Study: Corps decisions doomed canal walls in Katrina

What is evident from the project record is that the Army Corps of Engineers recommended raising the canal floodwalls for the 17th Street Canal, but recommended gated structures at the mouths of the Orleans and London Avenue canals because the latter plan was less expensive.”

A corps spokesman didn’t comment specifically on the report, but said the agency gained valuable knowledge from such studies that it has used in rebuilding the levee system after Katrina.

“The Army Corps is first and foremost a learning organization,” said spokesman Ricky Boyett. “Our focus over the last ten years has been to learn from all the lessons of Hurricane Katrina.”

He noted that New Orleans’ revamped levee system protects much of the area from a so-called 100-year storm, or one with a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year, and it’s also designed to resist erosion during stronger storms. “As a result of this effort and the efforts of all of our partners, the greater New Orleans area now has the best level of risk reduction in its history,” Boyett said.

Levee study

About DW

New Orleans resident, writer, activist. Public market consultant.

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