Protecting New Orleans 10 years after Katrina

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans relies on a UNC-Chapel Hill researcher’s expertise on major storms and the strength of the levee system protecting the city.

Rick Luettich, director of the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City, a professor of marine sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences and an expert in storm surge modeling, began working with the Army Corps of Engineers in Louisiana in the late 1990s. Using the ADCIRC storm surge model he developed with colleague Joannes Westerink at the University of Notre Dame, Luettich began helping the Corps evaluate the levee system surrounding New Orleans. ADCRIC is a sophisticated computer program that can recreate the conditions of a major storm and help make predictions about how areas may be affected by future storms.

Luettich is also the principal investigator on UNC’s new Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence.

Video by Mary Lide Parker, UNC Research