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Thread: Portable Secondary Levee

  1. #1 Portable Secondary Levee 
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    Portable Secondary Levee:
    A solution to the problem of preventing lake ponchartrain from flooding New Orleans again.
    Assemble about 100 cement slabs which are about 12 ft. long, three feet wide, and 2 ft. high, with metal handles sticking out of their sides. [The size of these is approximate; another size might work better.] These concrete slabs are to have a 6 ft. high, solid metal fence sticking out of the top of them, which is firmly stuck in the concrete. The concrete was allowed to harden around the bottoms of these metal fences.
    If there is a break in a main levee, like the levee system around Lake Ponchartrain protecting New Orleans, then helicopters can carry these cement slab/ metal barriers by hooking on the handles in the concrete. These cement slab/ metal barriers can be placed by helicopter, one slab at a time, to form a semicircle barrier around the leak in the main levee. One slab/ metal barrier placed along side another one, until the semicircle barrier around the leak is complete. The small spaces between these can be sealed off with sand bags. These can be placed some distance behind the main levee, depending on what is the best place to put the secondary portable levee.
    This portable secondary levee is only to stop a leak in a main levee, or to redirect the water flow of the leak on a desired course. This portable secondary levee will not ever need to withstand storm surge from a hurricaine, or wind from a hurricaine, so it does not need to be very strong. It’s purpose is to prevent warter that is leaking from a break in a main levee, from flooding a city.
    You could store these slab /metal fence sections in an area close to the levee, on high ground, with easy access to them by helicopter, and store sandbags along with them.


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  3. #2  
    j
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    You say they need not withstand storm surges and hurricane force winds, but the amount of water in Pontchatrain would exert a considerable force ...


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by j
    You say they need not withstand storm surges and hurricane force winds, but the amount of water in Pontchatrain would exert a considerable force ...
    Most of the time when dams or levees break it starts out as a small crack and the flow of water through it wears it open more, until it is a large opening. This process can take 15 hours or more. Katrina winds had died down by Monday afternoon. The cracked levee started leaking alot of water the next morning, maybe about 15 hours later.
    This portable secondary levee, that I am proposing could probably be set up in a semicircle around a cracked levee in about 3 or 4 hours, sandbags and all. It would provide a water barrier around the crack before it got too bad, and before the flow increased too much.
    The amount of water it would need to hold would probably be like what the walls of swimming pool hold. 4 or 5 ft. of water, easily contained by the walls of a swimming pool. The structure that I am proposing would easily contain that.
    Because it would stop the flow of water from the main levee in 3 or 4 hours, the break in the main levee would stop getting worse when the flow of water stopped, and would end up a much smaller break.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Just relocate the people away from the problem, that way there's little to do with the levee.
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  6. #5  
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    Hi Ghost7584!

    Thank you for posting this thought. It is something I have given a great deal of consideration too. This is an interesting idea. I am not an engineer so I cannot seriously comment, but it seems like a good temporary solution.

    The problem with the New Orleans levee was not cracks. It was the current shifting them out of place which actually caused the breaches. There is a way to correct this situation with the levees according to the Independent Corp of Engineers but it costs an enourmous amount of money. To date, I have not read anything indicating any enitity has determined the price is worth paying. I guess it is as it has been stated, New Orleans really does roll the dice and depend on luck. Seems like too big of a chance to take.....
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  7. #6  
    j
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    I see the portable levee as a blister ready to pop ...

    Do the levees need to contain the water? Or could they be designed to slow the water enough to allow the pumps to keep up? If some leakage was allowed, the pressure would be much less.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyndiLoo
    Hi Ghost7584!

    Thank you for posting this thought. It is something I have given a great deal of consideration too. This is an interesting idea. I am not an engineer so I cannot seriously comment, but it seems like a good temporary solution.

    The problem with the New Orleans levee was not cracks. It was the current shifting them out of place which actually caused the breaches. There is a way to correct this situation with the levees according to the Independent Corp of Engineers but it costs an enourmous amount of money. To date, I have not read anything indicating any enitity has determined the price is worth paying. I guess it is as it has been stated, New Orleans really does roll the dice and depend on luck. Seems like too big of a chance to take.....
    There is another alternative method of stopping a leak in a levee or dam.

    When a car radiator leaks there are certain powdered substances that you can buy that if you put it in the radiator it will stop leaks. Aluminum powder, chili powder, even black pepper can stop a radiator from leaking.
    This same principle could be applied to a cracked levee or dam. A material that is as strong as stone or brick, but it will half-float or be suspended in water at different depths, and it can be formed into individual pieces about the size of a brick, and shaped in such a way that the individual pieces will grab on to each other. A helicopter can drop many of these into the water that is about to leak out of a dam or levee. When these pieces flow into the break in the dam or levee, they will start to clog up the opening and seal it off. This will eventually stop the leak.
    The same sort of thing happens with blood being stopped from leaking out of a cut. The red blood cells clog up the opening sealing it off and forming a scab.
    Different sizes and shapes of these could be experimented with to see what works the best, on different sizes of levee breaks.
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  9. #8  
    j
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    I like that. Something like a very fast setting cement; it would need to be very cheap as most of it would get washed away before it has a chance to set.

    In fact, that would be good as a preventive measure. Hold a thin layer the material against the weakened area with a material permeable to water, but not the material. The water would push through the barrier and force the material into any cracks; the barrier could be bio-degradeble OR sturdy enough to become part of the support structure. I think it would easier to develop the technology as preventive, and the modify it for emergency control.

    I still think that controlling the water during an emergency is a better approach than stopping it.
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