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KATRINA FOLLOW-UP: WHO BOMBED THE LEVEE?
Michelle's Blog ^ | 01 Dec 05 | Michelle Malkin

Posted on 12/01/2005 9:35:07 AM PST by stm

Um, no one.

Sorry to disappoint the moonbats and Mother Ship riders, but the flooding of New Orleans wasn't a Republican conspiracy to kill black people. Via Paul at Wizbang, Bob Marshall of the New Orleans Time-Picayune penned a summary yesterday of the real reasons for the failure of the 17th Street Canal levee in New Orleans:

The floodwall on the 17th Street Canal levee was destined to fail long before it reached its maximum design load of 14 feet of water because the Army Corps of Engineers underestimated the weak soil layers 10 to 25 feet below the levee, the state's forensic levee investigation team concluded in a report to be released this week. That miscalculation was so obvious and fundamental, investigators said, they "could not fathom" how the design team of engineers from the corps, local firm Eustis Engineering and the national firm Modjeski and Masters could have missed what is being termed the costliest engineering mistake in American history.

The failure of the wall and other breaches in the city's levee system flooded much of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina slammed ashore Aug. 29, prompting investigations that have raised questions about the basic design and construction of the floodwalls.

"It's simply beyond me," said Billy Prochaska, a consulting engineer in the forensic group known as Team Louisiana. "This wasn't a complicated problem. This is something the corps, Eustis, and Modjeski and Masters do all the time. Yet everyone missed it -- everyone from the local offices all the way up to Washington."

Team Louisiana, which consists of six LSU professors and three independent engineers, reached its conclusions by plugging soil strength data available to the corps into the engineering equations used to determine whether a wall is strong enough to withstand the force of rising water caused by a hurricane.

"Using the data we have available from the corps, we did our own calculations on how much water that design could take in these soils before failure," said LSU professor Ivor van Heerden, a team member. "Our research shows it would fail at water levels between 11 and 12 feet -- which is just what happened" in Katrina.

The screw-up, according to academic and professional investigators cited by Marshall, was that the sheet piling used to support the floodwalls was too short:

The corps has long claimed the sheet piling was driven to 17.5 feet deep, but Team Louisiana recently used sophisticated ground sonar to prove it was only 10 feet deep. Van Heerden said Team Louisiana's latest calculations prove investigators' claims that a depth of 17 feet would have made little difference. He said the team ran the calculations for sheet piles at 17 feet and 16 feet deep, and the wall still would have failed at a load of 11 to 12 feet of water.

Investigators have been puzzled by the corps' design since it was made public in news reports. They said it was obvious the weak soils in the former swampland upon which the canal and levee were built clearly called for sheet piles driven much deeper than the canal bottom. It was not a challenging engineering problem, investigators said.

Prochaska said a rule of thumb is that the length of sheet piling below a canal bottom should be two to three times longer than the length extending above the canal bottom.

"That's if you have uniform soils, and we certainly don't have that in the New Orleans area," he said. "It kind of boggles the mind that they missed this, because it's so basic, and there were so many qualified engineers working on this."

According to records cited by Marshall, the Army Corps of Engineers reviewed and approved the flawed design plans.

In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, some liberals blamed levee failures on budget cuts supposedly pushed through by George W. Bush. But according to the Washington Post, reports of levee problems began to surface in the mid-1990s, before the floodwalls were even completed. The timeline is sketchy, but it looks like the flawed design plans were approved about two decades ago.

For the mathematically-challenged, that's more than 10 years before Dubya was elected President.

* * *

In a separate article published November 19, Marshall reported that levee leaks were reported to the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board a year ago. City officials neither took action nor bothered to report the leaks to the Army Corps of Engineers:

A year ago Beth LeBlanc and her neighbors on Bellaire Drive had a problem no one could seem to fix. Their yards, which swept to the base of the 17th Street Canal levee, kept filling with water. Then on Aug. 29, as Hurricane Katrina moved out of the area, that levee collapsed and tumbled into their homes, allowing Lake Pontchartrain and a world of misery to pour into the city. Now the residents of Bellaire Drive have questions.

"We called Sewerage & Water Board, and one of their guys tested the water and said it was coming from the canal," LeBlanc recalled. "They sent repair crews out. They tore up sidewalks and driveways. Things got better, but it never got dry.

"So I keep wondering why no one ever came out to ask about it. No one from the Corps of Engineers. No one from the Levee Board. Sewerage & Water Board never came back."

The corps wonders as well.

"If someone had told us there was lake water on the outside of that levee -- or any levee -- it would have been a red flag to us, and we would have been out there, without question," said Jerry Colletti, operations manager for completed works at the corps' New Orleans office.

"We have nothing on that, nothing at all. That's something we should have been told about."

Ya think?


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: conspiracy; cuckoo; ibrokethedam; katrina; leveeplot; malkin; moonbat; povertypimps
Sorry to have to break this news to the moonbats and poverty pimps........NOT
1 posted on 12/01/2005 9:35:08 AM PST by stm
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To: stm
Why is she even giving this the time of day?

Michelle, don't engage the moonbats, they'll think they're relevant.
2 posted on 12/01/2005 9:36:35 AM PST by HairOfTheDog (Join the Hobbit Hole Troop Support - http://freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net/ 1,000 knives and counting!)
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To: stm

Calypso Lou-eey, please call the mothership.


3 posted on 12/01/2005 9:37:55 AM PST by advance_copy (Stand for life, or nothing at all)
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To: stm
The corps has long claimed the sheet piling was driven to 17.5 feet deep, but Team Louisiana recently used sophisticated ground sonar to prove it was only 10 feet deep.

I smell construction-skimming.

4 posted on 12/01/2005 9:38:19 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: stm

You know what is priceless, is the way that these crazy libs can throw accusations around like that, getting folks all in a tither and then it gets dropped like a hot potato. No one is held to account for slandering the administration.

I mean, it's no surprise, but still.


5 posted on 12/01/2005 9:38:20 AM PST by conservativebabe
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To: stm

Wait a minute...I thought Pres. Bush piloted a tanker into that levee


6 posted on 12/01/2005 9:39:11 AM PST by stylin19a
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To: stylin19a

7 posted on 12/01/2005 9:46:40 AM PST by al baby (Father of the beeber)
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To: stm

It seems to me that the real problem is that New Orleans is a stupid place to put a city.


8 posted on 12/01/2005 9:47:34 AM PST by wolfpat (To, Two, Too: Learn the difference.)
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To: conservativebabe
They are like the mischievous litty bratty kid that likes to start a $hitstorm amongst and then split
9 posted on 12/01/2005 9:47:36 AM PST by stm
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To: stylin19a
No! It was me! I did it...yeah, I did it...after Rove told me to...yeah....after I made the hurricane come...with a big machine...yeah a machine in space...made by Halliburton! Yeah, THAT'S THE TICKET!!!


10 posted on 12/01/2005 9:49:06 AM PST by txroadkill
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To: stm

LOL! Yep, that's a good analogy.


11 posted on 12/01/2005 9:50:53 AM PST by conservativebabe
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To: stm
Sorry to disappoint the moonbats and Mother Ship riders, but the flooding of New Orleans wasn't a Republican conspiracy to kill black people. Via Paul at Wizbang, Bob Marshall of the New Orleans Time-Picayune penned a summary yesterday of the real reasons for the failure of the 17th Street Canal levee in New Orleans:

Good. I'm glad they did. Now can we just let this go?


12 posted on 12/01/2005 9:51:34 AM PST by rdb3 (Wheelchair? What wheelchair?)
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To: al baby

ROTF at the picture!


13 posted on 12/01/2005 9:54:18 AM PST by FeeinTennessee (http://hometown.aol.com/feereports/feepolitics.html)
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To: stm

I did it! I wanted ALL the poor welfare-riding black people in NOLA to DIE! < /extreme sarcasm>


14 posted on 12/01/2005 10:04:24 AM PST by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: stm

And Bush accepted the blame anyway.


15 posted on 12/01/2005 10:09:22 AM PST by johnny7 (“You have a corpse in a car, minus a head, in the garage. Take me to it.”)
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To: stm
Your wrong! I know it. The national of islamofasism has it on good authority that Bush was out there lat at night, laughing hysterically while he planted his bombs. How can you sit there and dispute the nation of idiots..er..islam'o'fasists-r-us
16 posted on 12/01/2005 10:11:02 AM PST by truemiester (If the U.S. should fail, a veil of darkness will come over the Earth for a thousand years)
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To: stm

And here is some more stupid statements the democrats put out there..

It is reported that black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive.

Four days after the storm, thousands of blacks in New Orleans are dying like dogs. No-one has come to help them.And this is so stupid anyone that believes this needs help bad..
The democrats are beyond reason now. It is beyond our imagining to know what they are going to do next and what they are prepared to do. There is only one comparison: Nazi Germany.


17 posted on 12/01/2005 10:25:17 AM PST by Beth528
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To: stm

A question that has been forgotten in the chaos of MSM disinfo is whether the North winds over Lake Pontchartrain would have caused the requisite 11' surge, or was it the Gulf storm surge up the Channel?

In other words, would a surge dam have prevented this catastrophe or not?

Can any one answer this?


18 posted on 12/01/2005 10:47:55 AM PST by shamusotoole
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To: shamusotoole

Gates closing off the canals that empty into the lake would certainly stop lake water from coming back into the canals and into the city. A HUGE storm surge could overtop even gates, but gates would help dramatically. It makes NO sense at all for canals, that allow more water INTO the populated areas, to exist. The area could be kept dry by pumping directly into the lake, that's where it ends up anyway. Then just beef up the lake levees.
As for the ' they bombed the 17th St. Canal fantasy... I live about 5 blocks from that levee, on the Jefferson parish side. My niece's Montessori school was on the same block of the break. I've been there personally. It's STILL leaking from beneath the levee base there! This is about INCOMPETENCE and geology.
There weren't just 3 levee breaks in N.O. , there were about 28! Little ones, leaks, fissures, bubbling up and seepage. They were concerned just last week when a cold front came through and strong North winds pushed lake water back into the canals! If we can't be safe from NORTH WIND, forget hurricanes! Erosion and incompetence have doomed New Orleans.
I'm not feeling safe in Jefferson Parish either, but at least our side of the canal levee is better maintained and checked by parish officials who actually get OUT of their cars and use instruments. Unlike Orleans parish Levee Board inspectors, who drive around eating.


19 posted on 12/01/2005 11:03:29 AM PST by ClearBlueSky (Whenever someone says it's not about Islam-it's about Islam. Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead!)
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To: Semper Paratus
The corps has long claimed the sheet piling was driven to 17.5 feet deep, but Team Louisiana recently used sophisticated ground sonar to prove it was only 10 feet deep.

South Central Bell ( a local telephone company in South Louisiana) needed to install new telephone poles out by Mamou, so they decide to give the contract to the contractors who can install them the fastest. They tell Acme Pole Installers to work all day installing poles on one side of the road, and a Cajun contractor by the name of Boudreaux to install them on the other side. At the end of the day, the SC Bell representative returns to check on their progress. He sees that Acme has installed 24 poles that day and is very impressed. He turns around and sees that Boudreaux has only installed 4. He asks him "Why are you being so slow? The other guys have done 24 already!" To which ole Boudreaux reponds, "Mais yeah dere much faster, but look how much dey left sticking outta de ground!"

20 posted on 12/01/2005 11:07:41 AM PST by mbynack
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To: shamusotoole

21 posted on 12/01/2005 11:09:22 AM PST by al baby (Father of the beeber)
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To: ClearBlueSky
Unlike Orleans parish Levee Board inspectors, who drive around eating.


I'm sure that Bush is responsible for that...somehow. :)

I do think the management situation for the levees needs some serious looking at. Until the WSJ did its series of articles, I had no idea that so many different groups were involved in maintaining structures that all could suffer if one link failed.

I was impressed with the "after action" report given by Mayor Nagin late on the Monday after the storm. Very efficient and professional. What happened after that...I don't know.
22 posted on 12/01/2005 11:12:52 AM PST by P-40 (http://www.590klbj.com/forum/index.php?referrerid=1854)
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To: txroadkill

Hey now, Haliburton has a port in New Orleans. I bet they used a hurricane magnet.

Quick, Check Florida and Lake Charles to see if they have Halliburton offices. I think I've figured it out!


23 posted on 12/01/2005 6:41:38 PM PST by Bogey78O (<thinking of new tagline>)
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To: mbynack

Hehe... SCB was bought out by Atlanta based BellSouth over a decade ago.


24 posted on 12/01/2005 6:43:20 PM PST by Bogey78O (<thinking of new tagline>)
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To: wolfpat

"It seems to me that the real problem is that New Orleans is a stupid place to put a city."

And a dumber place to rebuild one.


25 posted on 12/01/2005 7:41:42 PM PST by Sunnyflorida
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To: ClearBlueSky
"Gates closing off the canals that empty into the lake would certainly stop lake water from coming back into the canals and into the city."

No levee system is fool proof. We would be foolish as taxpayers to rebuild those levees. The sections of the city that flooded need to be abandoned or dredged and filled like we have in Punta Gorda.
26 posted on 12/01/2005 7:45:52 PM PST by Sunnyflorida
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To: Sunnyflorida

I don't disagree.
I lived in Lakeview 20 years and loved it, it was the prettiest part of the city and oddly I never felt it was 'low'. It was the levees along the lakefront that worried me, not the canals. If the huge surge from the lake never makes it into the canals that makes the lakefront levees the only ones that have to be reinforced-not miles and miles of interior canals.
No- no system is foolproof. The fact is the city is below sea level and the water table is only a few feet down. I don't think it's sensible to rebuild ANYTHING until levees are built according to specs, and even then the areas that were severely damaged should be left alone.
But we're talking about people's lives and private property. Many are not going to give their land up easily. They reason they will play the odds again- after all it took hundreds of years for this to happen.
I think New Orleans should be a seasonal destination- with everything concentrated near the Quarter, the river and the lakefront. During hurricane season it should be mostly closed for business. Running for your life a few times a month( possible!) 6 months of the year is just no way to live.


27 posted on 12/01/2005 8:32:58 PM PST by ClearBlueSky (Whenever someone says it's not about Islam-it's about Islam. Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead!)
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To: stm
"KATRINA FOLLOW-UP: WHO BOMBED THE LEVEE?"

That's easy. Everybody knows it was Bush. < /sarcasm >

28 posted on 12/01/2005 8:44:34 PM PST by sweetliberty (Stupidity should make you sterile.)
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To: clee1

I did it... And I spray painted "John Galt was here!" right next to the crater.


29 posted on 12/02/2005 12:07:09 AM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: advance_copy

----But, but.... he said he had proof it was bombed! What a ridiculous, racist pompous ass for his people to follow and worship.


30 posted on 12/02/2005 2:23:17 AM PST by WasDougsLamb (I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed man.)
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To: stm
KATRINA FOLLOW-UP: WHO BOMBED THE LEVEE?

I did. I've hated Lake Pontchartrain since I was a kid. Too much water. Too long a bridge.

31 posted on 12/02/2005 8:47:10 AM PST by wardaddy (Merry Christmas ya'll)
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To: stm
A year ago Beth LeBlanc and her neighbors on Bellaire Drive had a problem no one could seem to fix. Their yards, which swept to the base of the 17th Street Canal levee, kept filling with water. Then on Aug. 29, as Hurricane Katrina moved out of the area, that levee collapsed and tumbled into their homes, allowing Lake Pontchartrain and a world of misery to pour into the city. Now the residents of Bellaire Drive have questions.

I'd say "Lake Pontchartrain is trying to fill your front yard" is a pretty darn good answer.

32 posted on 12/02/2005 9:01:20 AM PST by ctdonath2
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To: stm; DarthDilbert; Salem; conservativegamer; rightinthemiddle; phatoldphart; MoochPooch; ...

Malkin ping!

Please FReepmail me if you would like to be added to, or removed from, the Michelle Malkin ping list...

33 posted on 12/02/2005 10:58:08 AM PST by cgk (Cheney: Senators Reid, Kerry & Rockefeller were unable to attend due to a prior lack of commitment.)
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To: sauropod

mark


34 posted on 12/02/2005 12:04:58 PM PST by sauropod ("The love that dare not speak its' name has now become the love that won't shut the hell up.")
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To: stm
But according to the Washington Post, reports of levee problems began to surface in the mid-1990s, before the floodwalls were even completed. The timeline is sketchy, but it looks like the flawed design plans were approved about two decades ago.

For the mathematically-challenged, that's more than 10 years before Dubya was elected President.

Interesting.

35 posted on 12/02/2005 12:11:46 PM PST by H. Paul Pressler IV
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To: Sunnyflorida
New Orleans and Florida should both be bulldozed immediately.

I do not want to rebuild for people who insist in living in areas that will be hit by a hurricane every few years.
36 posted on 12/02/2005 12:15:35 PM PST by H. Paul Pressler IV
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To: H. Paul Pressler IV

"New Orleans and Florida should both be bulldozed immediately."

Redic. I do not ask for nor recieved federal aid. We pay for insurance and it paid for the damage I got from Charley.

I do agree there should be private flood insurance. It would be very expensive and all those cheap busy-bodies from up north, especially the Canadians, would have to go back home. The only people that lived here would be the oldtimers that own their property out-right and a few wealthy individuals that could afford mortage company mandated flood insurance.


37 posted on 12/02/2005 5:21:54 PM PST by Sunnyflorida
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