Mission: You need to evaluate whether or not to rebuild the levees broken by Hurricane Katrina. You will be asked to defend your view, so make sure that you are well armed with the facts.
Gather Facts: Each diagram will lead you to important facts about levees. What is a levee? How does it work? What are different types of levees?
History: Levees in New Orleans When were they built? Why were they built? Were they effective? When were they tested?
The levees protecting New Orleans have grown higher and wider over the years. This diagram shows the cross-section of a typical levee at various times, from 1717 until 1973. How have its size and shape changed? U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
A Closer Look at the Gulf Coast: Click on the map to view the history of recent Hurricane damage in the Gulf Coast. Draw a timeline from 1900-2005 and mark the frequency of hurricanes that cause substantial damage to the region. Which states seem to be hardest hit in the last century?
There are more hurricanes in the Gulf than in any other region in the U.S. Click on the map to find the factors that affect the onset of a hurricane. Why do hurricanes occur most often the Gulf Coast?
Read this account of The Flood of 1927: Watch the movie On Thursday, April 21, 1927, the levees along the Mississippi broke. This would be the worst levee break of the entire flood. In fact, it is still noted as the worst levee break anywhere in the United States (until 2005). Four hundred and fifty men had worked through the night in a desperate effort to save the levee, but the river rose too fast. One worker recalled, "It was just boiling up. The levee just started shaking. You could feel it shaking." In the early hours of the morning small breaks started to appear…. What had begun as a small break quickly became a raging river. Guards forced the African American laborers to keep filling sandbags at gunpoint, but everyone there could feel that the levee was about to collapse under their feet. Sandbags started to wash away, the river ran over the top of the levee, and men took off as fast as they could run. As the levee collapsed, many of the workers were swept away. The force was unstoppable, scouring out the land and uprooting everything in its path. Trees, buildings, and even railroad embankments were washed away in moments.. For 60 miles east of the crevasse and ninety miles south there was nothing but water. Where farms and towns had been, it looked like an ocean. Seventy-five miles away, in Yazoo City, the water was high enough to cover the roofs of homes.. PBS http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/flood/timeline/timeline2.htmlhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/flood/timeline/timeline2.html
The Levees break Again: Flood of 2005 (Katrina and Rita) Watch the Movie Compare the flood of 1927 to the Flood in 2005. How are the same? How are they different?
A Closer Look at New Orleans Look at the diagram of the New Orleans area. Why is New Orleans so susceptible to Flooding? (3 reasons)
Hurricane Katrina: Video: New Orleans levee breaks Watch the video and explain the sequence of events that lead to the flooding of New Orleans.
Cost Factor We know that the Gulf Coast is an area that floods often as is susceptible to hurricanes and flooding. The need for flood protection is great…. BUT…. It costs lots of money to build a levee, and they are not always effective. We need to weigh the cost of the against potential damage. Are there other options?
What are other options for flood control? Click on the links to find out what is done in other areas where flooding in common. List four ideas that you think may be effective in the Gulf region. Ideas for controlling floods CNN: Public opinions and ideas Natural Barriers HI –tech solutions
Hi-tech Flood Control Solutions London Amsterdam Go back
Conclusion Do you think that the levees of New Orleans should be rebuilt? Why or Why not? What alternatives would you suggest to control future flooding? Write a paragraph defending your position. (1/2 page, size 14, Times New Roman) You may be asked to present your views at the next committee hearing.