Posted May 25, 2006 - While federal officials declare New Orleans' levees safe, enegineering experts say the city is not storm-proof.
:: AD ::
Although work continued Thursday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it was all but finished the $800 million project to repair levees damaged by Hurricane Katrina`s devastating flooding last August - just in time for the June 1 start of hurricane season.
Where levees were breached and battered, millions of cubic yards of soil have been put into place along more than half the 350-mile levee system, federal officials say.
New gates stand at the mouths of New Orleans' three major drainage canals and storm-damaged pumps are being renewed, engineering experts say. The storm-protection system was also improved with tougher concrete floodwalls, and more than 150 miles of new or repaired levees.
However, some experts caution that the city isn't 100 percent flood-proof. Independent engineers say New Orleans is still at risk of more flooding in a severe storm, because the level of protection the corps reached is not as strong as the city needs.
And, they are hoping the system is not put to a Katrina-sized test before more improvements are made.
"Some of these things were poorly designed and were almost pre-ordained to fail," said Wayne Clough, the head of a National Research Council team formed to assess the corps` management of the disaster told The Associated Press. "Just because they've been restored to their condition pre-Katrina doesn't mean they are perfectly safe."
What else do you think should be done to help Hurricane Katrina victims rebuild their lives? Talk about it. Hit "Discuss Now."
TRENDING IN NEWS