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Re: [Cute] Interesting report on New Orleans Flood Safety 2003

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 00:00:43 -0400 (CLT)

Forgot the URL of the report -
http://www.pubs.asce.org/ceonline/ceonline03/0603feat.html

Andrew

andrew cooke said:
> As you probably know, there's a hurrican heading towards New Orleans,
> which, for some strange reason, is built below sea level in reclaimed
> marshland.  For example - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4192218.stm
>
> Anyway, while searching around looking for more info, I turned up this
> article in Civil Engineering Magazine from June 2003.  It discusses the
> ongoing work to improve safety and, just after 1/2 way through, has the
> following:
>
> If a storm of category 4 or 5 were to hit New Orleans before the city was
> adequately prepared, what toll would it exact?
> [...]
> In the 1990s, Suhayda began modeling category 4 and 5 storms hitting New
> Orleans from a variety of directions. His results were frightening enough
> that he shared them with emergency preparedness officials throughout
> Louisiana. If such a severe storm were to hit the city from the southwest,
> for instance, Suhayda’s data indicate that the water level of Lake
> Pontchartrain would rise by as much as 12 ft (3.7 m). As the storm’s
> counterclockwise winds battered the levees on the northern shore of the
> city, the water would easily top the embankments and fill the streets to a
> depth of 25 ft (7.6 m) or more.
> [...]
> Experts say a flood of this magnitude would probably shut down the city’s
> power plants and water and sewage treatment plants and might even take out
> its drainage system. The workhorse pumps would be clogged with debris, and
> the levees would suddenly be working to keep water in the city. Survivors
> of the storm—humans and animals alike—would be sharing space on the crests
> of levees until the Corps could dynamite holes in the structures to drain
> the area. In such a scenario, the American Red Cross estimates that
> between 25,000 and 100,000 people would die.
>
> Which is why people are concerned, I would guess.
>
> Andrew
>
> --
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