The Worst United States Man-Made Disasters: Levee Breaks After Hurricane Katrina

Jennie Wood

Levee Breaks After Hurricane Katrina
hurricane katrina
The day after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana, in late Aug. 2005, flood waters poured through a levee on the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal (pictured above) near downtown. There were more than 50 breaches to the city's hurricane surge protection. At least 1,400 people died directly from the levee failure and 80% of the city was flooded. Researchers concluded that the builders and designers of the levee system, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, were responsible for the disaster. According to research, the use of shorter steel sheet pilings to save money caused the levee failure. Ten years after Katrina, a report in the World Water Council's official journal said that the flooding "could have been prevented had the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers retained an external review board to double-check its flood-wall designs."
Photo source: AP Photo/David J. Phillip
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