Anticipating the possibility of a Category 5 storm placing water in New Orleans, preparations began for drainage operations.
Pre-storm preparations[ edit ] Strength of Katrina's winds. Anticipating the possibility of a Category 5 storm placing water in New Orleans, preparations began for drainage operations. Richard Wagenaarand a team worked out of an emergency operations shelter in New Orleans. Other teams waited in the storm's path across the Gulf coast.
The Corps worked with the U. Coast Guard, Army National Guard and other state and federal authorities to bring in all assets available to expedite the process. NOAA Corps' engineers initially believed that water in the 17th Street Canal overtopped the floodwall, scoured behind the wall, and caused it to collapse.
However, three local fire captains confirmed with video footage that the floodwall had failed before water reached the top. Lee Boulevard, and on the lower side a block in from the Mirabeau Avenue Bridge.
By the evening of August 29,approximately 28 levee failures were reported throughout the city. Wind and other storm damage had already stopped the city.
Many power lines were down and the remains of trees and buildings blocked streets. As Corps of Engineers' workers began working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA begin work on city cleanup and civil engineering tasks, several boats surveyed the flooded areas and blocked waterways around the city.
Corps of Engineers used crane barges to remove barges that had been washed atop bridges and other structures. Army National Guard helicopters began assisting in this operation August Meanwhile, Lake Pontchartrain started slowly draining and was expected to return to normal levels in about 36 hours.
Recovery[ edit ] Building roadway toward 17th Street Canal breach. The Corps began operating on an initial hypothesis that the force of the water overtopped the floodwall and scoured the structure from behind and then moved the levee wall horizontally about 20 feet 6.
This hypothesis was later refuted by eyewitnesses. The 3, pound sandbag operation at the 17th Street Canal was postponed early in the day when U. Army Chinook helicopters were diverted for rescue missions. The Corps continued to coordinate with Army officials to have helicopters assist in the placement of sandbags at the breaches.
The 3, pound sandbags were each about 3 feet 0. This would stabilize the water flow and allow work on the levee, while also helping to stabilize the rest of the levee system. Along with local and state officials, the Corps contracted to build access roads to the breach sites and to fill in the breaches.
One plan called for building an access road from Hammond Highway to the 17th Street breach, and then southward to the end of the breach. Construction[ edit ] Flexifloat barge delivers 15, pound sand bags to plug a breach in the 17th Street Canal.
This allowed a change of plans, and marine equipment was used to drive sheet piling at the mouth of the 17th Street Canal to seal off the entire canal from the lake.
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A contractor began bringing in rock to build a road toward the breach, which was south and east of the Hammond Highway bridge over the canal, with dry land on the west side of the bridge.
Rock was being transported from offsite to complete the access road and closure at the 17th Street breach. Once the rock required to build the roads arrived in New Orleans and the access road to the breach was completed, the Corps estimated closure of the breach could be completed in three to four days.
Several private firms have volunteered services and provided assistance in design of the closure. The 17th Street Canal Levee, was now estimated to have a breach feet m long.Hurricane Katrina Tour “America’s Worst Catastrophe” Get an eyewitness account of the events surrounding the most devastating natural - and man-made - disaster on American soil with a local’s chronology of events leading up to Hurricane Katrina and the days immediately following the disaster.
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