Appendix A
Statement of Task: Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection Projects

Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of much of the New Orleans metro area prompted many questions about the geotechnical and hydraulic conditions and performance of the city’s hurricane protection system. To help provide credible scientific and engineering answers regarding the performance of this system, an Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET) has been convened. The IPET effort is being led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The IPET is also working with a review team from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The IPET, which includes both federal and non-federal scientists and engineers, is divided into ten teams focusing on different topical areas.1 The IPET is focusing its investigation on 3 primary topics: a) design capacity of the hurricane protection system, b) forces exerted against the system and system response, and c) factors that resulted in overtopping, breaching, or failure of levees and floodwalls. The IPET issued a draft final report on June 1, 2006. The IPET plans to issue its final report in 2008.


This NAE/NRC committee will focus its review on the following tasks:

  1. review the data gathered by the IPET and the ASCE teams and provide recommendations regarding the adequacy of those data, as well as additional data that will be important to the IPET study and should be gathered;

  2. review the analyses performed by the IPET and ASCE to ensure their consistency with accepted engineering approaches and practices;

  3. review and comment upon the conclusions reached by the IPET and ASCE teams, and;

  4. seek to determine lessons learned from the Katrina experience and identify ways that hurricane protection system performance

1

The committee’s review will focus on the analysis of IPET teams in the areas of: data collection and management (perishable, systems data, and information management); interior drainage systems models; numerical models of the Hurricane Katrina surge and wave environment; storm surge and wave physical modeling of hydrodynamic forces and centrifuge breaching; geodetic vertical survey assessment; and the analysis of floodwall and levee performance.



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Appendix A Statement of Task: Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection Projects Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of much of the New Orleans metro area prompted many questions about the geotechnical and hydraulic conditions and performance of the city’s hurricane protection system. To help provide credible scientific and engineering answers regarding the performance of this system, an Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET) has been convened. The IPET effort is being led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The IPET is also working with a review team from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The IPET, which includes both federal and non-federal scientists and engineers, is divided into ten teams focusing on different topical areas.1 The IPET is focusing its investigation on 3 primary topics: a) design capacity of the hurricane protection system, b) forces exerted against the system and system response, and c) factors that resulted in overtopping, breaching, or failure of levees and floodwalls. The IPET issued a draft final report on June 1, 2006. The IPET plans to issue its final report in 2008. This NAE/NRC committee will focus its review on the following tasks: 1) review the data gathered by the IPET and the ASCE teams and provide recommendations regarding the adequacy of those data, as well as additional data that will be important to the IPET study and should be gathered; 2) review the analyses performed by the IPET and ASCE to ensure their consistency with accepted engineering approaches and practices; 3) review and comment upon the conclusions reached by the IPET and ASCE teams, and; 4) seek to determine lessons learned from the Katrina experience and identify ways that hurricane protection system performance 1 The committee’s review will focus on the analysis of IPET teams in the areas of: data collection and management (perishable, systems data, and information management); interior drainage systems models; numerical models of the Hurricane Katrina surge and wave environment; storm surge and wave physical modeling of hydrodynamic forces and centrifuge breaching; geodetic vertical survey assessment; and the analysis of floodwall and levee performance. 39

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40 The New Orleans Hurricane Protection System can be improved in the future at the authorized level of protection. The NAE/NRC committee will issue five reports: 1) a preliminary, letter report that comments on the adequacy of the nature of the data being collected by the IPET and ASCE teams (due in February 2006); 2) an interim report that represents the midpoint of the committee’s evaluation and project (due June 1, 2006); 3) a report that reviews the IPET June 1, 2006 draft final report (due in September 2006); 4) a report that reviews the IPET draft “Volume VIII” on Engineering and Operational Risk and Reliability Analysis; and, 5) a final, comprehensive report that summarizes the committee’s evaluation of the IPET final report. The timeline for these five NAE/NRC reports conforms with plans regarding IPET report progress. The first two NRC/NAE reports will be drafted and issued following the review and evaluation of the IPET 30% and 60% completion reports, respectively. The third NAE/NRC report will review the IPET draft report (which was issued on June 1, 2006). The fourth NAE/ NRC report will review the IPET Volume VIII on Risk and Reliability Analysis. The fifth NAE/NRC report will review the IPET final report.