Helping Build Resilient Communities

On the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina we reflected on how this devastating storm changed the way we think about our community infrastructure, flood protection, and most importantly people's lives. When Hurricane Katrina came ashore it impacted residents along the entire Gulf Coast. The damage to infrastructure was staggering. Levees breached and floodwalls toppled. Eighty percent of New Orleans was inundated by floodwaters. Mississippi coastal towns were devastated. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there were $108 billion in estimated property damages, making it the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history. It was the human side of the tragedy. However, that was incredibly moving and continues to resonate with us today.

Hurricane Katrina's power laid bare, for us all to see, the vulnerabilities of our coastal populations. After the sheer magnitude registered, we were poignantly reminded that designing and building community flood protection is about much more than building infrastructure to meet criteria stated in a manual.

Ultimately, it's about communities … it's about families … it's about people.


'Remembering Katrina 10 Years Later'


This issue of Waterscapes, published 10 years after Katrina, is devoted to a broad view of resilience. The articles discuss how we are planning for potential future events and adaptively managing our systems to prepare for the future. We believe the principles of resiliency discussed in these articles are achievable, practical and essential for our communities. Read Waterscapes ...