Skip to comments.Did Loose Barge Cause Levee Break? (Vanity).
Posted on 09/17/2005 1:02:44 PM PDT by Mike Darancette
"I was looking at the levee, and water was just splashing over it a little - and then, BOOM! The barge hit, and it filled up in less than five minutes."
This was a statement from a man rescued from near the Levee break. Has there been any definitive confirmation of barge damage?
If the flooding was caused by an act of man not nature I would think that individual policy holders might have recourse to their carriers flood insurance or no.
Paging Minister Farrakhan.
This has been considered and ruled out, the levee broke a long way up the canal, and any barge that broke the levee would have washed up and over the break, or still be in the canal. No barge. But they do still have to come up with a plausable reason for the newly upgraded levee to break where it did. Where are the concrete specimens, the engineers and the workers who did the upgrade?
Scanned some scandal G2 on the net several days ago regarding mistaken discovery of UDT odrnance residue by salvage crews and heard urban-legend style scuttle from rescued evacuees about deliberate bombing of levees.( That is supposed to be the buzz among former residents.) The woods are full of this kind of thing almost anytime.
No, it was a horse shoe nail that did it.
President Bush and Karl Rove were seen in a tug boat pushing the barge into the levee. Paging Minister Farrakhan!
Well we got the Barge, but, hey, just a co-incidence?
"I think I saw that guy on the news a few days ago. Personally I thought he seemed believable enough. He didn't appear to have any reason to lie about it."
I saw him too. He and another guy describing what happened, sounded credible to me. They were talking about the big boom, and then how the water started rising much faster. I read somewhere that the barge sunk near the breach.
The older man said he was standing on his roof and saw the barge hit the levee.
Well again, show me the pictures, We had enough aerial coverage to find a barge if someone thought a barge had done some damage. Remember the levee broke after the storm, in the morning. No place for the barge to go but into the flood zone. Now, there are many levee breas, I was referring to the main one that broke on the Lake side. I guess of the many breaks a barge could have done one of them. I believe a full recap will be forthcoming one day. No need to worry too much just now.
Even if the barge did cause the break, it could still have been an act of God that broke the barge from it's moorings and flung it into the levee. Only thing that surprises me is that a barge could get enough sideways (relative to the length of the canal) momentum , even pushed by the storm surge and winds, to do that kind of damage to the concrete levee. (or more properly the concrete top to an otherwise earthen fill levee, as you can see fairly well in both pictures in post 15. I've seen other pictures taken from the levee itself, of the barge and the concrete top barrier. The earthen fill forms most of the levee and the canal itself which is elevated above the level of the surrounding terrain, with the concrete slabs just forming th e last several feet of the barrier.
Not that such a thing wouldn't be possible, nor would it take a large amount of explosives. The charges would be set to just weaken the structure, and maybe cause a few cracks, the water would do the rest.
As I understand it, the levee's along the Lake itself did not fail, rather containment structures (levees) along several canals leading to the lake, and at the same water level as the Lake, are what failed. Which when you think about it, seems a bit odd. Although I guess the canal structure could have acted as a funnel to raise the level of water in the canal higher than that in the Lake, or a reflection of the initial wave from the River end of the canal (Where there's a lock) could have reinforced the trailing part of the surge causing the water to be higher in the canal than in the lake, at least for a short period of time. Long enough to over top and then undermine the levee. Maybe, perhaps. Be nice to have a video of the affair wouldn't it?
The barge does not need to punch through the levee, just crack the cement and the water working on the earthen fill will do the rest.
Doesn't it look like the water is flowing into the levee in the bottom two pictures?
The barge slipping it mooring is an act of God only if He is the one who tied it up.
Folks are mixing up barges, levee breaches, and witnesses.
The grain barge shown in the images in this thread punched a hole in the east side of the Industrial Canal and flooded the lower 9th Ward, not downtown.
However, the surge of water that pushed the barge into that levee also topped (not breached) the western side of the Industrial canal and put maybe 5 to 6 feet of water in to a limited (call it 20 blocks by 20 blocks) area just northeast of downtown, in New Orleans proper. This either came from the Intercoastal Waterway or Lake Pontchartrain or both, probably both, also probably more so from the Industrial Waterway.
The levee breaches that flooded downtown New Orleans were near the north end of two canals, one east of the City Park (London Canal breach) and one west of the City Park (17th Street Canal).
The pictures from London Canal indicate that the concrete wall was undermined and didn't really fail so much as its foundation was scoured loose. (If you look at it, you'll probably see a "failed" wall, but an engineer or construction guy will see a scoured foundation as the root cause...most likely.)
Several sections of the 17th street canal breach failed as a unit and appear to have been pushed over from the top. There are no visible barges anywhere near there, and it would be very difficult to get a barge anywhere near there because there is a very low bridge between the breach and Lake Pontchartrain. Also that canal is very narrow for any barges to get into it and have much lateral velocity, if they can get in at all.
Odds are this failure came from one of three causes. Much earlier, around 3 AM, the Kenner police reported that the canal NNW of there was full up and that they had some minor water problems. (Probably water coming up out of storm drains.) Since the winds pushing water west and southwest and then south would have caused similar buildup at the canal easts of that one (including the 17th st canal and the London Canal in succession), and since they both have the same height walls, it is likely that the 17th Street Canal was full too.
It is possible that some water came over the top and undermined the foundation from the inside. I rate this as being unlikely because the remaining sections of the wall do not show evidence of having been topped. No green stuff on top of the wall, no piles of the same kind of debris inside the wall as inside the canal.
That leaves two possibilities. One, the hydrostatic pressure of the deepening water in the canal, and the hydrodynamic pressure of the southward moving crest of water, may have forced water under the wall (percolation and then scouring) and caused it to fail like the London breach, but if so, the end result was very different than the London breach because the whole section of the 17th street canal wall toppled completely flat in the hole. Underwater and invisible flat. At the London breach however, the wall sections were still in place and standing vertically with holes under them and gaps between sections.
Therefore, I believe that the ties between sections of the 17th canal wall were not as sturdy as those used elsewhere, that they failed, and at that point, with nothing pinning the top of the wall in place, the water simply pushed it over.
I find it more than curious that the 17th street failure and the London Canal failure both involved new sections of wall, that other than barge damage, no old walls failed anywhere (be careful to distiguish between a wall and a levee), and that both the 17th street and the London breach were possibly both a result of under wall percolation, scouring and subsequent failure.
However, it is very risky to point fingers on that basis because of the different failure modes (at least in final appearance) but slightly less risky is noting that both were new construction.
Before you run too far with this, if you are looking for culprits, give it a day or so. I have this feeling that some.....revelations....are inbound.
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