Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Pump it up!
The US Army Corps of Engineers and its contractor were testing the newly installed closure structure at the 17th Street Canal while I was in the area. I decided to run by an watch for a second. On the top, the test is just started -- the pumps (there are nine pumps on this side of the canal -- more on the other side.) slowly start to push water into Lake Pontchartrain.
Slowly, they turn on more and pump up the water flow. When a new pump and outflow pipe go into action, you see the sight below -- water and a lot of trapped air explode out of the pipe. Then it settles into a steady, massive flow. In the case of hurricanes, the gate can be closed so that no lake water can flow into the canal. The canal would then be emptied into the lake with these massive pumps.
It was the hurricane protection walls about 1/2 mile back up in this canal that failed in Katrina leading to massive flooding. This new equipment protects the walls of the canal from getting overloaded.
This is a vast improvement to the pre-Katrina abilities to get water out of the city and keep it out.
-- steve buser
Oh, sorry I've been down for a couple days -- we changed internet providers. But I'm back now.