9/12/2005

Levee Broke BEFORE storm, with weak wind, not Katrina's might

the 17th street levee failed hours before the landfall when winds were much weaker.

A National Guard Bureau timeline places the breach at 3 a.m. Monday

Update [2005-9-12 10:59:30 by Tomtech]:The 17th street levee breach which was reported at 3:00 AM, would put the eye wall about 50 miles offshore and close to 100 miles from the city at that time, assuming landfall was 7:00 AM and storm advance at 13 MPH. There would be hurricane force winds in the area but they would be in the 75 MPH range, not the 135 MPH winds that were outside the eye wall.

What was catastrophic and broke AFTER BEFORE the storm was the 17th street canal. That was what flooded the entire city and threatened the french quarter, etc.

The Lower 9th ward is a small smidge of the city on the east end and itself is cordoned off by levees, so that flooding damage was contained to a smaller area.

The 17th street canal poured water into pretty much everything except south of St. Charles and East of Napoleon avenue
by MFL on Mon Sep 12th, 2005

full story on the reinforcement?
they were able to fund the study to see how to reinforce the levees in that area. They were originally constructed for dead-on category 1 or 2. But the reinforcement was incomplete.

What they had been able to complete was the work on the pumping stations, which had failed in the 95 floods and spurred the SELA funding in the first place. They built a brand new pumping station at the underpass area of I-10 that was NEXT to the 17th street canal, but not near where the break ocurred which was up by the lake. I-10 dipped below a stretch of railroad right at the 17th street/parish line area and always flooded even with the most minimal amount of water. The new pumping station was less expensive than raising and rebuilding that portion of I-10.

This is a pretty good roundup article on the corps funding:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001051313

by MFL on Mon Sep 12th, 2005

Senior Guardsman: Levee Broke during storm.
by Tomtech
Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 00:03:26 CDT

Contrary to most reports that the levees failed after the storm comes this statement given to the New Orleans Times Picayune by Master Sgt. Stephen Cockerham who was at the National Guard Headquarters during the storm.

"I'd say within 15 minutes, it was six feet deep inside the building."

The winds were too strong to flee, he said, and he did not know at the time that the levee gave way. "All I know is it came up damned fast," he said. "I'd say we were right in the midst of the strongest winds when the levee broke."

This was the Industrial Canal Levee.

See below the fold how the Louisiana National Guard became ineffective due to the levee breach.

The flooding from the levee breach shut down the cities National Guard Headquarters, destroyed much of the communication equipment, and sent the Guardsmen to the Superdome for refuge.

Other communications gear, which was stored in the back of a military truck, floated away...

400 Guardsmen rode out the hurricane at the barracks...

By 9:30 p.m.(Monday), Guard leaders decided to relocate the command staff to the Superdome...

"Once we lost power, that's really when we ceased to function,"...

helicopter crews picked them up and flew them to the Superdome.

This may be the main breakdown in the Louisiana National Guard's effectiveness in maintaining control of the situation. Further research seems justified as too what the unit was able to accomplish in the next four days.

See my series on what happened during the critical days of the catastrophe. I guess I will have to wait until Tuesday for the next installment, unless I get special dispensation or the two diary rule is restored.
Update [2005-9-12 1:43:20 by Tomtech]:Thanks to a comment in the first thread I found this report from Knight Ridder that the 17th street levee failed hours before the landfall when winds were much weaker.

A National Guard Bureau timeline places the breach at 3 a.m. Monday

Update [2005-9-12 10:59:30 by Tomtech]:The 17th street levee breach which was reported at 3:00 AM, would put the eye wall about 50 miles offshore and close to 100 miles from the city at that time, assuming landfall was 7:00 AM and storm advance at 13 MPH. There would be hurricane force winds in the area but they would be in the 75 MPH range, not the 135 MPH winds that were outside the eye wall.

The national Weather Service issued a flash flood warning at 8:14 AM Monday which specifically mentioned the Industrial Canal Levee breach.

Daily Kos: [Update] Senior Guardsman: Levee Broke during storm.

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