CEE200 Advanced Engineering Computation:Hurricane Katrina Flooding

Hurricane Katrina 2005 is regarded as one of the most powerful storms to strike the United States coastline in the last century. After reaching Class 5 strength throughout the whole Gulf of Mexico and then dwindling to a powerful Class 3 hurricane, it made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi. The hurricane surge destroyed the levee construction that protects the City of New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain, flooding approximately 80% of the city. The report describes the engineering failures of flood walls and levees that led to the events.

Hurricane Katrina became one of the most devastating catastrophic events in recent times, not only because of the storm’s magnitude, that was unavoidable, but also because of inadequate financing for engineering activities and the years required to reconstruct and allow the public of New Orleans to resume their lives. Katrina had the greatest impact on coastal flooding and flooding. Considering to the storm’s magnitude, it generated a wide wind area, with peak winds possibly stretching up to 55.0 kilometers (35 miles) from of the core. Along the Mississippi coast, the storm surge reached approximately 24.0 to 28.0 feet along a 20-mile-long stretch of beachfront centered on St. Louis Bay. From Gulfport to Pascagoula, Mississippi, the floodwater reached 17.0 to 22.0 feet.

The surge extended up to 6 miles inland from the shore and 12 kilometers along bays as well as rivers. Additionally, the Alabama shoreline saw a surge of 8.0 to 12.0 feet. On the northeast side of Lake Pontchartain, storm surge reached 12.0 to 16.0 feet, 15.0 to 19.0 ft in eastern New Orleans, as well as 10.0 to 14.0 feet on the southern bank. Furthermore, huge swaths of Mississippi as well as Louisiana received 8-10 inches of precipitation or more across and to the west of the route. When selecting a backup facility, it is critical to find one that is strategically located to avoid being knocked out by the same storm [2]. They should ideally be located in climatologically distinct regions of the country.  Weather Information assists in developing tailored strategies for weather risk management requirements, ensuring that weather risks have a minimal impact on a business and its infrastructure.

 Purpose of the Report

The United States Army Corps of Engineers was tasked with building a new flood-defence system after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in late August 2005. Experts cannot guarantee that their designs will resist every possible weather event regarding flood protection in structures. Each year, a one percent probability of a 100-year storm is calculated using historical data on floods and rainfall at a particular place [7]. The 100-year storm happens only once every 100 years. Instead, they are more likely to build to this level. Consequently, the engineers responsible for designing and constructing the city’s new defences manipulated the data to assure that their efforts would protect New Orleans from the approaching catastrophe.

Certain aspects were re-examined in light of new information. A few extra feet of clearance were built into the levee due to ocean waves, for example, which were considered twice. As was the case in the past, a strictly “rule-based” 100-year flood plan would not have considered the likelihood of climate change. Alternately, the West Closure Complex and the 1.8-mile Lake Borgne Surge Barrier, both costing $1.1 billion, were conceived and completed as part of a more comprehensive flood protection system. This may be compared to a 200-year flood prevention system.

As the frequency and severity of storms increase, the infrastructure meant to protect people in areas like New Orleans may degrade fast, failing to keep up with the challenges a changing climate may throw at it. There’s a one-in-100 possibility of flooding in the future because of climate change and sea-level rise, which means that that water level had a one-in-100 chance of occurring every year in the past. More and increasingly extreme weather events that might ruin century-old structures are becoming more regular.

Investigations

ASCE’s levee analysis team was one of the first delegations of engineers to examine New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. This crew investigated and recorded post-flood circumstances in order to help in the investigation of the failure’s reasons. The findings are contained in UCB/CITRIS–05/01, “Preliminary Analysis on the Operation of the New Orleans Levee Systems during Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005,” published on November 17, 2005. All of the ASCE levee inspection team’s associates are also members of the ASCE’s Hurricane Katrina Independent Review Committee. 

Disaster Preparedness in Federal Legislations Regulsaions, Policy

1.Pet Evacuation Transportation Standards Act of 2006, (PETS Act)

2.HHS, Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, 2006, (PAHPA)

3.FEMA and DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Planning.

4.National Incident Management System (NIMS).

5.Homeland Security Target Capabilities Lists (TCL).

Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities in the Provision of Disaster Mass Care, Housing, and Human Services Reference Guide

FEMA released Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities in the Provision of Disaster Mass Care, Housing, and Human Services Reference Guide, which states, “Federal civil rights in Section VI of this Guide require equal access for, and prohibit discrimination against, people with disabilities in all aspects of emergency planning, response, and recovery. To comply with Federal law, those involved in emergency management should understand the concepts of accessibility and nondiscrimination and how they apply in emergencies.