:59 AM  

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