Failing Levee Repairs
by Editilla O'rilla d'Aphasia
I just returned from New Orleans, The City That The Corps of Engineers Handed to Pontius Pilate.
My bare-handed live'blogged eyewitness report from the city of the Leaking 17th Street Canal Levee Repair has garnered around 2000 hits since that Thursday. This is wonderful!
So I decided to repost it with an update or two and some gin'you'whine Editilla schmilla on text book ASCE spin'filtration for the Corps of Engineers Bad Engineering in the form of Tim Ruppert, the nameless blogger. We deserve better than this insulting horse shit.
AP Photo/Bill Haber
~In this area, water seeps under the levee of the 17th Street Canal levee, background, Tuesday, May 20, 2008, in New Orleans. Outside engineering experts who have studied the project told The Associated Press that the type of seepage spotted at the 17th Street Canal in the Lakeview neighborhood afflicts other New Orleans levees, too, and could cause some of them to collapse during a storm.
~I rode the bike out to this 17th Street Leak
May 26th, noon-7pm, to see it for myself. It is four "wet spots" of flowing water directly in the middle of the new repair job of "T Wall" about 40 yards out from the base of the levee. I say flowing water because when I flicked a cigarette ash into it, the flow was evident across the ground. Just looking at the "spot" it looks like a wet spot but when you see the water running it makes more sence...10 seconds for my sample ashes to flow 1 foot. That seemed fast to me. I mean, as soon as the ash hit the water it started moving towards the Lakeview neighborhood. This largest Leak (pictured) is appx 15 yards long. X5 yards wide. You can sorta see from the picture the flowing water but not as good as getting up close, even in it. There are three other spots just outside the photo, which may represent one large leak or four separate streams of moving water. One of the spots, I sank into the mud immediately 3-4 inches. Upon this one pictured above, the largest, I stood and pushed gently up and down with my feet like we used to do at the beach at the water's edge to watch the water come up through the sand, because right by the ocean the beach is virtually sitting on top of water...well, when I pranced on this spot water splashed up around my ankles within seconds and I sank down about 6 inches in no time. Just pushing my feet up and down caused the water to come up out of the ground. What if we plied a couple of shovels into them? How far could we go? And I thought the Corps had told AP that they would do just that? Well, where the hell are they? Perhaps the other spots have formed there since the photo was shot the week before. All four wet spots had flowing water. I really wish Mat McBride or some other smart blogger would go out there and look at this.
I wish everyone would go and see this ass'backwarded
ACTIVELY FAILING LEVEE.
Now on to the levee and flood wall itself. OK, this is right at the pump station so the wall sections count 1-17 from Robert E Lee away from the lake until they get to the "T Wall. There are 17 sections of this new "T Wall" then the older wall begins again. On the other side there are rocks piled all down the "Repair" except on the section of "T Wall" and then a short section of the older wall has rocks then no rocks the length of the Canal that I saw. Right at RE Lee there is bulldozer and other equipment that has done fresh and Extremely Muddy still, work there and then you walk along the wall to the New "T Wall" to see the Leaks. This area where the bulldozer is represents a new thing for me. Deep fresh wet mud. With my hands I was able to dig down nearly a foot and it was wet entirely.
On the "wet spots" pictured I could not dig down because the hole filled with water at just 6 INCHES...FLOWING WATER...I COULD SEE IT MOVING WITH MY OWN LYIN'EYES. I could however with a bit of effort stick my bare hands into the saturated soil up to my elbows. I suggest everyone try this but be very careful when retracting your arm from the succulent mud...slow and easy. Just be still and You can feel the water moving over your skin. It feels kinda cool and interesting actually. Four active leaks--not one "little wet spot"...all four in a radius of 30 yards. I paced all of this off. Then I walked the wall all the way to 17th Street and back(you have to climb through a gate along the wall and there is fencing along Fleur dis Lis street) This jaunt revealed that the houses along the levee have indeed developed their yards right up to the base of the levee and have trees along the base with 6-8 foot diameters and 40-50 foot limb spreads which means their roots stretch out and into the levee by at least 20 feet under ground. Most trees' root systems spread and descend into the ground equal to their above ground presence. Follow me here. These are HUGE trees, not little trees, with root systems which have most surely breached the structural integrity of that levee. But if such a subtle invasion is possible then why has it not happened at these trees before? Well, it DID HAPPEN at the point in the levee of the most water preassure--just before the failed pumps. And that big open space where there are leaks used to have houses and yards and trees on it. When I stood in the middle of these leaks, in muddy flowing water up to my ankles, I looked over to the Lakeview neighborhood and felt the chill graze of the Reaper's Scythe across my heart. Where tons of water had pushed away any notion of defense, that Failing Levee now removed any illusion of safety, even sanity buttressing the few houses being rebuilt.
As for the joints between sections of the wall: the New I Wall seems a fairly tight fit though it is new and hasn't had time to settle. I found the joint compound brittle. All of that concrete will settle I don't care how much pile allegedly driven by the Exquixotic Corps. This is built by the Corps of Engineers, Proven Engineering Liars. Like most people effected by their slights of hand I did not see them build this "Repair" and have only their word for it or what I can see with my own lyin'eyes. But we all have had quite enough of their word since August 29th, 2005.
The older section seams are what worries me. As far down as a foot in many of the seams (I stopped counting at 20 seams between joints) I could see daylight between the old joint compound and the edges of each section of Wall. I could see day light between the seams within 6 inches of the top on most of the sections, from RE Lee to 17th Street. They have done nothing to refit these seams with new compound or even newspapers. All up and down the seams in 3 out of 5 I could stick my index finger up to the first knuckle and on four seams I could stick my thumb up to the first knuckle and on one or two seams I stuck TWO FINGERS UP TO THE FIRST KNUCKLE at about 3-4 feet up from the ground between the compound seal and the old wall. Had I wanted, I could have easily dug out this very old and corroded joint sealant compound with my bare fingers--easily, a child could do it really the stuff just falls away it is so old. I would like to know why with the water down they did not think of replacing this stuff. I mean on at least half of the seams I looked at along the older sections I could see daylight between the cracks--DAYLIGHT--at the tops and even sometimes little cracks about 2 feet down from the top of the walls.
So there you have my eye'witness report. The LEAKS are frightening and they are not just simple seepage. Water does not coagulate like blood and just keeps flowing and eroding whatever it is flowing around. Please everyone go and see for yourself. Go to the wall at Robert E Lee and walk about 50 yards back from the lake and there they are working in a clearing of bare ground. I think this is the one in the AP Photo. Please also check the seams of the wall for yourself as did I. Reach Up and Touch this joint compound and watch it crumble away.
Please do this and get yer hands dirty as We can get our hands around this threat and perchance feel out solutions together.
DIRECTIONS TO THE LEAKS:
NOTE-Please make sure to go on a "dry" day so as not to confuse this with rain'stained soil.
Go to the 17th Street Canal Levee at bridge by the Pumps. To the right you will see the huge pumps. To the left you will see Section #1 Go there. Start at section 1 and walk along the wall away from the lake, until you reach the middle of the New "T Wall" Repair Sections. Then move about 35 yards into the middle of the bare ground in front of the wall from the base of the levee. You have to do this because the Corps has fenced off the area from Fleur dis Lis Street so it is easy to miss these leak-spots. But you can easily access them from RE Lee along the wall. From a distance they do look like "just wet spots" but upon closer inspection it is easy to see the flowing water in some of them. These levee breaches were spotted in March and reported in the Times Picayune. Then nearly 2 months later comes the recent AP article on these very failing levee repairs. They are still there...flowing water. You can't miss them. Please check this out asap as The Corps will probably try to cover these leaks over to hide them with fresh soil. But...flowing water just does not stop flowing until its job is done. That job? Errosion. One could stand over even the mentality of the Exquixotic Corps with an eye- dropper, and it may take 10,000 years but the water will eventually wear a hole through it, though one would still not get any usefull information out of them, despite what our government says about such practices.
Now on to the Fuckmook of the Flood. Why? Because this is a matter of life and death already, not back handed, snake in the grass, public relations work. This public relations hack spent his "benefit of the doubt" with me at the RT2 Conference last year. You can read him on their blog. Now, last week, Tim Ruppert, you came on my own site, my front yard, to try to defend Jolissaints "Alfred E Newman Whaaat Me Worry" sound bite spread across the country: ~“I personally do not at all believe that this little wet spot is anything that is going to cause a breach or a failure of any kind,” Donald Jolissaint, chief of the corps’ technical support branch in New Orleans~ to mislead my readers and insinuate that Robert Bea was just a paid hack. So I have checked: The cost ratio is balanced like a guillotine of money paid to your group's IPET Corps WhiteWash study and Robert Bea's group's study that, thank Goddess, refuted it with sound and experienced engineering analysis. Let's say a Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to One when you consider the tax money squandered by your Corps of Engineers. So far, the IPET study has cost about $25 million. The corps recently committed an additional $250,000 to complete the risk study. Robert Bea's group was supported by a NSF Grant. SGER awards cannot exceed $200,000 for a period of two years, however most are for smaller amounts and/or for shorter durations.
Innuendo and out the other, you neobitch.
So Tim you are the paid hack here, and a fuckmook in the broadest sense that I ever heard Ashley Morris apply the term. Hence, I have removed links to him on my own blog since you have them on yours and it just feels dirty to me. Idolatrous even. People might think that I agree with you. People may think that Ashley would agree with you. That is none of my business and between you and your maker. I certainly do not need anyone misunderestimating my love for that one truly badass blogger. I do not agree with you.
And, you know, after this past Monday, sticking my bare hands nearly a foot deep in flowing water in front of your groups failing levee repairs, I don't care if I offend any smart nolabloggers. I missed your public relations soiree at last year's RT2 Conference due to other obligations in the city during the 2nd Anniversary of the Corps' Flood. It was an emotional mile stone that trumped your millstone.
That was then and this is now.
Much has changed, not water under the bridge but water under the levee.
While I honestly grieve the loss of your home in Gentilly to fire after the evacuation during the lock down of the city, I am glad you are able to afford a new one as so many have not in New Orleans after your group flooded the city. However, I have seen too much death and destruction to give that much shrift. I don't hang my creds on my shoulders as a calling card until someone asks for it, like supporting the Corps Malfeseant Engineering. Then I step in. By attacking me on my own blog in support of Jolissaint the Head of Tech Support (Mr Key'Word Wet Spot) you passed the first lick and asked for it. Indeed, you typically spin'sucker punched me by not offering contradicting info on Kevin Wagner (Mr. News Paper Levee Stuffer) while disparaging Robert Bea (a real engineer).
The upside to stepping in your shit is that you show me that I am on a true path of investigation and attack.
My dog will hunt. Your dog is a pussy.
From the comments on my post one week ago:
Don Jolissaint is most certainly a Registered Professional Engineer in Louisiana. I don't know why you were unable to verify this from the board of engineering; while you insult and disparage an acknowledged professional you showcase your own inability to perform a simple text search on the Internet.Well, because I was so upset that Don Jolissaints Tech Support work for the Corps means that those LEVEES ARE STILL FAILING and I wasn't spelling his name correctly. And I posted an apology and clairification. Little did I know that you are their smarmy, small mouthed, soft balled, boot-licking punk'setter.
I'm glad that you recognize the value of a professional engineering license but I'm curious, did you also attempt to check the credentials of Bob Bea? You should do so, because the celebrated paid consultant of plaintiff attorneys is NOT registered to practice engineering in Louisiana or any other state of the union.
If you do not go and check out these levees you are a coward. And if you do not tell me why you chose to support the Lying Murderers in the Corps of Engineers and oppose Real Engineers, who were there the moment the water fell enough to get there, you are an abject failure as a human being. What gives, Tim? You have shown me something even more dangerous than Lying Engineers like the Corps: you have shown me a Spinner Baited Propagandist masquerading as an Engineer. Robert Bea has built levees. You I would bet my left testicle have built nothing. I have balls. You do not. So please take one of mine---but to get it you must get off of your pandering ass and go look at the Leaks in front of those failing I Walls and do your own engineering if you actually can which I really doubt. I am challenging you, Tim. Come off it and help us, the people who read this blog, understand this dire situation in the levees, prove me wrong with engineering rather than picking on me or questioning Robert Bea's almost half a century of marine, coastal and structural engineering experience. Robert Bea was building things before you were born, you spoiled public relations hack. I am just a tax-paying citizen survivor of your group's criminal engineering while you are a big-time mouthpiece. We the People are David and you and yours are the Master Blaster with a methadrine scrambled midget riding your back. You are worse than the Corps other bad engineers because you try to spin the story of those levees failing as if you are an uninterested, unrelated party when in actuality work for them. What insipid passive-aggressive cowardice.
You offer invective and innuendo, anonymously, to mislead my readers around the country and the world that there could be some doubt as to Robert Bea's finding that the Corps was guilty of 1st Semester Engineering Mistakes in building those levees which failed. You are a party panzy flackster'bater. I read all the posts of your honored spin'filtration of the Rising Tide Conference last year. That was then and this is now and your employer's levees are failing AGAIN! Come on, Tim Ruppert, tell me this wouldn't make a great bumper sticker:
DON'T FLOOD ME BRO!
We need real information, Tim Ruppert,
not more of your bullshit spin thank you very much.
One does not honor a sociopath, as so often a vulnerable child denies the violence of the father who beats Mother, by giving them stage to misrepresent to the questioning public their abusive malefeseance. One must put lying abusive engineers in jail. At the very least one publishes the name of such sociopaths, Tim Ruppert, in the interest of public saftey. You may have the Tide swamped into swallowing your wallowing, but not this Delta Boy.
It should be noted that I don't do this sort of thing to individual bloggers. This is not one of those inner blog-o-sphere flame thingies that I have heard of and that (other than you attacking me in the first place) that thankfully I don't have on the Nolasphere. No, Tim, this not personal. This is me--a concerned citizen--finally getting a hold of one of the people responsible for those levees failing in '05. You may or may not have done it then but you have actively done it now. This is not about me but about us and not about you but about them.
You have offered me your ass on a putrid mold covered platter now and I will not let go until you and your punk'lord neoengineer taskmasters either make those levees right or get out of the way.
Preferably y'all just get out of the way. But until then I intend to discredit you of any engineering integrity,
and anyone associated with you of integral honesty.
Thankfully we have nice lady Sandy Rosenthal, a very unsimple Nola'citizen, Levees.org and real engineers across the country to show the world how public relations spin'baters like you and yours actually operate:
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