Sunday, February 19, 2006

MR GO not a problem?

According to this report, MR GO did not have much of an impact on storm surge.
The Department of Natural Resources study started in March 2005 to examine the effect MRGO has in moving storm surge during a major hurricane.

For that study, URS Corp. of Baton Rouge did seven storm simulations using three hurricanes — a fast- moving storm, Hurricane Betsy and Hurricane Katrina. Each of the storms was run over the channel as it now exists and then the three storms were routed by computers over the location of the MRGO as if it were filled in with soil.

What the study found is that there was little difference in storm surge between the channel’s current configuration and if it were filled in to 1 foot above mean sea level.

Well, it sort of says that. Except the part at the end where it says that:
Although the URS Corp. report didn’t look at long-term effects of the channel on storm surge, it did acknowledge that erosion of the channel’s banks and the increased level of saltwater flow into northern marshes have had an effect.

The digging of the channel and the subsequent salt water it allowed into interior marshes added to the loss of coastal wetlands that separates developed communities of St. Bernard Parish and open water.
So let me get this straight. MR GO doesn't provide an expedited, straight avenue for storm surge. But it has destroyed wetlands which supposedly reduce storm surge. But MR GO itself has not contributed to storm surge. This seems to defy all logic.

Better tell the people in St. Bernard about this. I think they may have a different opinion.

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