Royal Haskoning Helps to Further Mitigate New Orleans Flood Risk

Royal Haskoning and partners HKV Lijn in Water and Fugro, have been appointed to develop an electronic management system for water control structures in New Orleans. The team is now racing Mother Nature to meet a very tight deadline.

The project involves making an emergency management module that will allow a levee operator to monitor at-a-glance the opening and closing of more than 200 gates on all flood defences around New Orleans. This will also allow better coordination. The new system has to be operational before the peak of the hurricane season next month – September 2010.

The emergency management module will provide a rapid overview of gates that are open and closed. A map showing the location of the floodgates and table report can also be automatically generated with the module.

Ries Kluskens, Royal Haskoning project manager, said: “It is extremely important to have an accurate overview of both open and closed gates. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, flooding in New Orleans was not only caused by breaches but also because floodgates were left open. These things can easily be prevented by having a proper and up-to-date overview of which gates are open.”

The project is being implemented by the local operator of water control structures, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East (SLFPAE). SLFPAE is responsible for closing and opening floodgates. Depending on the type of emergency all these gates have to be closed within 24 hours – a huge job considering that they all have to be closed manually. The Emergency Module that Royal Haskoning is helping to develop will help improve the planning and co-ordination of closing and opening gates. Haskoning Inc. plans to have the emergency management module up and running before the peak of this year’s hurricane season.

Earlier this year experts from Royal Haskoning, Fugro and HKV Lijn in Water together with representatives of Hoogheemraadschap Delfland demonstrated a digital levee information management system for parts of the flood defence system around New Orleans. It showed the potential of having a digital information system assisting the local levee managers in their primary tasks. This pilot was sponsored by the 2g@there program.

(royalhaskoning)

Source: royalhaskoning, August 18, 2010

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