Hurricane Katrina Infrastructure Impacts

For those who watched the media news about the New Orleans landfall made by Hurricane Katrina in the year 2005, highly remember how water flooded over the numerous levees, which were built to prevent an occurrence of such accidents as well as protecting the city. Several factors contributed to the failure of New Orleans levees ranging from poor engineering designs to the storm’s sheer ferocity (Reilly, 2009). All these factors were into consideration during the reconstruction of the levee after the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The other low-lying cities in America learned a lot from the failure of New Orleans levees and considered such factors when making an evaluation of their preparedness to prevent the occurrence of such storms.

New Orleans is an American city that is located on a unique site because it is completely below sea level. Residents of this city cope with the surroundings of large water bodies such as Lake Pontchartrain, Mississippi River, and Mexico Gulf with an array of levees designed to prevent flooding water from entering the city (the United States, 2006). When conditions caused the breakage of the constructed levees during Hurricane Katrina in the year 2005, the effect was highly harming and flooding water pooled out covering the entire city.

With the initial 24 hours after the storm started, 28 levees had already failed. The total number of failed or broken levees increased to over 55 within the first week. The U.S. USACE (United States Army Corps of Engineers), the core constructor of the levees issued a public explanation on why the levees failed after several days. According to USACE’s account, the design of the levees was only to protect the city from Category Three storms, and Hurricane Katrina generated a too massive storm surge that the levees were unable to handle hence the reason the levees broke (Reilly, 2009).