An Aug. 28 report by the department's National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center concluded that a Category 4 or 5 hurricane would cause severe damage in the city, including power outages and a direct economic hit of up to $10 billion for the first week.Levee Failure
"Overall, the impacts described herein are conservative," stated the report, which was sent to Homeland Security's office for infrastructure protection.
"Any storm rated Category 4 or greater ... will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching, leaving the New Orleans metro area submerged for weeks or months," said the report, which was released by a Senate panel examining the government's breakdown in responding to Katrina.
The documents are the latest indication that the federal government knew beforehand of the catastrophic damage that a storm of Katrina's magnitude could cause.
The Times Picayune also has a good article on the levees failure. It's worth reading but basically it says the levees that protected from Mississippi River flooding held while the hurricane levees did not. Why? After the 1927 great Mississip[pi River flood a decision was made to build levees to withstand the worst ever flooding. But in 1965 Congress decided to build hurricane levees to withstand only a fast moving Cat 3 hurricane.........
"After the 1927 flood, the nation made a commitment never to let that happen again, so the design criteria (the corps) had was for the worst that could ever happen -- something that might not occur again for 400 to 450 years," said Al Naomi, a senior project manager at the New Orleans office. "In some (areas) the (river) levee was overbuilt, but that was done because the design criteria we were given was to build for the maximum possible flood.
"That wasn't the case with the hurricane protection project here."
The 1965 congressional authorization for the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection project was based on what the corps described in its 1962 planning document as the "standard project hurricane," which would have maximum sustained winds of 100 mph in a radius of 30 nautical miles, and a storm surge of 11.2 feet on the south shore of the lake. That translates approximately into a fast-moving Category 3 storm. The report said the probability of that occurring is once every 200 years.
And the powers that be still have not learned. What Bush has authorized is Cat 3 protection. It's 1965 all over again.
Here's futher explanation.....