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Gustav no Katrina, but exposes flaws in levees

September 2nd, 2008 . by TexasFred

Gustav no Katrina, but exposes flaws in levees

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Waves crashed high against flood walls Monday and New Orleans’ rebuilt levee system survived its first hurricane in three years, but Gustav exposed weaknesses the Army Corps of Engineers won’t plug any time soon.

Gustav was no Katrina. It was smaller, and the worst rain and wind missed New Orleans. Its storm surge - between 10 and 15 feet lower than Katrina’s - entered New Orleans through navigation channels in the east and washed over the Industrial Canal.

The Industrial Canal has been characterized as the Achilles’ heel in the system, and the corps is spending $700 million on a barrier at its mouth to stop surges. But the barrier won’t be in place until at least 2011. On Monday, water overtopped parts of the canal’s flood wall causing minor flooding in some parts of the Ninth Ward.

Another major weakness in the flood protection system is in the area known as the West Bank, where about 250,000 live. Gustav had been expected to seriously test those levees, but by Monday evening officials said water wasn’t rising as much as was feared during Gustav’s approach. Work on the West Bank is far from complete. The corps has repeatedly said it may be the city’s weakest flank.

Full Story Here:
Gustav no Katrina, but exposes flaws in levees

Flaws exposed? That’s a great way of putting it. The main flaw that was exposed was this: Gustav was a near miss, a glancing blow, a Cat 3 that did quite a bit of damage in central Louisiana. Had Gustav come ashore 60 miles to the east of where it did, New Orleans would be under water, right now.

I applaud the Louisiana government for their efforts in evacuating the state and preparing ahead of Gustav, Louisiana did a great job this time, but the New Orleans levee system is not going to hold if a big hit takes place, a stronger storm, or a more direct hit from an even weaker storm, the Industrial Canal was over the top of it’s levee yesterday, from a minimal storm surge and a relatively moderate storm as hurricanes go.

We may get to see just how much the NOLA levee system can take before this hurricane season is over. The ‘Hurricane Train’ is on the move!

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One Response to “Gustav no Katrina, but exposes flaws in levees”

  1. comment number 1 by: Kate

    Flaws? Let it go the way of Atlantis. People who keep rebuilding on the side of a cliff deserve to have their house crashing down to the valley. Same with building on sand, and below sea level. I am sick of having to pay for it. More in insurance payments, more in taxes to support fools who won’t get up off their hind ends and MOVE, not to mention get a freakin’ job. My sympathy lies with the children of such jackasses, not the jackasses themselves.

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