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 Post subject: Anatomy of a flood: How New Orleans flooded during Hurricane
New postPosted: August 12th, 2015, 3:05 pm 
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Joined: August 25th, 2008, 9:51 am
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Location: Arlington, Texas
Anatomy of a flood: How New Orleans flooded during Hurricane Katrina
The animated, interactive graphic reboot of Katrina's flooding, 10 years later.
http://www.nola.com/katrina/index.ssf/2 ... g_map.html


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 Post subject: Re: Anatomy of a flood: How New Orleans flooded during Hurricane
New postPosted: August 12th, 2015, 5:31 pm 
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That's one excellent graphic that provides a better explanation of what happened at the time than anything else I saw then or afterwards.


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 Post subject: Re: Anatomy of a flood: How New Orleans flooded during Hurricane
New postPosted: August 12th, 2015, 11:51 pm 
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Thanks for sharing.

I had the web page of the full screen version of that graphic presentation bookmarked on my office computer when I was working flood control projects in New Orleans. When people from out of town came to work with us and expressed curiosity (or ignorance) about the Corps-engineered floods after Katrina missed the city, I would send them the link. I had buried the link in an archive of my old company laptop data, and I'm glad to see it again.

My former employer competed for, and won, three emergency levee repair contracts in Plaquemines Parish, two reaches of river levee and one reach of back levee west of the river. Our levee work suffered no damage during Gustav.

Our biggest accomplishment in flood control, however, was a billion plus dollar design-build contract that we competitively won, with the best engineering solution and price combination, for what the Corps now calls the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier. A search for the project name on Google Maps will find it, with overhead imagery on Google Earth, closing off the funnel east of the city. The project won several engineering awards, and is impressive in size, scope, and complexity.

When Gustav came, construction was not even half way complete, but we had completed the wall itself, and we were working on the gates. We were able to close off those areas to close the funnel in the face of the approaching storm, and the system held. It was overtopped, as designed, but stopped the storm surge's energy so that the water level behind the barrier increased only gradually, and the city's drainage system had no problem keeping up with the few small waves that overtopped the old levees. (My wife, now ex, and I stayed in Harahan during Gustav, after registering our presence at city hall, two blocks from home, and volunteering my wife's nursing services if needed.)

Now the completed project has a navigation gate for recreational and commercial fishing boats on Bayou Bienvenue, and two gates for heavier traffic on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The entire surge barrier including gates (when closed) can be driven across for inspection purposes.

Of all the billions of dollars of construction and all the other federal contracts I have worked on in the past 41+ years all over the world since I started at England AFB in Alexandria in 1974, I am proudest of my small contribution to the protection of our fair city. I worked many long hours on that contract from the first "sources sought" announcement looking for interested bidders, through about 2/3 completion when an internal company reorganization resulted in my transfer to manage the company's contracts with a different federal agency.

I think I'm going to spend a few minutes now looking at the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier in Google Maps and Google Earth.


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