BATON ROUGE – The Department of Transportation and Development on Wednesday released a report commissioned by a panel of Louisiana scientists on the failure of the federal levee systems in the New Orleans area during Hurricane Katrina.
The report can be accessed online at:
Two months after Katrina struck, DOTD Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry commissioned “Team Louisiana” to collect and document data and evidence related to the failure of levee systems. Six of the nine team members are researchers at Louisiana State University. The team leader is Ivor van Heerden, Ph.D., director of the LSU Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes. Van Heerden also is deputy director of the LSU Hurricane Center and is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.
Team Louisiana’s mission was to collect data sets related to all seven levee breaches, including:
1. Levee plan specifications and inspection reports; water surge elevations; and geological and geotechnical reports.
2. Eyewitness accounts of residents who lived near the levee.
3. Clock survey (obtaining as many stopped clocks as possible from flooded homes) along with an elevation of the height of the clock above the ground.
4. Photogrammetry and plane table mapping of each levee breach.
During Hurricane Katrina, a number of levee systems protecting the Greater New Orleans area failed – on the east and west banks of the Industrial Canal, east and west banks of the London Avenue Canal, the east bank of the 17 Street Canal, the north bank of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the west bank of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO).