Engineering Challenges Of Hurricane Katrina


This report tends to the general plan of the building works that shield the City of New Orleans from significant tempest occasions. It quickly depicts the historical backdrop of the seepage of the city and talks about the normal and designed flood-assurance structures and system for serious tropical storms. This is trailed by an investigation of the disappointments of the normal framework, just as disappointments of the levees, floodwalls, siphoning stations, and the nonattendance of conduits on the trenches. The report presumes that the ''structure storm'' determined by congressionally approved tasks merits re-examination, and that building plan surveys ought to be revamped and actualized.


Hurricane Katrina struck the bay coast on August 29, 2005. This cataclysmic event calamitously influenced the U. S. bay states and contrarily affected the whole nation. My place of living arrangement, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, endure storm Katrina with genuine however non-cataclysmic harm in light of the fact that the edge of the 40-mile wide eye of the storm passed 90 miles toward the east of the city. It tore along the U. S. Bay Coast, causing in excess of 1,800 fatalities and more than $100 billion in harm. No place was the sea tempest's obliteration more cataclysmic than in the city of New Orleans, where the levee framework demonstrated deficient against the tempest flood. Somewhere in the range of eighty percent of the city and its surrounding areas were submerged in floodwater, also, it was here that the loss of life was heaviest. This segment looks to feature a couple of the moral issues raised by one of the deadliest designing related debacles in U. S. history.

A large number of history's best-known building disappointments can be followed to a solitary, cataclysmic plan flaw, for precedent, the defective O rings in the space transport Challenger also, the deficient associations in the Hyatt Regency walkway breakdown in Kansas City, Missouri. In spite of the fact that the designing reasons for the New Orleans levee framework disappointment are undeniably increasingly perplexing and diffuse, the Katrina debacle bears one unmistakable similitude with these other building disappointments — specifically, that the disappointment did not happen due to the structural flaws alone but since of a progression of broken choices by the people accused of planning and dealing with the framework. These choices, in a mix with the plan flaws, prompted a shocking outcome.

The disaster was studied in detail by the ASCE team to understand the causes of this catastrophe. The ASCE's Code of Ethics is positively relevant and it says Architects will hold foremost the wellbeing, wellbeing and welfare of the public. . . in the execution of their expert obligations, and classification in the rules to rehearse for this standard includes the accompanying: Engineers will perceive that the lives, security, wellbeing and welfare of the overall population are subordinate after building decisions, choices and practices. The acknowledgment depicted in this rule suggests in excess of an insignificant theoretical familiarity with the architect's obligation to general society; it requires the engineer to be untiringly careful in protecting the interests of the men, ladies, and youngsters whose lives might be influenced by the engineer's activities

However, the decades paving the way to the Katrina debacle bore observer to an example of choices in which bargains in the wellbeing and unwavering quality of the New Orleans levee framework were made for reasons having to do with cost, planning, or political weight. Rather than a solitary flaw filling in as the immediate reason for the disappointments, the storm assurance framework as an entire was essentially under-designed for its motivation, which speaks to a general pass in cautiousness with respect to the engineers and other chiefs in their commitment to secure the inhabitants relying upon the levees. In the event that the engineer’s ethical responsibility is to hold fundamental the wellbeing, wellbeing, and welfare of people in general, at that point the Katrina calamity shows the expenses of neglecting to be cautious in respecting that obligation. As the people best qualified by training and experience to comprehend the implications of specialized choices, it is fundamental that engineers question choices that bargain wellbeing or unwavering quality and that they plainly impart dangers and outcomes when they trust a game-plan presents too incredible a risk to the general population. In addition, as the people with the best comprehension of the constraints of built frameworks, it is significant that engineers be direct in recognizing these impediments also, that they guarantee that the influenced gatherings comprehend the hazards and are set up for untoward occasion. Given the level of threat presented by extraordinary tempests and the significance of tropical storm security frameworks, it is basic for specialists to perceive the ethical elements of a structure such frameworks based on non-conservative decisions and insignificant edges of security. And keeping in mind that the expressions of the ordinance may not give the majority of the responses to keeping another Katrina, the direction it gives is verifiably profitable. In this way, regardless of whether the task is little or vast and whether it influences a restricted gathering or a huge network, ordinance serves to help engineers to remember their crucial job as victors for security in the entirety of their export obligations.

One case of this trade-off in security lay in the U. S. Armed force Corps of Engineers' count of soil quality for the Seventeenth Street Canal levee and floodwall. The Corps engineers based their gauge of soil quality beneath the waterway on exhausting examples divided over a 1. 5 mi remove; however, the New Orleans region is portrayed by high inconstancy in soil quality. In spite of the fact that the specialists utilized an objective factor of security to represent this variety, they picked an estimation of 1. 3, which is at the low end of commonly acknowledged designing qualities, beneath the Corps' own building rules. While not the key factor in the disappointment of the Seventeenth Street Canal levee, the mix of a non-conservative translation of test information and a low factor of wellbeing drove the specialists to overestimate the normal soil quality by somewhere in the range of thirty percent in their structure.

This report investigates and researches the hurricane Katrina in the light of engineering ethics. The report is structured in different sections. The first section gives an introduction to the disaster, its causes and aftereffects. This is followed by the Ethical implications of Katrina including the ethical and unethical issues found during this disaster. The next section describes the role of engineering ethics in preventing these disasters or at least they can deescalate the effects of the disaster on human life and property. The report also includes the recommendations given by the ASCE team that could help in preparedness in case of disasters in the future. These recommendations also lead to the discussion that will following proper engineering ethics lead to improved safety of public and property. In the end, the role of engineers in making society safe by the practice of engineering ethics is discussed. The conclusion summarises the overall work.

Engineering Ethics Dimension

While typhoon Katrina influenced a great many individuals, homes, families, structures, and so forth, the result thinks about the various countries to get insights by researching the hurricane and its engineering dimensions. Typhoon Katrina acted as a prompt for the officials as well as the residents to be prepared and follow ethics in engineering. Making the case that Katrina is to some extent an instance of building morals is obviously not equivalent to making a judgment that engineers are to some extent or entirely to fault for the aftereffects of the tropical storm. One reason Katrina and the floods it caused got through New Orleans' levees was on the grounds that the tempest was excessively solid. Be that as it may, reports since the typhoon have additionally uncovered another guilty party: unethical engineering practices. Over a half year after Katrina hit, the US Army Corps of Engineers discharged a report in which they assumed fault for the levees breaking, level out conceding that the levees were worked in an incoherent manner dependent on obsolete information. Quite a bit of this, the report uncovered, was because of an absence of subsidizing — bringing about an imperfect arrangement of levees that was conflicting in quality, materials, and plan. Specialists likewise neglected to represent the locale's poor soil quality and sinking land, which made more holes in boundaries. The whole flood control framework, regular and designed, neglected to shield New Orleans from the tropical storm named Katrina. As it crossed the State of Florida as a classification 1 storm, it completed a moderate measure of harm. When it achieved the Gulf of Mexico and created quality from the warm waters there, it formed into a class 5 sea tempest. As it hit the shoreline of Louisiana and Alabama, it was as yet a class 4 storm.

Levee performance

The tempest flood from Hurricane Katrina effectively overtopped the levees ensuring Plaquemine’s Parish, the tight piece of arriving on the two sides of the Mississippi River. The obvious course of the tropical storm appeared to guarantee that New Orleans would be saved as it moved east of the city. In any case, the counter-clockwise breezes hit the eastern side of the city's levee insurance framework hard. The tempest flood surpassed the plan tallness of the levee framework, yet by a generally little edge. Had the levees been developed legitimately, with compacted earth centers and surface insurance, some overtopping ought not to have accelerated disappointment. As later examinations demonstrated, the levees were developed by filling them with water is driven dug materials taken from channels along the levees. These comprised of sand and shell material — adequately stable to shape a levee yet subject to serious disintegration in a noteworthy storm.

Failure of Levee System

The sea tempest created a tempest flood that differed impressively relying upon the area, counting the joined impacts of introduction, geology, and geography with deference to the powers of the passing tempest. Water powered demonstrating of the flood, confirmed by the most part by our very own field perceptions of high-water marks, demonstrate that basically, two fundamentally unique dimensions of tempest flood affected the levee framework. As the tempest goes toward the east of New Orleans, the anti-clock 'whirl' of the storm produced a substantial flood from the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Bourne that affected the eastern confronting seaside zones of the New Orleans region and lower Mississippi Delta. The flood was then moved into the channels of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) that bolstered into the Inner Harbor Navigational Channel (IHNC). The channeling of the flood in these directs bringing about far-reaching overtopping of the levees. Where the tempest flood was most extreme, causing enormous overtopping, the levees encountered a scope of harm from complete decimation to flawless without any indications of trouble.

Unanticipated Failure Modes

The unanticipated failure modes refer to the shortcomings of a system to behave differently in certain conditions as compared to the anticipated behaviour. However, finding the points where a failure occurs is not an impossible task. If proper guidelines are followed these risks can be uncovered beforehand. Subsequently, a few disappointments of this sort most likely ought to have been stayed away from. At other times, a disappointment mode might be very dark. The last is all the more regularly valid for bigger, progressively mind-boggling frameworks. Unpretentious collaborations between the numerous factors in a complex framework can yield practices that are hard to anticipate. Be that as it may, foreseeing, and accordingly planning against, disappointment modes is unmistakably a central designing configuration task. A premium is put on hitting the nail on the head, especially when the results of disappointment are high. The Katrina case uncovers an assortment of unforeseen disappointment modes. A standout amongst the most striking, and exorbitant, unexpected disappointment modes was instrumental in permitting breaks in the levees along the Seventeenth Street Canal, London Ave Canal, and Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC). Along these waterways, the earthen levees had metal sheet pile blinds crashed into their focuses, which thus were topped with solid I-divider floodwalls to broaden the water obstruction over the highest point of the levees. In any case, the levees flopped rashly at a few areas — before the water achieved the highest point of the floodwalls.

Other Engineering Structures

Some built structures performed well, however many did not. The Superdome was not intended to protect individuals who were dislodged from their homes. Its execution as an asylum was poor. Its foundation — water, plumbing, cooling, and power — intended for brief length games, fizzled. Its rooftop was seriously harmed by the power of the breeze. A range on Interstate Highway 10 was uprooted when a canal boat crashed into it amid the tempest. The water supply, sewer, interchanges, and power for New Orleans all fizzled. Crisis benefits in the good old days after the tempest were troubling. Recuperation and revamping choices have been uncommonly moderate.

Recommendation for Future

The main recommendations after the hurricane were to prepare for the future and avoid any kind of such repetitions in the future. The goal of engineers and policymakers should be to be always ready for any kind of situations. This will reduce the outcomes of a disaster and will work for the safety and protection of society. However, the analysis of Katrina Hurricane reveals that the government and policymakers ignored the safety of people for their personal and economic gains. While physical harm to the port was constrained, tasks were affected. The communication channels and services failed leading to failure of information transmission. The on-duty personnel did not get any information about the destruction and hence could not reach the ports on time for mitigation activities. Also, the place did not have proper and sufficient arrangements to handle any kind of disaster. The mitigation plans, and techniques were not well planned. There was no quick response action plan. Also, this led to further destruction by the hurricane. In future, an entirely new mitigation plan, communication channels and quick response team should be available to handle such disasters. Similarly, some basic materials and preparation should always be kept in reserve to handle a disaster situation. It is better to be prepared for the disaster rather waits for a disaster to occur. Engineers can give the information and research to get the whole country considering catastrophe readiness. The nation met up to manufacture the interstate expressway framework, and a comparative methodology is required at this point.


At whatever point issues of science and building additionally assume a job, as they did in Katrina, they commonly include genuine vulnerabilities and complexities just as contribute required learning. For instance, the needs of the Corps of Engineers are set fundamentally by Congress, as opposed to by specialized contemplations, and have advanced over right around an era of complex flood control approaches as for the upper just as the lower Mississippi River, together with clashing insurances against sea tempests and floods from the Gulf of Mexico. Walking orders given to the Corps inevitably mirror a blend of clashing political and monetary interests. What is most inquisitive about the impression of Katrina and its fallout is that nothing that happened was — or ought to have been — extremely astonishing. On close examination, the exercises said to be gained from Katrina turn out to exercise that generally had just been educated — in any event by a portion of those included — a long time previously the tempest. Appallingly, the information was not all around utilized. The dangers and troubles that the tempest uncovered were broadly comprehended and announced before the occasion, yet these understandings were to an astounding degree just not followed up on previously, amid, or even after the debacle took place. Analysing exercises learned in a set of morals and qualities now and then offers to ascend to an issue in recognizing causes and connections.

10 October 2020
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now