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May 28, 2009.  In 2005, the US Census Bureau reported that 155,000,000 people, 53% of our population, resided in coastal areas.  The vast majority of.

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Presentation on theme: "May 28, 2009.  In 2005, the US Census Bureau reported that 155,000,000 people, 53% of our population, resided in coastal areas.  The vast majority of."— Presentation transcript:

1 May 28, 2009

2  In 2005, the US Census Bureau reported that 155,000,000 people, 53% of our population, resided in coastal areas.  The vast majority of coastal communities have no structural protection from storm surges and rely on preparedness and intelligent development practices to mitigate risk.  Hurricanes are a common occurrence throughout the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard states – since 2000, 71 hurricanes were reported of which 41 made landfall. Growth of Population Residing in Coastal Areas since 1950 Hurricanes and Landfall since 2000

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4  In 2005, there were 27 named storms – 12 tropical and 15 hurricanes. 7 hurricanes made landfall.  Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma were the worse – creating havoc throughout the Gulf Coast, causing over $125 billion of damage, and testing all preparedness, protection, and response systems.  These storms demonstrated our lack of understanding, respect, and ability to manage catastrophic natural events.

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6 DennisKatrinaRitaWilma Formed4-Jul-0523-Aug-0517-Sep-0515-Oct-05 Highest Wind Speed 150 mph175 mph180 mph185 mph Fatalities 42 direct 47 indirect 1,836 confirmed 705 missing 7 direct 113 indirect 23 direct 39 indirect Damage$4 billion$100 billion$10 billion$29.1 billion  Communities throughout the Gulf Cost suffered significant loss of life and property.  Coastal areas were devastated by high winds, storm surges and flooding.  These storms overwhelmed everything in their paths.

7  Hurricane Katrina was huge :  Powerful with sustained winds over 130 mph.  Had an incredible surge – over 30 feet at the center and a footprint of 140 miles wide.  Produced rain equivalent to the 500 year standard.  Katrina was one of the largest and most powerful storms of the 20 th Century – far bigger than hurricanes Betsy and Camille.  It embodied the energy of 4 atomic bombs and overcame the structural defenses protecting the City of New Orleans.  Katrina destroyed over 200 square miles of coastal areas in Louisiana – more than 40% of the loss anticipated for the coming 50 years.

8  While the wind speed was great, the volume of water and the energy it produced was phenomenal.  When Katrina’s surge hit land, it was moving well over 3.6 trillion cubic feet of water.  Measured in Joules, Katrina’s energy was 27 times that of Hurricane Betsy and nearly 4 times that of Camille.

9 New Orleans Mobile 16 – 18’ 18 – 20’ 20 – 22’ 22 – 24’ 24 – 27’ 14 – 16’ 12 – 14’ 10 – 12’ Katrina Maximum Water Depths Source: IPET Figures 74 & 75 (Volume IV – The Storm (Pages IV-112 and 113)

10 10 – 12’ 12 – 14’ 14 – 16’ 14 – 15’ 16 – 18’ 18 – 20’ 20 – 22’22 – 24’ 24 – 28’ Maximum Tidal Surge Elevations – Hurricane Katrina Versus Betsy Hurricane Betsy Total Hurricane Energy Index = 3.1 GW Hurricane Katrina Total Hurricane Energy Index = 85.5 GW Mobile New Orleans 12 – 14’ 10 – 12’ 14 – 15’ 12 – 14’ 10 – 12’ 12 – 14’ 14 – 15’ 12 – 14’ 10 – 12’

11 12 – 14’ 14 – 16’ 14 – 15’ 16 – 18’ 18 – 20’ 20 – 22’22 – 24’ 24 – 28’ Maximum Tidal Surge Elevations – Hurricane Katrina Versus Camille Hurricane Camille Total Hurricane Energy Index = 23.2 GW Hurricane Katrina Total Hurricane Energy Index = 85.5 GW Mobile New Orleans New Orleans

12  The impact of a storm like Katrina could never be fully prevented; however, it could be mitigated.  Of the over 100 billion dollars of damage, approximately $40 billion can be attributed to levee breaches and environmental deterioration.  Beyond the direct impact, the long term consequences of the storm in the New Orleans metropolitan area will prove to be costly and significant.

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14 Katrina Maximum Water Depths 15’ In River 10 – 12’ At Lakefront 16’ In River ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ 3.0’ <3.0’ >3.0’ >4.0’ <3.0’ >3.0’

15 Area All Damage M&S M&S Flood Total 1,197, , ,078 Louisiana 515, , ,813 Orleans 134, ,155 99,989 Louisiana43.0%67.1%77.8% Orleans11.2%34.5%46.1%  Nearly 1,200,000 homes were damaged by Katrina – of this amount, 43% were in Louisiana.  Throughout the impact area, 26% of all damage was Major or Severe in contrast to 40% in LA and 78% in New Orleans.  Flooding was clearly the primary cause of Major or Severe damage but particularly in LA where it accounted for 83% and in New Orleans where it was over 95%.

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17 The Hardee Map of 1878 displays the layout of New Orleans when the city’s population was about 203,000. Areas developed and settled since then were affected severely by post-Katrina flooding. “The flood did not discriminate by race or class. It did discriminate historically: it took out everything but the old city. If you asked an architecture critic…to design a flood of this size in New Orleans, he would have given you something like this one.” -Michael Lewis, The New York Times, October 9, 2005 “The flood did not discriminate by race or class. It did discriminate historically: it took out everything but the old city. If you asked an architecture critic…to design a flood of this size in New Orleans, he would have given you something like this one.” -Michael Lewis, The New York Times, October 9, 2005

18  The following slides illustrate resettlement patterns in the City on a biannual basis from January 2006 through January These maps demonstrate how repopulation has radiated outward from areas which recovered quickly after the storm.  In each of these maps, red represents areas in which activity is less than 20% of its pre-Katrina level. Green represents areas in which activity is greater than 80% of its pre-Katrina level. Yellow and orange display areas in transition between these levels.  Boundaries of New Orleans City Council Districts are also displayed.

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26 Estimated Single Family Home Value = $177,960 (assumes in livable condition) 6,502 units occupied pre-Katrina but now vacant. Source: GCR & Associates, Inc.www.city-data.com

27  The impact of Hurricane Katrina on the communities, people and economy of the Gulf Coast was colossal.  There is a renewed respect for the necessity of preparedness, investment, and prudence:  Preparedness - getting people out of harms way and harnessing the resources required for an efficient response to emergency situations.  Investment – mitigating loss through improvements to flood control structures and coastal restoration initiatives.  Prudence – building “smarter” communities and more secure structures.

28  Through Federal assistance, over $15 billion will be invested to prevent flooding from storm surges in the New Orleans area.  The Domenici-Landrieu Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 will provide billions of dollars for coastal restoration through a sharing of the federal oil and gas revenues from the Outer Continental Shelf.  Smart Growth policies are being incorporated into community planning initiatives to ensure the development of sustainable neighborhoods and buildings.

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32  Living in a coastal area is inherently dangerous.  History has taught us that mitigating routine risks can increase the potential of catastrophic loss from extraordinary events – such was the case with Hurricane Katrina.  If a community relies on structural improvements for protection, they cannot fail – they must be built to withstand the impact of extraordinary events.

33  The ultimate measure of our success will be based upon a few fundamental principles:  Safety – Can we ensure the well being of our citizenry and the protection of our assets?  Quality of Life – Can we provide a sense of confidence and security to the communities that we protect?  Prosperity – Can we foster and attract investment to increase prosperity and facilitate economic stability and growth?  These are the questions that communities throughout the Gulf Coast are struggling to answer in the wake of the hurricanes of recent years.

34 For more information: Gregory C. Rigamer 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Ste. 500 New Orleans, LA |


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