View Full Version : Levees Fail Again

09-23-05, 05:42 PM
Rita's Rains Breach Two New Orleans Levees
By ALLEN G. BREED, Associated Press Writer (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/rita_new_orleans_hk2)
Friday Sept. 23, 2005
NEW ORLEANS - Hurricane Rita's wind and rain breached two of New Orleans' battered levees Friday and sent water gushing into already-devastated neighborhoods just days after they had been pumped dry.

In the impoverished Ninth Ward, water streamed through gaps at least 100 feet wide in a levee and was soon waist-deep on a nearby street. It began covering buckled homes, piles of rubble and mud-caked cars that Katrina had swamped with up to 20 feet of water nearly a month ago.

Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers said other levees in the city appeared secure, but there were leaks.

South of the University of New Orleans, two separate streams of water gushed from beneath the patched London Avenue Canal, and water six to eight inches deep was soon rushing into homes in the surrounding Gentilly neighborhood.

"Our worst fears came true," said Maj. Barry Guidry, a National Guardsman on duty at the broken levee in the Ninth Ward, a community where the damage was already so severe few structures were expected to survive.

Refugees from the misery-stricken neighborhood learned of the crisis with despair.

"It's like looking at a murder," Quentrell Jefferson said as he watched the news at a church in Lafayette, 125 miles west of New Orleans. "The first time is bad. After that, you numb up."

The water poured over and through sandbags, gravel and soil that had been used to temporarily patch the levee breaks, said Dan Hitchings, a spokesman with the Corps of Engineers. The Corps could not immediately make repairs, but pumps would be turned on to help remove the water, he said.

Col. Richard Wagenaar, Corps of Engineers district chief in New Orleans, said the overtopping of the levees would set back repairs at least three weeks. He said, nevertheless, that June is still the target for getting the levees back to pre-Katrina levels.

The breaches came as Rita began lashing the Gulf Coast with rain and wind and up to 500,000 people in southwestern Louisiana headed north.

Some residents who had fought gridlock to get out of Houston and headed east into Louisiana found they had to keep going to stay out of the path of the storm.

In the coastal parishes, nearly every town was deserted by Friday afternoon. Some roads were shut down by high water, but the highways were already empty, said State Police Col. Henry Whitehorn.

Ships were barred from entering the Port of Lake Charles, the nation's 12th largest seaport. ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Citgo, Shell and Valero shut down operations and evacuated workers in the area. The National Guard moved 4,000 troops to Lafayette to be prepared to move in after the storm.

"The preparations are what they are," said Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who also headed the military response to Katrina. "We're here. The storm is coming. We are as best prepared as we can be as the eye of the storm approaches."

Rita was expected to come ashore early Saturday somewhere near the Texas-Louisiana line. There were fears it would stall, dumping as much as 25 inches of rain.

Forecasters said the hurricane could bring 3 to 5 inches of rain to New Orleans dangerously close to the 6 inches Army engineers say could overwhelm the patched levees. Another fear was that a strong storm surge would push water through the walls.

By mid-afternoon, advance squalls were sweeping inland, flattening sugar cane fields, knocking over trees and lashing the low-lying landscape near New Iberia, about 110 miles west of New Orleans.

Authorities in New Orleans called off the search for bodies, and Katrina's death toll across the Gulf Coast stood at 1,078, including 841 in Louisiana.

A mandatory evacuation order was in effect for the part of New Orleans on the east bank of the Mississippi, including the Ninth Ward. A spokeswoman for Mayor Ray Nagin said officials believed the neighborhood had been cleared of residents.

Just to the east, in St. Bernard Parish heavily flooded by Katrina water from a new breach was threatening from one side and a storm surge along a bayou was lapping at the top of a levee on the other.

Mark Madary, a St. Bernard Parish councilman, said houses that were under 12 feet of water after Katrina would probably get an additional 3 feet. He accused the Army Corps of Engineers of not rebuilding the levee properly.

"Everybody's home's been crushed, and let's hope their dreams aren't," he said.

phuk! :mad:

09-24-05, 09:23 AM
"Mark Madary, a St. Bernard Parish councilman, said houses that were under 12 feet of water after Katrina would probably get an additional 3 feet. He accused the Army Corps of Engineers of not rebuilding the levee properly.

First, the levee's had NOT been rebuilt, just patched.
In this case, it's probably about equal to a bandaid on a mortal wound.
Some scuttlebutt I've run across on the levee's says they CANNOT be built to Cat5 strength. The underlying ground cannot/willnot support it. It would be like putting a brick on a marshmellow. The bottom would just squash and sink away from the weight.

New Orleans is a nice place to visit/party... but I don't want to live there.
The people that do..... well....


09-24-05, 10:21 AM
This is what the people of N.O. get for not getting/voting for political leaders in La. that would make getting levee's replaced some type of front burner idea that needs to get done, or at the bery least get them updated.. common sense would tell most people sooner or later a coastal city is going to face the worse storms ol mother nature can whip up.. for them to blame anyone other than themselves is a waste of time.. funny how common sense dont mean much anymore, this question is not even asked by "news reporters/makers" if you want to call them that..

How many of us could have lived in N.O. and not seen the storms that have hit other places like the east coast and Florida and not thought about.. wow, I live on the coast, in a city BELOW sea level, knowing walls around the city keep a lake and the ocean from flooding the city, and could have never thought what happens when a big storm shows up? how is that possible? ya get what ya vote for! as bad as it sounds.. to the people of N.O. I would say you have 3 choices, swim, die, or pay attention who you vote for and what they do in office. because not doing that is what got their arse into this problem to start with.