Are Levees the answer?

Levees are natures way of controlling floods so it is no wonder that humans have replicated them all over the world in order to protect high value areas. But when they fail they can lead to a high magnitude flood event, as was the case with the 2005 floods in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina.

Exercise 1- Follow this link to the Floodsmart Levee Simulator. Draw a simple sketch to highlight the main features of a levee.

Exercise 2- Define the following terms in relation to levee failure OVERTOPPING, SEEPAGE and BREACHING.

Exercise 3- Read this article from 2005 that explains some of the detail behind the New Orleans levee failure. Why did the levees fail?

Exercise 4- This is a recent article from earlier in the year when hurricane Isaac was threatening. This time the levees held, what changes have been made?

Exercise 5- Complete a brief cost benefit analysis of levees.


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