Thursday, December 08, 2005

More Levee Incompetance

If the design and construction of the protection levees were not adequate enough, we now learn that the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board dredged the 17th Street Canal to improve drainage. Only problem is that the water flowed in wrong direction during Hurricane Katrina. Furthermore, the Corps of Engineers had oversight of the project and signed-off on the permit. And these people are supposed to be engineers?

It seems there were two scenarios going on with respect to the "improvements" to the canal. First the canal was dredge thereby reducing the base of the wall and the corps wanted to further increase capacity by raising the height of the wall. If any of you architects out there remember your structures courses, anytime you increase the length of a cantalever and reduce its support, you
greatly increase the stress on the member. That's exactly what the corps was doing.

For crying out loud, I could have told them that their plan was doomed and I only got C's in structures.

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