flood protection

Jesse Hardman

Over the last decade more than $14 billion was spent to upgrade New Orleans’s storm protection system. But ask around, and you’ll get a variety of responses as to how safe the city actually is now when it comes to storms and flooding.

Mark Schleifstein is the Environment reporter for Nola.com | The Times-Picayune. He’s been covering all facets of New Orleans’s attempts to shore up it’s natural and man-made defense systems.

St. Charles Parish Government

St Charles Parish officials hope to gain more control over their local wetlands by adopting their own coastal plan.

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, is New Orleans better protected? The answer is complicated.

Historian John Barry says Louisiana’s new master plan for flood protection could help save the city, but it will cost billions of dollars and he wonders whether the political will exists to put it into place.

Barry says the plan faces several challenges, including sea level rise, due to land loss he says is caused in part by the energy industry, and the 100-year flood protection standard. He joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to talk about it.

In the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has nearly completed one of the world's most remarkable hurricane protection systems to encircle New Orleans. Locals say their low-lying city finally has the storm defenses it should have had before Katrina, which killed hundreds and caused billions in property losses.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

St. Bernard Parish officials want to raise awareness of how the parish was affected by Hurricane Katrina ten years ago. The parish is holding its own Katrina 10 events this week, featuring art displays, public banners indicating the level of water the area took, parish first response offices, and visits to Army Corps of Engineers flood protection projects.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Ten years after Katrina, the Army Corps of Engineers says it is ready for the next big one. The Corps has built new levees, floodwalls and gated structures over the past decade to protect the city and its people.

Paul Floro / Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting to discuss a new project that will add fabric matting and natural grasses to the top of the levees along the lakefront. The design aims to protect from surges caused by a 100-year storm.

The Corps refers to this project as "armoring" the levees. The existing system is defined to withstand a hurricane with a 1 percent chance of occurring any given year: a "100-year storm." This armoring strategy is being put in place in case there’s an even stronger storm that breaches those levees.

The New Orleans City Council just passed the first new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance in 40 years. One part of the ordinance, Article 23, mandates a more “green” approach to water in the city — specifically, all the extra water we get from heavy rain and storms.

Bart Everson / Wikimedia Commons

There have been flash flood warnings for Southeast Louisiana this week. And while areas around town flood, the city of New Orleans is poised to pass a new zoning ordinance that will help with some of that water. But not all of it. 

Between 2-4 inches of rain are expected to fall over the next few days, and that makes it hard to do some basic things. Like get in your car.   

The Pentagon says three Louisiana companies have contracts worth up to $200 million in total to armor levees in the New Orleans area.

The Pentagon says Bis Services of Kenner, Circle of Belle Chasse, and Shavers-Whittle Construction of Mandeville, were among 10 companies that bid over the Internet.

Their contracts are with the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans. They were on a list of contracts released last night by the Pentagon.

The work is to be done by December 2020. The amount paid for each job will be decided individually.