Monday, August 20, 2007
Somebody Call Noah!
Af if fighting insurgents and holding off Iran weren't tough enough to deal with, let's throw in a massive flood of biblical proportions.
Hey Navy, time to head up to Mosul!
(Can't link it, but here's the story)
Army TimesAugust 27, 2007 Pg. 32
Iraqi Dam Expected To Burst, Engulf City, Air Base Any Day
By Kelly Kennedy
MOSUL, Iraq — As troops face at least five attacks a day from insurgents here, Army engineers, as well as the Iraq Ministry of Water Resources, battle to keep a beautiful dam 25 miles away from bursting and leaving the city submerged by the Tigris River.
“It’s not stable... we anticipate it going. It is beyond repair,” said Col. Stephen Twitty, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division commander, from his office at Forward Operating Base Marez.
In 1983, Saddam Hussein built the Saddam Dam in a picturesque area just above Mosul.
“That’s why Saddam wanted it there — because it’s pretty,” said Brig. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, deputy commander of U.S. forces deployed in several provinces around Mosul. “The dam is built well, but it’s built on gypsum. Saddam did some things that made no sense.”
Gypsum is a soft mineral known for being highly water-soluble and for shifting and compacting beneath heavy building material.
But the dam’s damage also poses another issue: Its hydroelectric plant provides the town’s power, and it is running at only half capacity, Wiercinski said.
Mosul itself is an archeologist’s dream. The area has been inhabited for 8,000 years. Iraq’s oldest Christian monastery, St. Elijah’s, stands on the U.S military base, and the tomb of Jonah — of “Jonah and the Whale” fame — is also inside Mosul.
Twitty said $28 million has been spent on 162 dam-repair projects.
Still, he said, “It is beyond repair. They need to rebuild.”
If the dam, which holds back 12 billion cubic meters of water, crumbles, the Tigris would not only flood Mosul, leaving the city of almost 2 million people under water, but would also flood the U.S. air base. That base includes the U.S. Combat Support Hospital for the region, as well as the airport.
If that happened, Twitty said a couple of big stadiums — also Hussein-built — are “part of the contingency plan.”
But the town, and the troops, would have only 3.5 hours to evacuate. And the troops know it: Almost every conversation in Mosul — over card games, coffee or even out on patrol — leads to speculation about when the dam will finally go.
To avoid impending disaster, a concrete plant was built near the dam for the sole purpose of pumping cement into the dam, “into those holes every day,” Wiercinski said.
The Corps of Engineers has created an alarm system, and half of FOB Marez is high enough to stay dry. But everyone on the west side of town will have to flee to higher ground.
“The whole town will be swept out,” Wiercinski said.
If — or when — the dam goes, “it’s not good.”
posted by El Capitan at 8:31 AM
Wow. That's not good at all. But, I think the story is summed up in one simple quote.
"Saddam did some things that made no sense."
I'd find a nice rooftop, plug in Led Zeppelin 4, cut 8 - and watch the show..not a damn thing you can do, cept maybe give swimming lessons or wax up the board. Besides all that, if it does break and we do mass a giant rescue effort, which we certainly will try - I bet, watch for the moonbat hoards to bark about Katrina and how we're treating Iraqis better than we did the fools in the Big-Easy, and how the breaking of the damn was absolutely Bush’s fault with leading an incompetent military. I would put money on that. Good money.1:40 AM
I recall reading some reports a lot like this about the large hydroelectric dam north of Ar Ramadi. Its in similar shape, old, poor repair, and capable of dumping millions of cubic feet of water on the cities downstream if/when it goes. Another fine infrastructure from Saddam. Did this guy ever manage to do _anything_ right?1:23 PM
Dear EC - Time for you to give us a shout out!!10:02 PM
yeah...give us a sign.3:07 PM
Dang! Not enough to worry about things that go boom...sheesh!
Does the AF issue water wings???
Glad to catch up with you - been busy doing the moving thang.
Water wings. That's funny!!!
Hey El Capi~ Hope you're enjoying yourself!
Nothing new here. Still waiting. Big and fat.....
Just thinking about you~
Hey dude, where are you? I had a double double for ya...11:19 PM