why did the levees in new Orleans fail?

Why did the levees fail during hurricane Katrina? Was it due to the corps not double checking on it? Or due to government spending, such as cutting our funding's for the levees project?

5 Answers

  • Jude
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    levees.org would be the place to go for an explanation.

    The Facts

    Fact 1

    The flooding of New Orleans and nearby St. Bernard parish was a civil engineering disaster, not a weather event. According to a 2007 study by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the majority of the damage from the flooding is due to the levees failing (page 39). “The failure of the levees was the worst engineering disaster in the world since Chernobyl” says Dr. Ray Seed, Geotechnical Engineering, University of California Berkeley.

    Fact 2

    Responsibility for the design and construction of the flood protection in metro New Orleans belongs solely to the US Army Corps of Engineers as mandated in the Flood Control of 1965.

    Fact 3

    To look to Congress and the Army Corps to fix what it broke does not reflect on the last administration. The failure of the federally engineered levees was 40 years in the making. The Army Corps squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on a levee system they knew by their own calculations was inadequate.

    Fact 4

    More than 98% (ninety-eight percent) of the US Army Corps of Engineers are civilian employees. Thus to look to the Army Corps and Congress to fix what it broke does not disparage our young soldiers fighting in foreign wars.

    Read more: http://levees.org/#ixzz0IqTEtKIY&C

    Source(s): levees.org
  • 1 decade ago

    Very complex question.

    First, poor government oversight by the Army Corp of Engineers during the construction process, which allowed use of sub-standard soils (too low in clay content).

    Second, poor inspection and testing post-construction.

    Third, slow response for the teams trying to establish proper drainage. Caused the water to flow through the canals too fast, which created too much drag (specifically, a type of friction between a solid and a fluid). The drag put too much stress on the levees. They failed by undercutting at the weakest points.

  • 1 decade ago

    The flood wall on the Industrial Canal broke because a barge was left untied and burst through it. Other levees failed for many of the reasons other answers above have given. Southern Scrap has been sued for not securing that barge when they knew a hurricane was coming.


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I believe that they levees were blown to save the most "valued" part of the city was the French Quarter. It has been done before, I forget which Hurricane it was, but it has been done before and I think the same applied for Katrina. Of course they wouldn't "admit" to that though.

    Source(s): native
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  • 1 decade ago

    Because they wanted to save the '' Tourist Attractions '' in the French Quarters. so they used explosives.

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