Superdome and High Rises

Maybe a good place to discuss the stability of the Superdome and other high rises in NO. I was thinking they would be safe, but I am questioning that right now.
 
Not sure about that, but I am curious about how the wind meters will hold up, here in Florida most of our METARs failed at our moderate hurricane winds compared to this. Also, I am wondering how long TV stations will be able to hold up, could there transmitters go down? I doubt we will see many live shots as the storm passes, it will be just to strong, DOT cams will likely go down too. How about the NEXRAD? Can it withstand it?
 
Any type of spinning anemometer is going to struggle. Wish they had some pitots like we do on Mount Washington.

There is going to be unprecendented shutdown in services. Sewer, TV, electric, etc. Not only are they going to fail, before that the people running them are going to evacuate.

In that NWS message they do mention the failure of high rise buildings.

Ever been in a building during 130mph winds? I was on Mount Washington. That thing is built for 300mph and mostly underground, but it shakes and howls like you wouldn't believe. The pressure differences that setup are quite impressive.
 
Andrew...

Just came to my mind, it brought down the NWS radar at Miami, winds were borderline 5.
 
The Florida Coastal Monitoring Program is intercepting this storm. This group sets up a series of towers/isnturmented houses.

They are on a quick time schedule, so no deploment map is available yet, but here is their latest update:

unday, August 28

Teams have been reorganized to deploy towers in Mississippi and Louisiana:

Louisiana Team: Dr. Forrest Masters, Jimmy Jesteadt, Jesus Jayaro and John Gamache pulling T1 and T2

Mississippi Team: Dr. Kurtis Gurley, Victor Camps, Collette Blessing, Jimmy Erwin, Jorel Vaccaro, Kristin Barndt and Rob Davis pulling T0, T3 and T5.

T2's generator isn't providing power, so we rigged two marine batteries in serial to provide additional 24V power to the UPS system. We expect 24 hours of data collection.

Cell reception looks poor in many of the areas we may deploy, so this may prevent operation of the real-time system. If so, the summary files will be posted as soon as the towers are retrieved.

http://users.ce.ufl.edu/~fcmp/

Aaron
 
That program looks pretty cool, but by the looks of those mobile towers, I really can't see them lasting very long...
 
In metro NO, I don't think it is so much a question of the buildings, stations, towers, radars and transmitters withstanding the wind as it is the question of them surviving underwater. If the levee is breached, NO becomes one with the ocean.
 
Originally posted by B Ozanne
Maybe a good place to discuss the stability of the Superdome and other high rises in NO. I was thinking they would be safe, but I am questioning that right now.

The Dome might hold up to the wind speed but not if something hits the roof at 150 mph plus and causes damage that allows the wind to get in under it.
 
A friend of mine is stuck in a hospital in Thibodeax, LA, southwest of NO. The hospital is constucted to withstand winds of only 135mph. That's what it was designed for, but he has low confidence that the building was constructed exactly to spec.

Makes me wonder about the quality of the Superdome. It may have been desinged for 200mph winds, but that's only if it was built perfectly. Its also an old structure.
 
Originally posted by B Ozanne
Maybe a good place to discuss the stability of the Superdome and other high rises in NO. I was thinking they would be safe, but I am questioning that right now.

What are you talking about, superdome? IS that the nexrad?
 
Originally posted by Andrew Khan+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Andrew Khan)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-B Ozanne
Maybe a good place to discuss the stability of the Superdome and other high rises in NO. I was thinking they would be safe, but I am questioning that right now.

What are you talking about, superdome? IS that the nexrad?[/b]

The Superdome is a stadium in New Orleans where they are evacuating those who cannot leave.
 
Can't say much about the roof structure for the Superdome; but the head of Homeland Security for the city of New Orleans said at a news conference this afternoon that the field and much of the lower level of the stadium would be flooded. For a football game the standard capacity is around 80,000 -- he anticipated no more than 20,000-30,000 would be able to shelter there because of the flooding.
 
A wise man once said; "It's not THAT the wind is blowin', it's WHAT the wind is blowin'"
 
I have serious doubts about the safety of those sheltering in the Superdome. Like others have pointed out, that roof won't hold up for long. I suppose some could be stuffed into the concourses surrounding the seating bowl, but that's going to seriously affect their capacity.

Nothing about this looks good.
 
When I heard that the Superdome was to be used as a shelter, I began to do some quick research. Here are number of factoids:

In 1998 during Hurricane Georges it was also used for an emergency shelter for 14,000 people.

Opened August 3, 1975
Total Land Area (building, garages, and grounds) = 52 acres
Diameter of Dome = 680 feet (210 meters)
Area of Roof = 9.7 acres
Structural Steel = 20,000 tons (18,200 metric tons)
Air Conditioning = 9,000 tons (8,190 metric tons)
The Superdome's playing field is at street level
The floor of the Superdome is 166,464 square feet
North to South 408 feet
East to West 408 feet
Ceiling Height is 273 feet at the center
There are 354 lightning rods on the roof
A total of 450 trees are spread out over the grounds and elevated levels of the Superdome

The Superdome's roof measures 9.7 acres, off of which an enormous amount of rainfall will cascade. There is a system of gutter tubs around the roof's periphery with a capacity of 345,000 gallons. Collected rain water is fed into the drainage system gradually under normal conditions.

The failure modes associated with the structure are so numerous. I’d really like to hear any thoughts that Tim Marshall might have.

The Superdome was built on land that was a cemetery.

(I fear that the superdome=super tomb).

I wonder if they are collecting next of kin information as part of the admission process.
 
The Superdome situation is very worrisome. It has a wide gradual lip that protrudes around the top of the wall. Theoretically, wind could get under this and force the structure up. Or, once a single piece of debris (house roof, car, sign) punctures the wall, the wall will soon fail, wind will enter the structure at low levels and the roof will become a giant sail.

I don't think there is any safe place in New Orleans. Whether it is flooding, debris, disease or collapsing skyscrapers, all types of potential shelter are at high risk for at least one of those factors. I would not even trust a steel reinforced concrete building or parking garage. If a single high-rise building collapses, it could start a chain reaction as the wind-driven debris falls on adjacent buildings.

It's hard to visualize what this storm is capable of. I've never pondered anything like this in 13 years of chasing.
 
Man, a lot of doom and gloom! Have a little faith that the EM's have done their job and know what they are doing. They have planned & trained for this exact scenario for years. I personally believe most concrete and steel “modernâ€￾ structures will be fine. They will perhaps sustain superficial damage, But the engineers who designed them would have taken this type of storm into account also.

The roof on the dome is a sprayed on polyethylene foam which will hold up very well to flying debris. I believe this is installed over a metal deck welded to the steel structure.
 
Man, a lot of doom and gloom! Have a little faith that the EM's have done their job and know what they are doing.
Well, I would except for one little detail: EM are the people originating all the doom and gloom to begin with!
 
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