Pavement Preservation Journal, Fall 2011, Vol. 5, No. 1
By Russell Heritage
When Hurricane Rita made landfall on the Gulf Coast in September 2005, it had a devastating impact on the people of Louisiana and their transportation system. This was especially the case for La. 27, located in the Lake Charles area, where the effects of Category 3-Rita and the resulting storm surge turned what had been accumulated, minor pavement damage into a serious safety situation.
With winds of up to 115 mph, Rita carried heavy rains that flooded many areas of Louisiana, including the intersection of La. 27 and 28. A 15 to 18-ft. tidal surge cascaded over the highway, covering large portions of the thoroughfare in nearly 10 ft. of water for days, even weeks in some areas.