New Orleans Levees

I just (finally) saw a good shot of those levees. I thought they were earthen mounds, but it looks as though they are just concrete walls. Somehow that seems unstable at least, particularly in a hurricane zone. Once again, it looks like poor design.
Mark
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Reportedly, they are both- raised earth berms capped with concrete. It's also reported that they were built to withstand cat-3 hurricane. And ... what's in Ponchartrain? How about all the crap pumped out of the sewers of New Orleans?
The real poor design was to locate a city on alluvial soils so incredibly deep, with so little freeboard, knowing full well that the surface level would continually drop. This was not done up front, but allowed to continue/expand. Just like allowing residential construction, etc. along the coast to the east. Somebody profited.
J
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snipped-for-privacy@sme-online.com wrote:

Everybody profited. The developers, the contractors the property owners, the city's tax coffers, etc.
I really don't understand this line of reasoning. EVERY major professional organization, trade group, political party, etc., has had a convention in NO. Where was the boycott then? Not a safe place, built in a bad location - I ain't going! I never heard that said.
Bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks running around the field...
R
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The problem isn't building homes in disaster areas, the problem is building the same kinds of home in disaster areas that you build in non-disaster areas.
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<shrug> Usually takes a disaster before you can get enough folks to go along with more stringent building codes. If things in the N'orleans area get rebuilt to the same standards as before the disaster, then they'll deserve a big helping of derision.
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wrote:

NO is in a bowl, down to 20 feet below sea level. You can build houses that resist high winds, but building houses that come through prolonged immersion in water is harder. A lot of the stuff carried in the water is industrial waste and human sewage. This was not the worst case for a hurricane and flooding either. Something like this or worse will happen, eventually, again.
jim
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wrote:

Well, the twin towers were also a disaster waiting to happen. There was no effective way to fight a fire there. But they went ahead anyway.
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-------------------------------------- From a history resource: New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, and named for the regent of France, Philippe II, duc d'Orleans. It remained a French colony until 1763, when it was transferred to the Spanish. In 1800, Spain ceded it back to France; in 1803, New Orleans, along with the entire Louisiana Purchase, was sold by Napoleon I to the United States. It was the site of the Battle of New Orleans (1815) in the War of 1812. During the Civil War the city was besieged by Union ships under Adm. David Farragut; it fell on Apr. 25, 1862.
Also see: http://gatewayno.com/history/PUMPS.html
And the current calamity was amply forecast in this 2002 report:
http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/wetlands/hurricane_print.htmlAnd another warning from 2004:http://www.easttennessean.com/media/paper203/news/2004/10/11/News/Direct.Hurricane.Hit.Could.Drown.City.Of.New.Orleans.Experts.Say-749652.shtml ------------------------------------------
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On 31-Aug-2005, snipped-for-privacy@sme-online.com wrote:

Since when is a city that's almost 300 years old "designed"?
Cities evolve and change. They get built by thousands of people over many years. Design has little to do with it - degree programs in urban planning notwithstanding.
Mike
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Plus they were built by the lowest bidder-- which is standard government contracting procedure ;-)
S1
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On 08/31/05 06:30 pm Savvy 1 tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

I have never understood this policy. In Australia I used to see Invitations to Bid on govt. projects that explicitly stated that the lowest bid would not necesssarily be accepted -- and even that none of the bids might be accepted. If they didn't like any of the bids, they could revise the specs. and try again or advertise more widely, or ...
Perce
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That's standard wording, Perce, and it's the truth, too. Bids to the government involve a lot of factors, and price is an important one. It's not always the final factor, though. I don't see any evidence that the NO levees were mis-constructed, just designed to the wrong standard.

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The system is well designed and engineered. The problem is that when mother nature wants to brush it all aside, she will.
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I disagree. they may well be well designed and engineered, but not to the proper standard. Look through history; they've been predicting this particular disaster for over 100 yrs, and Cat-5 hurricanes have been known in the Gulf. It's the Cat-3 standard that was wrong, and it probably saved a few million dollars at the time.
Any small-town zoning dept in the US would have seen the Cat-5 potential and insisted on a Cat-6 survivable design. Over-engineering is comical sometimes, but it doesn't always cost much. Under-engineering is often fatal, and it's catastrophic in this case.
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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:
-> I just (finally) saw a good shot of those levees. I thought they were -> earthen mounds, but it looks as though they are just concrete walls. -> Somehow that seems unstable at least, particularly in a hurricane -> zone. Once again, it looks like poor design. -> -> Mark
I have the feeling they'll be a little stronger once they're repaired/ rebuilt.
--
8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail)
~~~~~~
  Click to see the full signature.
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wrote:

Well, now that there will be nothing left and the city will be a "clean slate"
If they are stupid enough to leave it in a hole, without backfilling before they rebuild. No levy/levee will ever guarantee it would not happen again eventually.
Nature has a warped sense of humor when humans believe they can outsmart it.
Next will be the idiots in California who think extra bracing in buildings will help when the whole state slides into the Pacific
AMUN
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2005 15:12:20 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

I was in New Orleans for a week during July of 2004 and therefore have a good idea of the situation described in the TV reports. The current tragedy is exacerbated by a large and poor black population who hadn't the means to evacuate ahead of the storm. Now all their homes are destroyed. All these will have to be cleared to bare ground as there will be nothing to salvage. The City should use this opportunity to rebuild a better city that will be able to survive another hit. The poor will still prefer to live in the city as that's where they can access the services. This will involve building high rise apartments which provides the opportunity to have more open park space.
Looking ahead I think when the City rebuilds it should think of dividing the city into smaller flood zones that can isolated a levee breach water to a smaller area. This will require building new levees within the city. The levees can follow the current arterial roads with the relocated roads on top of the levee.
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PaPaPeng wrote:

I have been thinking that this might be a good time to move the whole city to higher ground. I figure it probably wouldn't cost much more than rebuilding it where it is, and in the long run it would save having to go through this again.
Bill
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If I were living below sea level, I would want the equivalent of a mountain between me and the sea. Not some skinny levee that will fall apart in a storm.
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Reminds me of Holland, that's exactly what it looks like over there. I guess that was a lesson learned from their big flood in the 50's.
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