No Picture
Geologic Hazards

New Orleans Repeats Deadly Levee Blunders

That is the title of a Seattle Post-Intelligencer article on post-Katrina levee issues in New Orleans (by way of ASCE Smart Brief). I think the article is somewhat sensationalized, but they do cite some interesting parallels between the levee reconstruction efforts made after Katrina and the levee construction/reconstruction that occurred after Hurricane Betsy in 1965.

The article also discusses a recent US Army audit with some disturbing although not unexpected findings:

An initial September 2010 target to complete the $14.8 billion in post-Katrina work has slipped to mid-2011. Then last September, an Army audit found 84 percent of work behind schedule because of engineering complexities, environmental provisos and real estate transactions. The report added that costs would likely soar.

A more recent analysis shows the start of 84 of 156 projects was delayed – 15 of them by six months or more. Meanwhile, a critical analysis of what it would take to build even stronger protection – 500-year-type levees – was supposed to be done last December but remains unfinished.

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Geologic Hazards

New Orleans Levees Need to be Raised 11-ft

The US Army Corps of Engineers has issued a report that indicates the eastern portion of the levee system that protects Bernard Parrish will need to be raised by 11-ft to 29-ft to protect against the 100-year hurricane. Levees along Lake Pontchartrain were designed in the 1960s for what was then considered to be 200-yr and 300-yr hurricanes. Now they are judged sufficient for the 100-yr event. More at NOLA.COM.

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Project Related

Army Corps Looking for 100 Million Cu Yd of Clay

The US Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans district is looking for an unprecedented 100 Million Cubic Yards of Clay to be used for reconstruction and fortification of levees in the New Orleans area. Once borrow sources are approved by the Corps, they will likely be contracting directly with a USACOE contractor constructing one of the projects associated with New Orleans Hurricane Protection System.  Material specs are USCS classification of CL or CH, <35% sand, PI < 10, organic content < 9%.

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No Picture
Press Releases

IPET Risk Maps Released in June for New Orleans Are CORRECT

Vicksburg, Miss. – The Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET) reaffirmed today that the New Orleans-area risk maps released on June 20, 2007, are correct. A data error discovered in the draft technical supporting documentation released by IPET on Nov. 7 raised questions about risk map accuracy for two sections of New Orleans.

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No Picture
Geologic Hazards

ASCE: Cease and Desist over Video Spoof

The American Society of Civil Engineers ASCE sent a cease and desist letter to the owner of the Levees.Org website notifying them to remove a video spoof of its post-Katrina levee inspection. Of course, through the wonders of the internet, Levees.org removed it from YouTube, but someone else posted it again. And because of all the fuss, it’s more popular than it would have been otherwise with over 16,000 views at the time of this post. Click through to watch it.

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Press Releases

New Costs for New Orleans 100-Year Hurrican Protection

Corps Releases New Risk Maps for the New Orleans Area;
Powell Releases New Costs for 100-Year Hurricane Protection

Administration to work with Congress for additional drainage measures beyond 100-year commitment

NEW ORLEANS (August 22, 2007) – Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding Donald E. Powell and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Director of Civil Works Maj. General Don T. Riley today detailed the improved hurricane protection that will be provided to New Orleans area residents once the city’s levees are built to the 100-year level. In addition, Powell announced $6.3 billion of further funding needed for improved protection for the New Orleans area and the Administration’s plan to secure necessary funds to complete the work by 2011.

[Editor] Photo by greenmannowar [/Editor]

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