EGEL
Energy GeoEngineering Laboratory

Hurricane Katrina: Geotechnical Observations in Biloxi, Mississippi

Hurricane Katrina: Geotechnical Observations in Biloxi, Mississippi

​Fratta, D., Schuettpelz, C., and Santamarina, J. C. (2007). "Hurricane Katrina: Geotechnical Observations in Biloxi, Mississippi." GeoStratta
Dante Fratta, Craig C. Schuettpelz and J. Carlos Santamarina
Hurricane Katrina, category 4 hurricane
2007
Hurricane Katrina made land fall along the Louisiana-Mississippi border during the morning of August 29th, 2005. At the time of the landfall, Katrina was a category 4 hurricane. The storm eye traveled a path 73.4 km west of Biloxi, where winds reached sustained speeds of 164 km/hr in Biloxi, with gusts in excess of 200 km/hr. The damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in Biloxi was catastrophic in all single family dwellings within 400 to 600 mm of the waterfront and along the east end of the Biloxi peninsula (Fratta and Santamarina 2006).  The wind load, rain-induced flooding, and the storm surge associated to large hurricanes cause slope failures, internal piping of earth dams, sediment transport along coastal regions and the failure of foundations for slender structures (Wieczorek 1996; Bucknam et al. 2001). Prepared with this information, we visited the Biloxi area twice (11/2005 and 7/2006) to assess the response of near-shore geotechnical systems (both onshore and offshore), including foundations, retaining walls, anchors and scouring next to bridge piers.