NEW ORLEANS – Seventeen years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the Army Corps of Engineers is complete an extensive system of floodgates, reinforced dikes and other protective measures.
The 130-mile ring is designed to withstand storm surges of about 30 feet around New Orleans and suburbs in three communities.
It is “the largest construction project in Corps history and the culmination of nearly two decades of hard work and collaboration at the local, state and federal levels,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said during a symbolic handover to the state on Friday Orleans have experienced the worst that Mother Nature has to offer and with the completion of the system they will be protected by the best of engineering, design and hurricane protection.”
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and Federal meteorologists predict it will be busy.
Congress allocated $14.5 billion for what it called the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System and related projects. It includes what the Corps says are the world’s largest facilities — a pumping station and a 1.8-mile barrier that can be closed against storm surges.
Louisiana will pay $1.1 billion, the governor’s office said in an email on Friday. Whether that includes interest was not said.
the dikes withstood Hurricane Ida in 2021, although some suburbs outside the system were flooded.
until 2011, the system could protect against a storm with a 1% chance in any given year, according to the Corps.
Features since added include anti-tank levees to prevent erosion and washout when stronger storm surges rise above their tops, and three permanent channel closures and pumps.
“We know we’re going to face increases of more than 1 percent at some point, so we designed the HSDRRS to exceed them,” Col. Stephen Murphy, commander of the Corps’ New Orleans District, said in a news release. “Now that all armor is in place, this system heads into the 2022 hurricane season stronger than ever.”
The state has been taking control of the system for years as components have been built Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate noted.
Maintenance and operational costs are expected to be approximately $25 million per year for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East and approximately $7.8 million per year for its West Bank counterpart.
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https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/05/27/17-years-post-katrina-new-orleans-area-protections-complete/ 17 years after Katrina, New Orleans territory protection completed