5
Sep
2005

"Concrete" evidence?

From: "who_declares" Date: Fri Sep 2, 2005 9:50 pm Subject: "Concrete" evidence?

//groups.yahoo.com/group/abidemir/message/5546

[Yes, it is quite possible that the New Orleans' levees were sabotaged to accomplish the complete destruction of the city that Hurricane Katrina HAD NOT DONE. Experts would be able to know if the levee had been blasted. It is even possible that explosives were embedded into the CONCRETE levee when it was being constructed to be exploded at the proper time.Just like Murrah and WTC.There are Army engineers out there who MUST know.]


//www.stewwebb.com/BreakingNews.html

Breaking News September 1, 2005

Second Battle of New Orleans Commences. Witnesses saw Levy Sabotaged by Bushes (FEMA) Federal Emergency Management Agency. American French Alliance (AFA) protecting Poor Black Witnesses who saw Bush-FEMA Blow the Levy's that flooded New Orleans. The American Revolution Continues.


//www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1125442964217_7
New Orleans: When the levee breaks

Bill Doskoch, CTV.ca News

If you drive into New Orleans from the west, you travel on elevated expressways built on concrete pilings that tower above the swamps and bayous below.

New Orleans is sandwiched between Lake Pontchartrain to the north and the Mississippi River, about 160 kilometres north of where the river joins the Gulf of Mexico, one of the world's most fertile hurricane zones.

The city's location was chosen in part because it was the only patch of relatively high ground along that part of the river, and because of the narrow portage, favoured by the native Indians of the area, between the river and the lake.

New Orleans is home to 485,000 people -- about 160,000 less than Winnipeg, a city that also has some familiarity with flooding -- although the area population is 1.3 million.

While living in Winnipeg is like living on a tabletop, living in New Orleans is more like being in a sunken soup bowl.

The majority of the city is an average of 1.9 metres below sea level -- with the lowest point six metres below sea level and the highest ground still 0.3 metres lower than the sea.

Almost half of New Orleans' 907-square-kilometre surface area is comprised of water, not land.

Since the area is naturally flood-prone, engineers have worked to build an intricate system of canals, pumps and elevated embankments called levees, which form the bowl, to protect the city.

As little as 2.5 centimetres of rain can trigger some degree of local flooding. With its semi-tropical climate, the city gets an average of
90 cm per year.

That reality helps explain one colourful aspect of New Orleans and southern Louisiana -- people are buried in aboveground crypts, not underground graves.

A history of near misses

Levees exist up and down the Mississippi River valley.

The earliest levees were erected soon after the city's founding in
1718 and the system has been expanded and strengthened ever since.

Breaches, and the damage and heartbreak that follows, are ingrained in southern folklore.

For example, "When the Levee Breaks" is the name of a 1929 blues tune by Memphis Minnie, made famous by Led Zeppelin.

"Now, cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good, When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move," the lyrics warn.

IN 1965, WHEN HURRICANE BETSY STRUCK THE COAST NEAR NEW ORLEANS, THE LEVEES ENCIRCLING THE CITY AND OUTLYING PARISHES WERE RAISED TO HEIGHTS RANGING UP TO ABOUT SEVEN METRES.

SINCE THEN, THE BIG EASY HAS HAD NOTHING BUT NEAR MISSES AS HURRICANE AFTER HURRICANE WREAKED HAVOC ELSEWHERE ALONG THE GULF COAST.

IN 1988, HURRICANE GEORGES HEADED STRAIGHT FOR NEW ORLEANS, THEN VEERED AT THE LAST MINUTE TO STRIKE MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA.

HURRICANE LILI BLEW HERSELF OUT AT THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI IN 2002.

AND LAST YEAR'S HURRICANE IVAN SWERVED TO THE EAST AS IT CAME ASHORE, BARELY GRAZING THE CITY.

NEVERTHELESS, EXPERTS REPEATEDLY CAUTIONED THAT THE LEVEE SYSTEM WAS UNLIKELY TO PROTECT THE CITY AGAINST A CATEGORY 4 OR 5 STORM.

"We're talking about an incredible environmental disaster," Marine scientist Ivor van Heerden of Louisiana State University, who has developed flooding models for New Orleans, said before the storm arrived.

He predicted that floodwaters would overcome the levee system, fill the low-lying areas of the city and remain trapped there.

So when meteorologists forecasted that Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the city, city officials ordered a mass evacuation, fearing the worst.

"We are facing a storm that most of us have long feared," New Orleans' Mayor Ray Nagin said Sunday as he issued a mandatory evacuation order.

"The storm surge will most likely topple our levee system."

Experts have long warned the network of earthen, steel and concrete barriers protecting the city were inadequate.

When the levee breaks

The 560 kilometre-long hurricane levee system, mostly along Lake Pontchartrain to the north and the Mississippi River on the south -- was designed to withstand a fast-moving Category 3 hurricane, which carries with it a storm surge of up to 5.5 metres.

As it crossed the Gulf of Mexico after pummeling south Florida, Katrina was rated a rare Category 5 hurricane, with winds of 280 kilometres per hour and a predicted storm surge of 8.5 metres. Meteorologists thought the storm would bring 38 centimetres of rain too.

WHEN KATRINA HIT EARLY MONDAY MORNING, IT HAD BEEN DOWNGRADED TO A STILL-DANGEROUS CATEGORY 4 STORM. AS WELL, IT VEERED TO THE EAST WHEN IT CAME ASHORE, SPARING NEW ORLEANS A DIRECT HIT.

BUT PEAK WINDS STILL HIT 160 KM/H AS KATRINA LASHED NEW ORLEANS FOR EIGHT HOURS.

ON MONDAY NIGHT, RESIDENTS BELIEVED THEY HAD ESCAPED MAJOR DAMAGE. THEY WERE WRONG.

AS WATER LEVELS IN LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN ROSE IN THE CITY'S NORTH, THE LEVEE SYSTEM BUCKLED UNDER THE STRAIN.

THERE WAS ONE LEVEE BREAK REPORTED AT THE EAST END OF TOWN, BUT ONLY LOCALIZED FLOODING RESULTED.

HOWEVER, THERE WAS A FAILURE OF A LARGE SECTION OF THE VITAL 17TH STREET CANAL LEVEE WHERE IT CONNECTS TO THE OLD HAMMOND HIGHWAY BRIDGE.

THE GAP -- FIRST REPORTED TO BE ABOUT 60 METRES WIDE, BUT NOW ABOUT 150 METRES -- ALLOWED MILLIONS OF LITRES OF WATER FROM LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN TO FLOOD NEW ORLEANS, TURNING IT INTO AN URBAN SWAMP.

ACCORDING TO THE NEW YORK TIMES, THIS BREACH WAS ON A SPOT THAT HAD RECEIVED MORE ATTENTION THAN OTHER AREAS IN THE REGION.

SHEA PENLAND, DIRECTOR OF THE PONTCHARTRAIN INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS, SAID THAT BREACH WAS PARTICULARLY SURPRISING BECAUSE IT OCCURRED "ALONG A SECTION THAT WAS JUST UPGRADED."

"IT DID NOT HAVE AN EARTHEN LEVEE," PENLAND TOLD THE NEWSPAPER.

"IT HAD A VERTICAL CONCRETE WALL SEVERAL FEEL THICK."

BY LATE AFTERNOON TUESDAY, MAYOR NAGIN REPORTED THAT 80 PER CENT OF HIS CITY WAS NOW UNDERWATER.

ENGINEERS BELIEVE HIGH WINDS PUSHED WATER OVER THE LEVEES' TOP AND ERODED THEM FROM BEHIND.

OTHER EXPERTS STUDYING FLOOD PREVENTION SPECULATED THAT ANY DIP IN THE RETAINING LEVEE SYSTEM MIGHT HAVE ALLOWED WATER TO SLOSH OVER, TRIGGERING THE COLLAPSE.

To make matters worse, it appeared that the breaches in the levees would not be fixed quickly and may in fact take days to repair.

Plugging the breaches

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had hoped to plug the breaches by dropping 1,360-kilogram sand bags from twin-rotored CH-53 helicopters.

Another plan was to use shipping containers filled with gravel.

But neither option has gone well so far.

"The challenge is an engineering nightmare," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana told ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday.

"The National Guard has been dropping sandbags into it, but it's like dropping it into a black hole."

In addition, there was a report of a pump failure Tuesday night.

On Wednesday morning, Blanco called for the complete evacuation of New Orleans.

LATER THAT DAY, EXPERTS FROM THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS ARRIVED ON THE SCENE, ASSESSING WAYS TO REPAIR THE BREACHES.

"We're attempting to contract for materials, such as rock, super sand bags, cranes, and also for modes of transportation like barges and helicopters, to close the gap and stop the flow of water," said Walter Baumy, the Corps' manager for the project.

According to reports on Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers said it was having trouble getting the sandbags to the affected site because the waterways were blocked by boats, debris, and loose barges. The Corps is expected to drive corrugated vertical steel plates into the mud near where the canal meets the lake, sealing it off so that the large breach farther in, can be tackled more systematically.

The decision was made after futile efforts to determine how to drop concrete highway barriers or huge sandbags into the torrent.

Even after the breaches are plugged, electricity will still have to be restored and the pumps repaired before the long process of pumping the water out of New Orleans can begin.

The broken levees allowed the water to fill the city's streets, but dozens of barriers that remained intact are keeping the floodwater from receding.

To help matters; however, the army considered creating an opening in a south levee to allow water to drain out.

"That way, gravity would work for us," corps spokesman Jim Pogue told Reuters on Tuesday.

And once the flooding is over, Michael Brown, head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, told one U.S. network on Tuesday it could be weeks before people could return to their homes.

That's because the floodwaters have turned New Orleans into a toxic soup bowl, with chemicals, human waste and rotting animal carcasses and human corpses all mixing together to make the trapped water highly polluted.

When the city is dried out and roads are restored, people could return to survey their homes, not necessarily live in them, Blanco said at a news conference.

"It's hard to say how many homes may be structurally salvageable," she said.

The push is on now to find temporary housing for hundreds of thousands of people who will likely need it for months, not days or weeks.

As the song laments: "When the levee breaks, I'll have no place to stay. Mean old levee, taught me to weep and moan."


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