Army Corps of Engineers

Engineer: Excavation caused Katrina collapse

Sep 18, 2012

An engineering expert has testified he believes excavation work performed by an Army Corps of Engineers contractor caused New Orleans' floodwalls to breach in two places during Hurricane Katrina.

Robert Bea, a retired University of California engineering professor, explained his position Monday during a trial of homeowners' claims against the corps and contractor Washington Group International Inc.

Bea is an expert witness for the plaintiffs.

The Army Corps of Engineers is back on trial, seven years after Hurricane Katrina's storm surge shredded New Orleans' flood protection system.

Starting Wednesday, a federal judge will hear testimony in a lawsuit by several homeowners who claim negligence by the corps and a contractor caused the failure of floodwalls protecting the Lower 9th Ward and neighboring St. Bernard Parish.

The corps says rain and storm surge overtopped floodwalls along the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal.

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract to improve drainage at the Trapp Canal on the west bank of Jefferson Parish.

Corps officials say the project, which is part of the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project, will reduce the risk of damage from a 1-in-10-years rainfall.

The $14.7 million contract to was awarded to Hamp's Construction LLC. Under the contract, 7,400 feet of the canal will be widened and other improvements made between Bayou Fatima and Bayou Barataria.

Existing levees will be raised in two northeast Louisiana parishes starting in the next few weeks.

The levees held during the Mississippi River flood of 2011, but have settled gradually since being built in 1973.

Reynold Minsky is president of the 5th Louisiana Levee District board. He tells The News-Star of Monroe the changes will bring all of East Carroll Parish and most of Concordia Parish to 500-year flood protection levels.

Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu will be joining President Obama when he arrives in New Orleans on Labor Day to review the region's recovery from Hurricane Isaac. Landrieu says she’ll be pressing him for more support of offshore revenue sharing.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is checking if its new levee system built around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina put other communities at greater risk. Some residents say they’re suffering unprecedented flooding after Hurricane Isaac.

A "flyover" overview video of the hurricane and flood protection system ringing the New Orleans region, from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Army Corps of Engineers Updates

Aug 28, 2012

In preparation for the storm’s landfall, the Corps has closed or is in the process of closing the following:

All the dry weather means there's less water flowing through the once mighty river into the Gulf of Mexico, and low outflow means saltwater from the Gulf is creeping in.

Some Louisiana cities have already begun purchasing drinking water. Now New Orleans is at risk.

An 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River was closed today because of low waters levels.

The AP reports:

"Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets told The Associated Press on Monday that the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11, when a vessel ran aground.

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