Author(s): Sylvie Van Emelen; Sandra Soares-Frazão; Cyrus K. Riahi-Nezhad; M. Hanif Chaudhry; Jasim Imran; Yves Zech
Keywords: Breaching; finite volume; Katrina; scale model; urban flooding
Abstract: The City of New Orleans is surrounded by an intricate network of floodwalls and dikes built to protect it from flooding from the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans experienced one of the most devastating urban floods in recent history caused by several dike breaches. This work presents an idealized case study of a part of this event on a scale model. It concerns the flow through one of these breaches and flooding in the surrounding urban area. The scale model reproduces part of the remaining dike, the complex morphology caused by the breach and a number of houses around the area. The flow field computed by a two-dimensional depth-averaged finite-volume numerical model is compared with measurements on the scale model. As the transient part of the flood is quite short, the numerical and experimental results were compared under steady-state flow, showing satisfactory agreement.