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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

GUSTAV Was No Katrina - Would Have Topped Levees by 10 ft

GUSTAV was no KATRINA. It hit the New Orleans area as a CAT 2 and a 12 foot surge– yet it was overtopping levees supposed designed for a CAT 3. KARTINA had a 27-foot surge. Imagine another 12 feet of water pouring over those levees.

New Orleans got lucky this time, but it is still a long way from being prepared. They need to get their wetlands rebuilt and this time listen to the Dutch engineers who came over and offered to help design a CAT 5 system like they use to protect the Netherlands, but were turned away.

We got a few wind gusts on the Texas coast near Houston, and that was it. No rain is forecast for the rest of the week – as Hanna, Ike and TD number 10 form a train spinning up along the same path in the Atlantic.

Now we’ll see if people get serious about preparing by improving their structures to take these violent storms.

One thing is certain; we aren’t going to repeal the law of geography. Tomorrow and next year we will be no further away from the coast, or destructive tornados, then we are today. The threat isn’t going to go away or diminish.

And if we get another Katrina with a 27-foot storm surge, will our systems handle it?
Are our buildings capable of ‘Sheltering in Place’ ? Not yet.

One manager of a large institution who shall remain nameless told me that management had decided that they would wait for a disaster before they invested in the protection our security film would provide. In other words, we’ll take action after the Titanic hits the iceberg.

That puts at risk the public who are using that institutions service-- and their own staff including highly paid doctors. In my opinion, good management and government takes action to avoid the damage and injuries from a foreseeable event such as a storm or explosion.

The cost of one liability suit for injuries or death from flying glass would greatly exceed the cost of installing our protection security film.

I saw video on CNN showing how GUSTAV's winds were peeling off plywood covering windows - leaving the occupants exposed to flying glass and the building subject to structural failure once the windows are breached by flying debris.

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