Hurricane Katrina Essay

Hurricane Katrina Essay - Ryan O'Hearn Hurricane Katrina...

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Ryan O’Hearn Hurricane Katrina Essay Saturday, October 27, 2007 One of the worst hurricanes ever on record forming from the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Katrina, brought devastation everywhere it touched. Beginning in the Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, Katrina was the twelfth tropical depression of the season. It was not until August 24, 2005 that the storm was upgraded to a tropical depression and the name Katrina became appended. As the storm moved over the bottom peninsula of Florida into the Gulf of Mexico, it gained intensity until becoming a category five storm, with winds at 175 MPH on August 28. It was not until august 29 at around 6:10am central time that Hurricane Katrina made its second landfall as a category three storm around Buras-Triumph, Louisiana (Wikipedia). The heaviest hit city by Hurricane Katrina was New Orleans, Louisiana, where levees that were in place to protect the city and its inhabitants from this disaster failed in the most devastating places. Many parts of the historic city were destroyed by flood and wind damage from the storm and the levee breaches. The cities levees were supposedly designed to withstand the force of a category three or four storm, but major design flaws led to over fifty breaches, flooding around eighty percent of the city (Wikipedia,). What led to this disaster, and who will step up and fix it? How can this be prevented in the future, and will New Orleans ever become the great city it used to be? The main issue at hand with New Orleans is why did it flood, and how can that be prevented in the future? The system of levees has been in use since the 1800’s, and will continue
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to be used in the future. The Army Corps of Engineers built up soil walls along the Mississippi River, and then developed the complex system of levees that were in place when Katrina struck. These levees were designed many decades ago, and as storms raged through New Orleans and the surrounding areas, the levees changed shape (Handwerk). An upgrade plan was in place since the year 2000 to study and strengthen the levees to withstand at least a category four storm. This upgrade would take around twenty years to complete, but was still in the study phases when Hurricane Katrina hit. Perhaps if New Orleans is to be rebuilt, engineers should look towards other systems of levees that have worked, and others that may not. An example of another poor levee system is the California Delta. This levee system in California provides water from Northern California to Central Valley and Southern California and its lands. What makes this system vulnerable just as New Orleans’s is the amount of islands it houses below sea level. If one levee were to break, the islands would flood and salt water from San Francisco bay would start to flow to Central and Southern California, creating many problems. It is engineering like this and New Orleans that has overlooked the issues of hurricanes and the possibilities of disaster. Something must be done
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Hurricane Katrina Essay - Ryan O'Hearn Hurricane Katrina...

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