US: New Orleans' levees face a hard test as storm bears down - PressFrom - US
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USNew Orleans' levees face a hard test as storm bears down

19:45  12 july  2019
19:45  12 july  2019 Source:   ap.org

In vulnerable La. town , some flee storm and others "party it up"

In vulnerable La. town , some flee storm and others President Trump has already announced a federal declaration of emergency for the state. The mayor of Grande Isle, Louisiana, a town in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico that sits 8 feet below sea level, has ordered a mandatory evacuation. "When the tide comes in from the north side of the island or the back side of the island, that could cause severe flooding," said mayor David Camardelle. That could put the only road in and out of the island underwater. Approximately 1,400 people live in Grand Isle -- and Camardelle is urging them to prepare. "Right now, they way I'm looking at the tides...

But as Tropical Storm Barry threatened New Orleans with torrential rains that will test the city's flood defenses this weekend, the height of the city's river levees While the levees protecting the city from the Mississippi River held during the August 2005 storm , the flooding was exacerbated by the size

But as Tropical Storm Barry threatened New Orleans with torrential rains that will test the city’s flood defenses this weekend, the height of the city’s river levees was the The Mississippi River approaches a levee at left in New Orleans , La., Thursday, July 11, 2019, ahead of Tropical Storm Barry.

New Orleans' levees face a hard test as storm bears down© Provided by The Associated Press The Mississippi River approaches a levee at left in New Orleans, La., Thursday, July 11, 2019, ahead of Tropical Storm Barry. Never in the modern history of New Orleans has water from the Mississippi River overtopped the city’s levees. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Even as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the Mississippi River's levees held up when those in other parts of the city did not.

But as Tropical Storm Barry threatened New Orleans with torrential rains that will test the city's flood defenses this weekend, the height of the city's river levees was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' greatest concern, spokesman Ricky Boyett said Thursday.

All hurricane warnings dropped for Barry as system weakens, moves inland

All hurricane warnings dropped for Barry as system weakens, moves inland Barry has weakened back to tropical storm status after it hit the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, threatening millions with heavy rains and a strong storm surge. The National Hurricane Center said in its 4 p.m. Saturday advisory that Barry had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, with higher gusts. The storm center is located about 20 miles west-southwest of Layayette and 85 miles south of Alexandria. It was moving north-northwest at 7 mph. A hurricane warning for the Louisiana coast has been downgraded to a tropical storm warning. A tropical storm warning for the Louisiana coast has been discontinued east of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Even as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans , the Mississippi River's levees held up when those in other parts of the city did not. While the levees protecting the city from the Mississippi River held during the August 2005 storm , the flooding was exacerbated by the size and configuration of a

But as Tropical Storm Barry threatened New Orleans with torrential rains that will test the city's flood defenses this weekend, the height of the city's river levees was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' greatest concern, spokesman Ricky Boyett said Thursday.

New Orleans' levees face a hard test as storm bears down© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this May 15, 2012, file photo, Sandy Rosenthal, founder and director of levees.org, stands near a section of the old levee wall, I-wall made of sheet piling, left, and the new levee wall, t-walls with reinforced concrete, at one of the breach sites from Hurricane Katrina, in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans. “The models for Hurricane Katrina were all wrong,” Rosenthal said. “We don’t care what the model says. The model is an educated guess. That’s all it is.” (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

The danger to New Orleans — bound by the Mississippi River on its south side, Lake Pontchartrain on its north side and tributaries leading into the nearby Gulf of Mexico on the east — is threefold: storm surges from the sea, rain from the sky and water from the rising river if the levees fail.

New Orleans just faced a flash flood emergency, and Barry could bring more severe flooding Saturday, testing levees

New Orleans just faced a flash flood emergency, and Barry could bring more severe flooding Saturday, testing levees The Mississippi River in New Orleans is forecast to crest at 20 feet, the same height as levees that protect the city.

Even as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans , the Mississippi River's levees held up when those in other parts of the city did not. But as Tropical Storm Barry threatened New Orleans with torrential rains that will test the city's flood defenses this weekend, the height of the city's river levees was the

Even as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans , the Mississippi River's levees held up when those in other parts of the city did not. While the levees protecting the city from the Mississippi River held during the August 2005 storm , the flooding was exacerbated by the size and configuration of a

New Orleans' levees face a hard test as storm bears down© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2005, file photo, a military helicopter drops a sandbag as work continues to repair the 17th Street canal levee in New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After Hurricane Katrina’s monster storm surge roared ashore, Corps-constructed levees and floodwalls failed near Lake Pontchartain and along the Lower 9th Ward, inundating most of the city. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

While the Corps wasn't expecting the swollen river to spill over into the city, the threat from Barry was real with a storm that was forecast to dump 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters) of rain on New Orleans through Sunday, with isolated areas getting 25 inches (64 centimeters).

The river was expected to crest at about 19 feet (5.8 meters) on Saturday in New Orleans, where the levees protecting it from the water range from about 20 to 25 feet (6 to 7.5 meters) in height, said Jeff Graschel, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.

Flooding swamps New Orleans; possible hurricane coming next

Flooding swamps New Orleans; possible hurricane coming next A storm swamped New Orleans streets and paralyzed traffic Wednesday as concerns grew that even worse weather was on the way: a possible hurricane that could strike the Gulf Coast and raise the Mississippi River to the brim of the city's protective levees. 

But as Tropical Storm Barry threatened New Orleans with torrential rains that will test the city’s flood defenses this weekend, the height of the city’s river levees was the U.S. Army While the levees protecting the city from the Mississippi River held during the August 2005 storm , the flooding was

New Orleans residents are warily eying the levees that protect their city from a swollen Mississippi River as Tropical Storm Barry approaches the Gulf While the levees protecting the city from the Mississippi River held during the August 2005 storm , the flooding was exacerbated by the size and

The weather service also was expecting the water to stay below the river's levees, which haven't been overtopped in New Orleans since the early 1920s. But state officials warned that a change in the storm's direction or intensity could change that.

To prepare, workers were shoring up at least two areas along the city's levee system, Boyett said. They piled up "stoplogs," or metal beams, and topped them with sheet metal to add height to Harvey Lock, a break in the levee across the river from the city's Lower 9th Ward, which was all but wiped out during Katrina. Workers also used Hesco baskets, a type of flood barrier, to add 3 feet (almost 1 meter) to the river levee at the Corps' headquarters in New Orleans.

New Orleans' levees face a hard test as storm bears down© Provided by The Associated Press A look at the levees surrounding New Orleans. ;

"We're confident in the integrity of the levees," Boyett said. "They're designed to hold this pressure."

But 14 years after Katrina's monster storm surge roared ashore and inundated most of the city, many New Orleans residents still distrust the Corps, which built the levees and floodwalls that failed near Lake Pontchartrain and along the Lower 9th Ward.

Sorority donates thousands of meals after Barry cuts convention short

Sorority donates thousands of meals after Barry cuts convention short Tropical Storm Barry prompted an early end to the Delta Sigma Theta convention in New Orleans and while that was disappointing news for attendees, it led to a big donation for the Second Harvest Food Bank. When the convention at the Morial Convention Center came to an early end Friday, the sorority worked with catering company Centerplate Food Services to donate more than 17,000 meals to the food bank. The meals will remain in the food bank’s cooler over the weekend and be delivered to storm victims, shelters and first responders as soon as it is safe to do so.

New Orleans residents are warily eying the levees that protect their city from a swollen Mississippi River as Tropical Storm Barry approaches the Gulf The Mississippi River approaches a levee at left in New Orleans , La., Thursday, July 11, 2019, ahead of Tropical Storm Barry. Never in the modern

Even as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans , the Mississippi River's levees held up when those in other parts of the city did not. While the levees protecting the city from the Mississippi River held during the August 2005 storm , the flooding was exacerbated by the size and configuration of a

While the levees protecting the city from the Mississippi River held during the August 2005 storm, the flooding was exacerbated by the size and configuration of a shipping channel that the Corps dredged decades ago between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico.

"The models for Hurricane Katrina were all wrong," said Levees.org president Sandy Rosenthal, who founded the grassroots organization shortly after Katrina. "We don't care what the model says. The model is an educated guess. That's all it is."

Residents waited nervously as the storm approached.

Cooter Brown's Tavern, a popular bar less than one-quarter mile from the Corps' headquarters in New Orleans, didn't flood during Katrina. But co-owner Ivan Burgess said they were debating whether to stay open or close this weekend given concerns about Barry's flood risks.

"We've been really lucky, but that's only part of it. We have our employees' safety to consider," he said.

Author and historian John Barry, who served on a board that was created after Katrina to oversee the levee system of greater New Orleans on the east bank of the Mississippi River, said he was "very confident" in the structural integrity of the river levees and would be "astounded" if they breached.

"Because engineers built them correctly," he added. "They were built against the worst-case scenario they could imagine."

___

Kunzelman reported from College Park, Maryland.

'Not scared': Bayou residents refuse to flee storm Barry.
Dung Nguyen has been shrimping in Gulf waters for a quarter century, and he's not about to let anything come between him and his livelihood -- not torrential rain, not evacuation orders, not even full-blown hurricanes. "I'm not scared," Nguyen said Friday outside a friend's trailer home in Boothville, a fishing village about 70 miles (112 kilometers) southeast of New Orleans, as a major storm bore down on Louisiana. As a fisherman, "I have to come back here," the 59-year-old told AFP. "Storm not coming yet.

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