Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mystery surrounds floodwall breaches

John McQuaid, at, wrote:

Mystery surrounds floodwall breaches

"One of the central mysteries emerging in the Hurricane Katrina disaster is why concrete floodwalls in three canals breached during the storm, causing much of the catastrophic flooding, while earthen hurricane levees surrounding the city remained intact...

"Floodwalls were breached in the 17th Street Canal, at two places in the London Avenue Canal, and at two places in the Industrial Canal, said Joseph Suhayda, (a retired LSU coastal engineer who examined the breaches last week)...

"Army Corps of Engineers project manager Al Naomi... said last week that one of the Industrial Canal breaches likely was caused by a loose barge that broke through it.

"Suhayda said that his inspection of the debris from the 17th Street Canal breach suggests the wall simply gave way. "It looks to have been laterally pushed, not scoured in back with dirt being removed in pieces," he said. "You can see levee material, some distance pushed inside the floodwall area, like a bulldozer pushed it."


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