Category: Levees

Corps of Engineers systematically underestimates river flood risk

Robert E Criss, Statistics of evolving populations and their relevance to flood risk, Journal of Earth Science 1–7 (2016). ABSTRACT: Statistical methods are commonly used to evaluate natural populations and environmental variables, yet these must recognize temporal trends in population…

Analysis of Datums and Elevations in USACE Projects: FINAL REPORT

Analysis of Datums and Elevations in USACE Projects: FINAL REPORT The USACE assembled this team as a direct result of the catastrophic losses endured after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. The emphasis on vertical accuracy came about…

The Pontchartrain Levee District Progress Report – 2012

The Pontchartrain Levee District Progress Report – 2012 From the Report: The Pontchartrain Levee District (PLD) is the local sponsor for the projects referenced herein. Currently, there are projects in each of the six parishes comprising the PLD’s jurisdiction. As…

Water Levels in South Lousiana

The state has closed access to the levees all along the Mississippi. This makes getting pictures of the water level more difficult. This was taken on the West Levee opposite the old ferry landing in St. Francisville, LA. This is…

The Control of Nature – Morganza Spillway

John McPhee has written a fascinating history of the River Control Structure at Morganza. While it is not clear that the Mississippi still wants to go down the Atchafalaya, losing the River Control Structure in a flood would still be a…

Blowing the Mississippi Levee – 2011

This post reviews the ongoing legal issues in the blowing of the levee at Birds Point. While the levee has not been blown since 1937, this was also litigated in 1984.

The Worst Case in Disaster Planning

The Worst Case in Disaster Planning – Editorial, NOLA. – Good points in the editorial. I also think that we should look at the worst cases. However, politicians, and the disaster planners who work for them, usually do not want to admit that their plans do not cover the worst cases because that would require very unpopular actions[…]

Mississippi Flood History

The Mississippi Delta has always been defined by the sediment flow of the river and level of the ocean. Of these two, sediment flow is less important than ocean level – ocean level has varied more than 200 feet over…

What is the Corp Really Building in New Orleans?

From the University of Colorado Natural Hazards Observer:

Corps of Engineers’ Steven Stockton
Avoiding the Single Line of Defense
Natural Hazards Observer • September 2010

“Where are the visionaries for the future? [Congress’] focus is on a million different areas. It’s not on water infrastructure or on disaster risk mitigation,” says Steven Stockton, director of Civil Works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.[…]

Community Resilience – Lessons from Katrina

This report was published in 2008. While there are problems with some of the assumptions, New Orleans is no better prepared today than in 2008 because none of the sociological factors have changed – denial is still the operative planning…