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Floods: Army Corps Says PR Turns Babblers into Spokespersons

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Georgianne Nienaber     Permalink
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In fairness, here are the answers to questions posed to the USACE New Orleans Office regarding the 17th Street Canal. Responses were delayed, but Senator Landrieu was in town today.

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Aa an observation, the New Orleans office of the USACE has been cooperative with our efforts to gain answers to these important questions.

“The Corps places public safety above all we do and is concerned for the well-being of our local citizens. The Corps has continually monitored potential seepage in the 17th Street Canal area. Seepage is a common occurrence when building in any coastal area. The Corps considers seepage assessment as part of any geotechnical evaluation for any feature of the system. We are currently coordinating with the Southeast Levee Protection Authority-East, which is assembling an external engineering review team to further examine the seepage along the 17th Street Canal.”

As to the four questions asked:

Question: Is the water at the street level a wet spot or a water line?
Answer: Water adjacent to the street has been tested and is not brackish (i.e., not from the canal.) We cannot speculate on the source of this water.

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Question: When was the last time it was tested?
Answer: Water across the street was tested approximately three weeks ago. Wet spots closer to the canal and floodwall were tested approximately six weeks ago and were determined to be brackish.

Question: What is causing the flowing water and algae behind the gate?
Answer: We have not observed that, but will visit the site and investigate this afternoon.

Question: The new portion of the "levee" -- What are the dimensions and how deep is it?
Answer: The new floodwall was constructed to more stringent post-Katrina design standards. Sheet piles were driven deep enough to go through the seepage path and cut it off, approximately 67’ deep. Supporting pilings for the floodwall were driven to 95’ feet deep on the flood side and 110’ on the protected side. The wall height is approximately 13’ high and 2’ thick. The total length of the repaired floodwall is approximately 455’


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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill (more...)

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