New Orleans, La. – The ruling finds the Corp didn't properly maintain a shipping channel dug through wetlands in the 1960s. During Hurricane Katrina, water surged through the channel to breech levees protecting the Lower Ninth Ward and nearby St. Bernard Parish. The decision awards five residents and a business about $700-thousand dollars, but could open an avenue for claims totaling several billion dollars. The Corps has previously escaped liability because of laws granting it immunity for flood control systems. The navigation channel was built primarily as a shortcut for getting ships into the Gulf of Mexico. For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.