HURRICANE RESISTANT POWER SYSTEMS

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In the face of the mess caused by seasonal hurricanes in Louisiana it does given some consideration as to how to get power into New Orleans that is more reliable. Ida, for example, reached 150 miles per hour which makes it very destructive. The French Quarter and Garden District are the only areas that do not usually get flooded. Still the area is barely 3 foot above sea level.

  •  Category One: 74-95 MPH
  • Category Two: 96-110 MPH
  • Category Three: 111-130 MPH
  • Category Four: 131-155 MPH
  • Category Five: Greater than 155 MPH

New Orleans is not well situated for bringing in power from upstate or from neighboring sources. Worse is that much of the existing power infrastructure is old and as more wind damage happens the problems become all the more troubling. Many are likely to not get power restored for 6 months or more.

Backfilling the area with more material would help with flooding as a 2 foot improvement would level the area with the Mississippi rive delta. Legally nobody is allowed to build below sea level in America. With 10 foot above sea level the city would be much less damaged by flooding.

The feature image clearly shows the extent of the damage. Homes were flattened or turn to pieces. The damage is very extensive. Last year Laura flooded the area with an extensive storm surge and category 4 winds.

There were 888,000 power outages in New Orleans and the surrounding area Monday morning, Entergy New Orleans CEO Deanna Rodriguez said at a news conference Monday afternoon. The utility company said in a statement earlier Monday that it “may take up to three days before we know how long until power will be restored” and “those in the hardest-hit areas could experience power outages for weeks.”

RANKNAMEYEARDAMAGES
1Katrina2005$320 billion
2Maria2017$215 billion
3Sandy2012$210 billion
4Harvey2017$210 billion
5Rita2005$105 billion
6Irma2017$80 billion
7Ike2008$75 billion
8Florence2018$60 billion
9Andrew1992$27.5 billion
10Wilma2005$21 billion
11Ivan2004$115 billion
12Laura2020$19 billion
13Irene2007$15.6 billion
14Charley2004$15.1 billion
15Frances2004$9.51 billion

A large tower that spans the Mississippi River, has collapsed. It survived Katrina but evidently it was weakened enough for Ida to finish it off. A more robust system to handle the wind in the Mississippi river area. Building an adequate replacement will cost more but compared to the cost of occasional replacements.

Some older wiring is designed for 95mph wind which does not stand up to hurricanes at all. The standards have been modernized but replacing older damaged lines will take a long time due to the extensive amount of damage. Estimates of $500 million are needed to repair the electrical grid and modernize the power system. This is a lot of money that the state cannot really afford. FEMA assistance may be available to the state and the local power companies to be able to rebuild the power systems.

Biden has been in the area and disaster assistance is available. The FEMA eligible parishes are: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana Parishes. The SBA is also able to help small businesses recover. Grants and loans are available.

The Capital One building was extensively damaged by Hurricane Laura

Category 3, and 5 storms are very destructive. Commercial buildings are frequently trashed in the Mississippi river region. Steel frame buildings are strong but the glass panels tend to be torn off or smashed by other debris.

Andrew also caused a great deal of damage to offshore oil facilities as it approached a second landfall in Louisiana, where it caused another $1 billion dollars in damage. In total, the damage caused by Andrew in both South Florida and Louisiana totaled $26 billion dollars, the most costly natural disaster in United States history.

So any power transmission lines will need to use strong steel frames to be able to tolerate extreme winds. The lines will need to be braided which tend to be more flexible and can yield in the wind gusts without breaking. Wind loads on towers are a complex phenomenon, and wind tunnel test remains the primary mean to determine the wind loads on the structure. However, due to the limitation of test equipment, typically only a few selected points are instrumented. Towers with a larger base should be more robust than narrower designs. The leeward pressure bending rod has more yield area than the pulling bending rod, and the stress of the bending bending rod is greater than that of the pulling bending rod. The parts under the most stress can be strengthened to help improve survivability.

Finite element analysis can only go so far as to determine the survivability of a given tower design. Wind is so variable that resonances can be created that cannot be easily analyzed, Designing for 200 mph winds is possible but the resulting cost to assemble the lines will be worth it in durability.

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