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HURRICANE KATRINA FLOOD. BY: JESSICA KANG. Formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005 Crossed southern Florida (category 1) Turned into category 3 on August 29, 2005 and caused severe damage along the Gulf Coast from central Florida to Texas

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Formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005

  • Crossed southern Florida (category 1)
  • Turned into category 3 on August 29, 2005 and caused severe damage along the Gulf Coast from central Florida to Texas
  • The most severe damage occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana
more facts

At least 1,836 lives were lost, making it one of the deadliest U. S. hurricanes

  • 705 are still missing
  • Costliest hurricane: $88.5 billion
More Facts

New Orleans is located on a delta formed by the Mississippi River

  • First settled by the French on the natural levee along the Mississippi bank (known today as the French Quarter)
  • North of the natural levee, the land slopes down into a swamp

Around 1900, large pumps were introduced to drain this wetland

    • Water was pumped up into canals and drained into Lake Pontchartrain
  • By 1950, houses and buildings made up the city that we know of today
geologic setting

Since New Orleans rests on a delta and it is being drained, the city is continuously sinking

  • This is because there is peat (unstable organic soil) found in the swamp
Geologic Setting
three processes behind ground subsidence on peat

“Consolidation due to loss of water, when the peat loses volume in response to the loss of support offered by internal water pressure

  • Compaction under load, both self-loading and imposed by other sediments or built structures, when the highly porous peat restructures into a denser material
  • Wastage on exposure to air, when the peat simply oxidises and disappears where loss of water leaves it above the water table.”
Three Processes Behind Ground Subsidence on Peat
artificial levees

Knowing that the natural levees would not be enough to protect this sinking city, artificial levees were built.

  • But they weren’t enough to withstand Katrina. . .
Artificial Levees
how the levees failed

Caused by under seepage through the levee silt

  • The silt washed out and formed “cavities” in the levees, which grew larger
  • Eventually, the levees collapsed
How the Levees Failed
solutions it s complicated

To rebuild or not to rebuild. . . Ethical issues

    • Rebuild
      • Continue building higher levees as the city keeps sinking
      • Is it the right thing to do to rebuild in a hurricane prone area?
    • Not to Rebuild
      • Most people want to hear good news
        • In the short-run it may be good, but in the long-run?
      • Who is going to be responsible for the victims?
        • Many victims were thrown out of their trailer that was provided as shelter after the disaster
        • Government aid has also been cut off
Solutions: It’s Complicated!
works cited

Risk Management Solutions Inc. “Hurricane Katrina: Lessons of a Super Cat.” http:/// Web. 24 Feb. 2010.

  • Robertson, Ian N. "Lessons from Hurricane Katrina storm surge on bridges and buildings." Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering 133.6 (2007): 463-483. GeoRef. EBSCO. Web. 24 Feb. 2010.
  • Waltham, Tony. "The flooding of New Orleans." Geology Today 21.6 (2005): 225-231. GeoRef. EBSCO. Web. 24 Feb. 2010.
  • Hurricane Katrina.
Works Cited