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Project Management Failure Of Hurricane Katrina

2907 words - 12 pages

Christopher Roberts
April 29, 2015
93174/Man 3583
Class Project
The Disaster Relief Project of Post- Hurricane Katrina

On August 29, 2005 the levees broke and started the flooding of the city with depths of more than 10 feet of water in some places. The category 4 storm had already taken its toll on the city. The head of DHS Michael Chertoff waited a total of 24 hours after receiving knowledge that the levees were breached to make the designation that hurricane Katrina was a "incident of national significance--requiring an extensive and well-coordinated response by federal, state, local tribal and nongovernmental authorities to save lives, minimize damage and provide the basis for ...view middle of the document...

The disaster relief project of post-Katrina was a failure from the start, but had to be treated as a project because it was a project by definition, that no flooding event had ever happened to this proportion before and they needed a project manager to help solve it. Although FEMA didn’t live up to their expectations, they did make safety announcements to the public to keep them aware of the ongoing recovery efforts. They also had daily press releases to keep the residents of Gulf Coast aware of what was happening in their communities.
History of 2005 Hurricane Season
The 2005 hurricane season was the record setting year for hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean since 1851. Breaking the record from 1933 with 21 storms, 2005 had 27 named storms with sustained winds of at least 39 mph. 14 of these storms became hurricanes, and 3 of these hurricanes turned into category 5 hurricanes that have sustained winds of 157 mph. On August 29, 2005 1 of those category 5 hurricanes (Katrina) hit New Orleans causing $123 billion in damages, making it the most costly storm in US history. Hurricane Katrina affected an area of about 90,000 square miles, killing an estimate 1,800 people. When Katrina made land fall it slowed down into a category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 mph, and a 30 plus feet storm surge that helped breach the levees and flood 80% of the city. Many homes were flooded to their roofs, or swept away leaving nothing behind, but concrete slabs, and pieces of block foundations.
History of New Orleans (“port of deposit”)
New Orleans was built back in 1718 by the Frenchmen Jean Baptiste La Moyne to be a port for trade up and down the Mississippi river. Sieur de Bienville also known as the French Quarter was the first settlement (about 17 feet above sea-level). As the city grew drainage was always a problem. A drainage system was constructed with canals that drained into outfall canals that ran south to north into Lake Pontchartrain. In 1913 large screw pumps were place at each of the outfall canals to move the water from low marsh areas, and swamps, so the city could expand. Draining these areas made the city wide open for storm surge to enter in from Lake Pontchartrain, because the outfall canals had low levees with water levels much greater than the land around them. This was one of the many errors that caused the city to flood upon Hurricane Katrina showing up. Katrina wasn’t the first hurricane to flood the city; throughout the city’s history 38 hurricanes have cause wide spread flooding. All the levees that were breached or failed from Katrina let large amounts of water from Lake Pontchartrain pour into the city. The natural levees were not the levees that were breached or failed, but the ones that were man made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (mid 90s last was built).
History of FEMA
Before Hurricane Betsy flooded New Orleans in 1965, the federal government didn’t really get involved in natural disasters unless the local...

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