Thursday, May 04, 2006

#*@*%^! People Live Here!

During Katrina, the 17th Street Canal floodwall protecting Jefferson Parish was about to collapse . . . but the one protecting Orleans Parish failed first
As they help now to write their team's final report, Rogers and Bea say the bottom line of all the research tells them that neither side of the 17th Street Canal floodwall was properly designed to withstand the force of rising water and that both were built on equally unreliable swampy soils, including a layer of something Bea likens to "black toothpaste," the consistency of axle grease.


"A portion of the wall on the Jefferson Parish side, across the canal from the breach, is leaning, bowed out toward the land -- about one foot," Rogers said. "That might not be of concern if not for the fact that it is directly opposite the 17th Street Canal breach . . . and our drilling has confirmed similar foundation conditions."


[Reed] Mosher [a member of the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task force investigating the levee system failures] said he would also be looking to see if a gap had formed on the west side, a failure dynamic that figured prominently in a task force report issued six weeks ago.

In it, the interagency team said sophisticated computer models showed that the east floodwall came down in a four-step process that started when pressure from rising water began to push, or deflect, the concrete floodwall and its subsurface steel sheet piling supports away from the canal and toward doomed Lakeview.

That deflection created a gap between the wall and the levee on the canal side, a separation that extended the entire length of the sheet pile wall to 17 1/2 feet below sea level.

Water quickly rushed into the opening, creating a channel that separated the floodwall from the levee and allowed high water pressure a straight shot down to the soil beneath the wall.

Design flaws. Not really category 3 protection though they called it that.

The daily news.

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