In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, leaving its signature of destruction form Louisiana all the way to Florida. The hardest hit area and the greatest catastrophe was in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. For many years the people of New Orleans had feared that one day a hurricane would drown their city with its storm surge. Katrina brought that nightmare storm surge and flooded the city. Yet the New Orleans levees system and flood control was the major cause of flooding, due to the inadequate repair and maintenance failure, incompletion of the levee system, and engineering designs based on outdated scientific data.
New Orleans on average lies 6 feet below sea level. It’s bordered by the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain on two sides. Those bodies of water ultimately feed into the Gulf of Mexico, which lies less than 100 miles from New Orleans. Besides being surrounded by water, the city is also marbled with canals and bayous that are essential to the city’s daily functions (Galle, 2006). The effects of Hurricane Katrina flooded a large part of New Orleans and breeched levees and floodwalls along the 17thStreet London Avenue canals (Government Accountability Office (GAO) 2005). The city of New Orleans has a history of levee failure and trying to control flooding fromhurricanes and rivers.
Long before Katrina arrived, the Native American and French settlers faced floods from the river and from hurricanes. The colonial capital was settled in 1718, to fend off flooding, the colonial government began building low earthen barriers, which they called levees (Colten, 2006). The colonial government enacted a law requiring all landowners to erect their own levee; the Spanish continued this aft...
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...all, Mark. “Its Cheaper to Go Dutch.” Newsweek 148 (2006): 36. Military and Government Collection. EBSCO. Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile. 26 Oct. 2006.
Mann, Eric. “Race and the High Ground in New Orleans.” World Watch (2006): 40-43. Academic OneFile. Thomson Gale. Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile. 28 Nov.2006
Ryan, Dave. “Bringing Them All Back Home: Six Months After Katrina, Homeless.” Dollars and Sense (2006): 46-50. Academic OneFile. Thomson Gale. Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile. 28 Nov. 2006.
Shafer, Jack. “Don’t Refloat.” (2005). 28 Nov.2006 http://www.slate.com. Szymanski, Greg. “New Orleans Levees Intentionally Exploded by Bomb?” Artic Beacon(2006). 29 Nov. 2006 http://www.mataba.net/news. United States. Cong. House. Army Corps of Engineers: Lake Pontchartrian and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project 28 Sept. 2005. 30 Oct. 2006 http://www.gao.gov.
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