Other cities watch as New Orleans fortifies itself

Miami /
Aug.August 08, 2015 01:45 PM

Many residents of coastal areas are closely watching how New Orleans is reducing the risk of the deadly flooding that Hurricane Katrina caused ten years ago.

Congress appropriated $14 billion for construction of 350 miles of larger and sturdier levees, huge gates that can close to prevent flooding, and a wall that can plug the canal in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans if the canal’s flood are breached.

Other work under way includes the installation of pump stations to prevent dangerously high storm-water levels in New Orleans’ three primary drainage canals.

In addition to the federal infrastructure work in New Orleans, the state of Louisiana has a 50-year, $50 billion plan to fortify other parts of the state vulnerable to storm damage. The state plan encompasses levee construction, wetlands restoration and barrier-island reinforcement to reduce the impact of storms.

People have come from cities worldwide to see the protective project unfolding in New Orleans. A spokesman for the New Orleans district of the Army Corps of Engineers, Ricky Boyett, said he and his co-workers led in excess of 400 tours for congressional delegations and official from more than 20 countries in 2010. After that, “we quit counting,” Boyett said.

In addition to climate change, sinking land is a big issue for Louisiana, where 1,900 square miles of  coastal wetlands have been submerged in the last 80 years. The lost land mass is approximately the size of Delaware. The equivalent of a football field disappears hourly.

Coastal land has become submerged largely because of levees along the Mississippi have pinched off the flow of land-replenishing sediment.

In addition, oil and gas companies have installed pipelines and cut channels for navigation purposes, allowing saltwater intrusion to kill fragile wetlands.

Going forward with restoration of wetlands and barrier islands is necessary even though the recovered land will erode, seas will rise, and storms will continue to do damage, said U.S. Representative Garret Graves, a Republican from Louisiana.

“You don’t not build a road because you’re going to have to maintain it,” Graves said. [New York Times]Mike Seemuth


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Kathleen Passidomo and Ron DeSantis (Getty,  Kathleen Passidomo)
Florida Senate passes industry-friendly homeowners insurance reforms
Florida Senate passes industry-friendly homeowners insurance reforms
Paul Renner and Kathleen Passidomo (Florida House of Representatives, Kathleen Passidomo, Getty)
Florida legislature to tackle homeowners insurance crisis in special session
Florida legislature to tackle homeowners insurance crisis in special session
(Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty Images)
After Ian: South Florida’s construction costs, insurance to rise
After Ian: South Florida’s construction costs, insurance to rise
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Insured losses from Hurricane Ian could reach $40B
Insured losses from Hurricane Ian could reach $40B
Jackie Siegel (Photos via Getty, Courtesy Jackie Siegel)
Versailles mega mansion suffers $10M in Hurricane Ian damages
Versailles mega mansion suffers $10M in Hurricane Ian damages
(Photos via Getty Images)
Hurricane Ian wreaks devastation on southwest, central Florida: Photos
Hurricane Ian wreaks devastation on southwest, central Florida: Photos
(Photos via Getty Images)
Hurricane Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida: Photos
Hurricane Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida: Photos
(The Real Deal illustration with Getty Images)
As Hurricane Ian approaches, builders secure Florida sites
As Hurricane Ian approaches, builders secure Florida sites
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...